Comic Rewind: Umbrella Academy Vol. 1: Apocalypse Suite

Umbrella Academy Vol. 1: Apocalypse Suite is like a X-Men comic if they hated each other and broke up a few years in.

In a single random moment 43 children were born all around the world with extraordinary abilities.  Some of the mothers of these children were unaware they were even pregnant.  Many of the babies were abandoned or put up for adoption.

A world-renowned scientist and entrepreneur named Sir Reginald Hargreeves set out to to adopt as many of these extraordinary babies as he could.  However, he was only able to adopt seven.  Hargreeves began to train them to become superheroes.  The team fought crime, had adventures and they eventually broke up.

The comic’s story begins as the team members all learn that their father, Hargreeves, has died.  All the members meet at their old home for his funeral.  Many of the members had not seen each other for a long time and none of the group really like each other.

This group of misfits only have one family they can relate to and they don’t like their family very much.

Umbrella Academy is written by Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance fame.  The artist on the comic is Gabriel Ba.  The volume was released in 2008 and published by Dark Horse Comics.

This comic takes obvious influence from X-Men.  However, it is not just a rehash of old X-Men stories.  In their first introduction as adults they hate each other.  They are not this tight-knit superhero team which fight as a unit.

The comic was also very violent and graphic.  A person dies and his brains are all strewn about the room and it was very abrupt.  There is also not a Prof. X to guide them as they are grouped together for his funeral.

Something which I felt took away from the potential story was how simple it was.  The lead up to the conflict of the volume was very quick and not really plotted out well.  It kinda just happened and then was dealt with very quickly.  A conflicted was introduced and solved in a matter of two issues but it seemed like less.

This comic is for a younger audience which is fine, but I feel like the story was dumbed down a bit.  That dumbing down really affected the story and probably could have turned out much better it didn’t happen.

A tone of ultra-violence but also a overly simplified story didn’t really mesh well.  It tried to appeal to two audiences, but should have committed more to one or the other.

I enjoyed the story, but I felt it was just ok.  I can’t say I loved the story but it was perfectly fine.  This would be a good comic for a teenager who is new to comics.  A life long comic reader may find it lacking however.

Leave a Reply