‘Umbrella Academy’ an interesting take on a team of superheroes

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Photo courtesy of imdb.com

The cast of “The Umbrella Academy” on Netflix is seen.

Neng Jiang, Staff Writer

Netflix recently released the second season of “The Umbrella Academy” in July of 2020, with its first season being released approximately one year prior. The show takes a unique and interesting spin on the modern-day superhero, so if you were expecting something along the lines of Marvel’s “The Avengers” or DC’s “Justice League,” you’re gravely mistaken. 

“The Umbrella Academy” gives time travel a go as well, which provides an intriguing combination of topics. The show has a TV-14 rating per imdb.com.

I will be diving into how this show takes an original concept and turns it into a spectacular adaptation of the original comics, as well as the flaws of the show.  This article contains minor spoilers for Season 1 and 2 of The Umbrella Academy. Proceed with caution. 

A Brief Recap

“The Umbrella Academy” starts off when 43 women around the world miraculously give birth to babies, despite not even being pregnant that very morning. It turns out that these babies were born with peculiar superpowers. The show centers around a very dysfunctional family adopted by Sir Reginald Hargreeves, who adopted seven of these unique babies as his own. He didn’t give the children names, but rather called them by the number he assigned to them (1-7) based on the strength of their superpower, 7 being the strongest and 1 being the weakest. 

  • Number one: Luther, the self appointed leader and daddy’s boy. His superpower is super strength and he has the upper body of an ape.
  • Number two: Diego, the wannabe Batman character/vigilante, has a soft spot for his robot mom. His superpower is that he can control projectiles so he never misses.
  • Number three: Alison, the successful child who is going through an identity crisis because of her power. Her superpower is mind control (She can rumor anyone into doing anything). She is potentially the most overpowered sibling, but chooses not to use her power.
  • Number four: Klaus, the conflicted man child who is possibly insane. His power is that he can communicate with the dead and summon ghosts to attack people, aiding him in battle. 
  • Number five: Five, the actual leader of the group who single handedly carries the entire team on his back. He is also a 50 year old trapped in a thirteen year old body because he travelled through time. His power? Bending time and space. He can bend time to make him “blink” from place to place (teleport) as well as time travel.
  • Number six: Ben is also one of the strongest of the seven. We only see him in the show through Klaus in flashbacks, which provides some interesting interactions. His superpower is that he can summon a portal in his stomach to another dimension which unleashes a tentacle type monster. 
  • Number seven: Vanya, the emotionally conflicted child. She is believed to have no powers, however as the series progresses, it is revealed that her father was keeping them hidden from her due to their immense strength. Her power is that she can turn sound into mass amounts of explosive energy. It also allows her to fly. 

The entire series so far centers around the family trying to put an end to the apocalypse.

What Makes The Show Different?

“The Umbrella Academy” takes a very different approach to the renowned concept of a team of superheroes. Unlike other superhero teams such as the Avengers, X-Men, or the Justice League, The Umbrella Academy is completely dysfunctional. They have absolutely no patience with each other or the main problem at hand, which makes for some very comedic scenes in the show. 

Now you may be wondering, “Well? The Marvel Cinematic Universe is known for its comedy!” And to that I say you’re correct. However, “The Umbrella Academy” performs comedy more through the character’s actions whereas the MCU tends to just joke around. The show is amusing to watch because of how unprofessional the characters are. 

Unlike other superhero shows and movies, “The Umbrella Academy” never has a perfect ending. Nothing ever goes their way, which causes a good amount of suspense and comedy that draws people in. The end of every episode always leaves you wondering, “What’s going to happen next?”