The Umbrella Academy is an adaptation of the comic book series by Gerard Way. He used to be the lead singer of My Chemical Romance, for those who are interested. The premise of the show is relatively simple. On a specific day in March 1989, 43 babies, around the world, were born. The twist is that none of the mothers were actually pregnant on the day they gave birth.
A rather eccentric billionaire, Sir Reginald Hargreeves, decides to go around the world and buy them up. He believes they have superpowers and after much cash has exchanged hands, he ends up with seven of them. Numbering them one to seven, as they grow older, and through his training, their powers manifest. At least for six of them. Number seven, Vanya, (played by Ellen Page) has been deemed ordinary. As a result, she is pretty much excluded from the group. The remaining six are then named The Umbrella Academy.
Fast forward to modern day and Hargreeves has died. Only five of the original seven are still around. Number 6 died and Number 5 upped and disappeared 16 years ago and was never seen again. But, as the siblings gather in the vast mansion they call home, Number 5 appears through a time warp of sorts. The twist is that he has been living in the future for more than 30 years but returns as his 13-year-old self. And he knows that the world is going to end in eight days.
The Umbrella Academy must now put their various differences aside and work together to stop an apocalypse. Simple right? Not quite so. They really don't like each other very much. They loathed their father. And all of them are seriously messed up in different ways. Their powers, it turns out, has ruined all of them in one way or another.
Through the 10 episodes of season 1, we do genuinely get a much deeper look at each of their lives. The plot of the show is multi-layered and each plays their own part in the overall dysfunction of the family. Throw in an AI mother, a talking, yet very real, guardian chimp and time travelling assassins and what you get is a very fast paced, action show.
But what The Umbrella Academy does very well is create excellent characters. Each and every one of them is engaging and relatable on some level. This is where the show differs from the likes of DC Titans (they're a bit shallow by comparison).
My personal favourite is Klaus, a flamboyant drug addict with the ability to communicate with the dead. Played by Robert Sheehan he, along with Aidan Gallagher, who plays Number 5, are superb. Plus the soundtrack is AMAZING. Seriously, the range of music is incredible!
I enjoyed it. It is engaging and interesting with enough twists and turns to keep you watching. Spoiler Alert: the end is an almighty cliff hanger that sets the show up nicely for season two. While there is no official confirmation of its return, it would seem foolish for Netflix not to renew it.