The Netflix super family has just returned for a second season that is just as bizarre, maybe bizarrer, than the first.
However with the show being a monster hit on Netflix, I’m going to assume a bunch of you have binged it already. Me? As I write this, I’m still in the process of finishing season 2.
The plot so far involves time travel, like season one. But it get weirder and weirder as it goes ahead. But I’m not here to talk about the show.
Why am I here? To talk about the comics behind the series.
The Umbrella Academy is an Eisner Award winning series, published by Dark Horse is written by Gerard Way (From My Chemical Romance), and Illustrated by the incredibly talented Gabriel Ba.
What are the Eisner Awards? Well, the Eisner’s are basically the Academy Awards of the comic book world. So that’s a pretty big deal.
The Umbrella Academy currently has three published volumes.
Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite
The original series is what season 1 of the show was based on. A fair number of differences will exist between the show and the comic, namely the characters. And of course, the ending. The show makes the characters somewhat more likeable and three dimensional. Except for 5. 5 is as cold, cranky, detached, and ruthless in both. This run involves introducing the characters, lots of action, and a supervillain that you did not see coming. If you’ve seen season 1 of the show, you’ll see all the familiarity, with possibly ten times the weirdness. Do not expect it to be identical to the show.
Umbrella Academy: Dallas
Volume 2 of The Umbrella Academy, is another 6 issue run. Dallas revolves around Number 5 and the Kennedy Assassination. A lot of plot points for season 1 of the show were taken from this run of the comics. While much of season 2 is based on it.
In Dallas, the team is downhearted following the near apocalypse situation that occurred, not to mention the death of Pogo. So it’s the perfect time to get involved in another catastrophic event. Vanya is bedridden, Rumor lost her voice, Spaceboy is catatonic from eating, 5 is at the dog tracks, and Kraken thinks the key to a series of massacres is his littlest brother.
Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion
The third arc of the insanely popular Umbrella Academy was announced way back in 2009. However it wasn’t out until late 2018, with the last few issues releasing after the launch of the show.
Hotel Oblivion centers around an off world prison that was created to house deadly threats to the Earth. Gerard Way seriously works on character development. Way himself says “It’s about the past. It’s about mistakes. It’s about fathers. It’s about redemption. It’s definitely a therapeutic series.”
It ends on a cliffhanger that leaves you wanting for the sequel that can’t come fast enough.
Apart from these, there are a few short stories that were released over the years.
A two page story involving the Séance, Number Five, a time machine, and life as a French Soldier. It’s included in the collected volume for Apocalypse Suite.
…But the Past ain’t through with you
The first printed short. The title is actually a line from the track “Kill all your friends” by My Chemical Romance, Gerard Way’s band. First appearing on Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) in 2007, this was included in the collected volume of Apocalypse Suite. It’s a murder mystery that comes about when the Rumor’s body is found in an alley
Safe and Sound
An 8 page short, published in Dark Horse presents in 2007. This anthology also had a story illustrated by Fabio Moon, Gabrielle Ba’s twin brother. Safe and Sound follows the Kraken in a Batman-esque, fast paced, vigilante justice storyline.
Anywhere but here
Included in the collected volume for Dallas. The story takes place in the group’s teen years. Kraken and Vanya, are in a punk rock band. It also sets up the distance that develops between the team as they grow older.
A spin-off series was announced in 2019, called You Look Like Death: Tales from the Umbrella Academy. A six issue series where the first issue released in November the same year. Focusing on Hazel and Cha-Cha as they save Christmas.
Most recently, Gerard Way announced that the fourth installment in the Umbrella Academy series would be called Umbrella Academy: Sparrow Academy. Here’s hoping this doesn’t take ten years like the last volume.