Graphic Novel Review: The Apocalypse Suite (The Umbrella Academy #1)
Hello Blogging universe!
How’s it going? I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and spent plenty of time with family and friends. I did so myself and really enjoyed getting to relax a bit more than usual.
After my review of Dead Meat, Day 1, you might be wondering why I’m reviewing something else. In a nutshell, it’s a funny story with my library and the misplacement of the next book in their collection. They had the whole staff looking for this book, seriously! I have a lot of respect for my library, and they went above and beyond to resolve my issue quickly.
But while that was going down, I picked up the Umbrella Academy series and thought it might be a nice palette cleanser between my ongoing review of the Dead Meat series.
So here we are, my review of The Apocalypse Suite (The Umbrella Academy #1) by Gerard Way.
Now, you’re ear may have perked up at that name, and if they did, it’s for good reason! Gerard Way is the lead singer in MCR (My Chemical Romance), and way back when I was an emo kid in the early 2000’s, I absolutely loved the band.
I’ve also been a huge fan of the Netflix adaptation (you can check out my review of season 2 here), so picking out this series to read was a no-brainer.
So, did this graphic novel live up to all the hype surrounding it? Keep on reading to find out!
In an inexplicable worldwide event, forty-seven extraordinary children were spontaneously born to women who’d previously shown no signs of pregnancy. Millionaire inventor Reginald Hargreeves adopted seven of the children; when asked why, his only explanation was, “To save the world.”
These seven children form the Umbrella Academy, a dysfunctional family of superheroes with bizarre powers. Their first adventure at the age of ten pits them against an erratic and deadly Eiffel Tower, piloted by the fearsome zombie-robot Gustave Eiffel. Nearly a decade later, the team disbands, but when Hargreeves unexpectedly dies, these disgruntled siblings reunite just in time to save the world once again.
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Holidays are great for catching up on some reads. I spent part of my Thanksgiving reading this first installment of the Umbrella Academy series, and I had a good time!
Being both a fan of MCR and the Netflix adaptation, I had a pretty good idea of what I was getting into, but I was pleasantly surprised at how different the graphic novel was from the show.
We follow the lives of the members of the Umbrella Academy. After going their separate ways, they find themselves drawn back together at the death of their father figure, Reginald Hargreeves. But when number five comes back from the future with a deadly warning, they have to set aside their differences in order to stop the end of the world.
Much like the show, I enjoyed the characters. Number five is probably my favorite. There’s just something about a crabby old man in a little kid’s body that is very entertaining. Honorable mention goes to number one (Spaceboy). I like how focused he is on the superhero aspect of everything, even when it’s cost him so much in life. All other members get a relatively decent amount of limelight, and you can really feel the tension between them.
My one complaint with the characters lies with Vanya. Even considering her past of being shunned from the group, I thought that the bigger decisions she made were done too quickly. Surely she would think rationally to some extent, even with her dark past. It just seemed too easy and made her seem extremely weak. I didn’t care too much for that.
I really enjoyed the art style and how it wasn’t overdone or too elaborate. At first I wasn’t sure how I felt, but as I continued reading it was easy to blaze through the pages.
Any superhero lover would enjoy the plot of this graphic novel. The world’s going to end and this dysfunctional ragtag team of supes is going to “make it all better”? Hand me that popcorn! The 90’s comic book kid in me loved all the supercharged action scenes and mystery surrounding what was behind the plot to end the world. I will say sometimes the pacing was a bit too fast, especially when number five uses this monocle of Reginald’s. It was a bit jarring, and while it was explained later, I felt it could’ve been done a bit better.
This isn’t the best superhero graphic novel ever, but it has a fun plot and unique characters that make it worth the journey.
That’s A Wrap!
Well that’s it for this book review. I hope you enjoyed it!
Have you read this graphic novel? Are there other similar graphic novels you’ve read that you simply have to gush about? Feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to start a conversation!
Have a great day!