The much-anticipated television adaptation of the Eisner award-winning graphic novel by Gerard Way premieres on Netflix on Friday, and fans can look forward to a conventional superhero story, supported by great cinematography, a talented cast and a kick-ass soundtrack.
The 10-episode series focuses on seven adopted children with special gifts. The billionaire who adopts them establishes The Umbrella Academy as the children hone their skills and fight crime. The crime-fighting reign eventually comes to an end, as the now adult characters go their separate ways as they try to establish an as-close-to possible normal life whilst trying to deal with the demons of their childhood and growing up in a dysfunctional family.
Three decades later, the six surviving members reunite upon the news of their father's passing and must work together to solve a mystery surrounding his death. But the estranged family begins to come apart due to their divergent personalities and abilities, not to mention the imminent threat of a global apocalypse
During a recent press junket in London, "The Umbrella Academy" showrunner Steve Blackman described the show as " "a dysfunctional family with a body count".
"At its heart its a dysfunctional family show," he said. "Having special abilities are wonderful, but that's really just the incendiary part of it. I think it's this family coming together, regrouping, finding each other ... that for me was the sole vision."
Despite having family at its heart, the show is jam-packed with great action scenes, amazing special effects and really takes the audience on the journey that helps them not only understand its characters but also relate.
Meet the cast
The show stars Ellen Page, Tom Hopper, David Castañeda, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Robert Sheehan. Aidan Gallagher, Mary J. Blige, Cameron Britton, Colm Feore, Adam Godley, John Magaro, Ashley Madekwe and Kate Walsh.
The depth of each character is peeled back a little more with every episode, keeping you not only hooked on the mystery but also engrossed in each characters' story.
The Monacle/ Richard Hargreeeves played by Colm Feore
A wealthy entrepreneur and world-renowned scientist. He adopts the members of The Umbrella Academy at birth. He was very cold in his raising of the children in that he refused to let the children call him father, instead preferring to be called The Monocle. Also when speaking to the children, he addressed them by their number, which he gave them in order of usefulness to him.
Number 1: Spaceboy/ Luther Hargreeves played by Tom Hopper
The leader of The Umbrella Academy. As a child, he possessed the ability of super-strength. After a disastrous expedition, his powers are enhanced physical strength and resilience.
Number 2: The Kraken/ Diego Hargreeves played by David Castañeda
The reckless and rebellious member of the group; described as “an insolent brat.” He is more of a Batman-like superhero in that he goes on regular patrols and can be seen taking down drug dealers. He has also has a strong affinity for knife-throwing.
Number 3: The Rumor / Allison Hargreeves played by Emmy Raver-Lampman
Allison has the ability to instantly alter reality by lying. After leaving the Academy she pursues a career as an actress, marries and has child, but loses both her husband and daughter on account of poor choices. She is also romantically linked to her adopted brother, Spaceboy.
Number 4: The Séance/ Klaus Hargreeves played by Robert Sheehan
Klaus is one of my favourite characters. He is witty, unpredictable, temperamental and has the ability to contact the dead.
Number 5/ The Boy played by Aidan Gallagher (Another one of my favourited characters)
At the age of 13, The Boy disappeared by travelling decades into the future. He physically aged normally during this time, though upon returning to the past/present he retains his child-like appearance, despite his adoptive siblings being 30.
He is also considered to be "the perfect assassin," and really likes his coffee — and booze.
Number 6: The Horror/ Ben Hargreeves
Possesses monsters from other dimensions under his skin (i.e. most often appear as tentacles emerging from his torso). Is deceased, but no information regarding his death is given. There is a memorial statue of him located in front of the Academy. Although, Ben is technically dead, Klaus still communes with him.
Number 7: The White Violin / Vanya Hargreeves played by Ellen Page
As the most estranged member of the group, Vanya originally showcases no particular powers. Vanya is known to have written a book detailing her life with the Academy and her decision to leave. She is capable of releasing destructive waves of force using her violin that can be strong enough to cut someone's throat or destroy an entire building with a single note ... but she doesn't know it.
Hazel (Cameron Britton) and Cha-Cha (Mary J Blige)
A pair of extremely violent assassins working for the Temps Aeternalis with a special interest in Number 5. They both wear brightly coloured cartoon character masks, exhibit maniacal and psychopathic behaviour.