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 aย  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 seasonย 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.



***Brief disclosure***

I am an Amazon affiliate and earn a tiny commission for purchases made through the Amazon links in this post at no cost to you. It’s a great way to help me keep things running on my blog if you’re already intrigued enough to make a purchase.ย 


The Review

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!


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  1. Oh, man.. How could I not have known that these exist and that they’re by Gerard Way? (My former emo teenage self is beyond thrilled about this!) I still haven’t watched the show, I planned to, but now I’ll have to read these first.
    Thanks so much for sharing.. I can’t wait to get my hands on them!

    • Right? I told myself the same thing when I first found out. MCR was definitely my jam in the 00’s right after high school when I was emo and super angsty. Go us lol!

      Yeah, I actually favor the show over the comics, so regardless of which you start first I still recommend the show because it gives a depth the novels don’t have.

      Very welcome, I hope you enjoy!

      • Lol, that’s so weird and cool! I still have my MCR moods sometimes but I never did grow out of Linkin Park.
        Did you do the full on emo wardrobe, too? Some terrible choices in taste were made back then. ๐Ÿ˜‚
        Go us!

        I’ve heard the same about the Riverdale books vs. the show. I’ll be sure to remember that though, thanks!

        Fingers crossed! Stay safe!

      • Yeah, every now and again I’ll listen to MCR and jam out. Linkin Park’s alright, but I never got into them like MCR. I also listened to a bunch of techno back in those days too.

        Haha, I wasn’t too terribly emo in my opinion. I did have a couple outfits that were definitely emo, but didn’t completely buy into the looks everyone was wearing. I kind of maintained my own style through it all.

        Hmm I’ve actually never seen or read Riverdale, though I’ve heard endlessly about it. That’s actually probably why I haven’t given it a chance yet lol.

      • It’s better that we’re all different but can still enjoy the same things. Know any Basshunter or Skillex?

        I was tomboy emo, it that even makes sense, but it wasn’t too crazy. Just a lot of black, bangs, and attitude.
        I bet it was an interesting look for you!

        Oh, my.. really? I didn’t want to love it but I ended up adoring Madelaine Petsch as Cheryl Blossom. Holy heck, that girl is.. something else. ๐Ÿ˜†

        Ready for Christmas?

      • Totally, diversity all the way! Yeah, I’ve heard of both but listened to Basshunter a bit more. A rando sampling of my techno playlist is giving me ATB, Lasgo, 4 Strings, and lots of TIesto amid other things.

        Oh, I can totally see that! I love bangs and mine just grew in, so I’m in heaven. Yes, all about that attitude! LOL it definitely was interesting. Some bad choices with my hair and clothes here and there, but not terrible.

        Yeah, I was the same way with Vampire Diaries. Didn’t wanna give it a chance, but when I did I got obsessed. I’m sure the same thing will happen if/when I try out Riverdale.

        So ready! All the shippable gifts have been sent out and I’m just sitting on the horde of the rest of them, biding my time.

      • Wow.. I haven’t heard of a few of those in a while! Going to have to check out the others, though, you have great taste.

        I’m happy for you! Personally.. I can’t imagine how it must be like to have such short hair. I’ve considered going rogue and chopping it all off just to see for myself. ๐Ÿ˜†

        Hey, the Vampire Diaries are Nothing like the books! It took me soooo long to get over how much they changed with the show but, yea, it’s surprisingly addictive once you do. Riverdale and Stranger Things, though? I’m a total fangirl. I hope you enjoy it!

        Lol, right? Most of our family is within 6ish hours of on another so holidays tend to end up being this giant merry-go-round of crazy.. and it all starts off with this ridiculous mountain of gifts.

        Stay safe and may the odds be ever in your favor!

      • Yeah, I really miss techno sometimes, but the funny thing is, it didn’t really leave. It just faded into the background of all the popular songs we hear nowadays. So in a way, the genre won. It simply can’t be erased, huzzah!

        It’s actually not that bad and way easier to manage. If you ever do chop yours off you’ll probably enjoy how easy and simple it can be.

        Hmm, I think I read the first two books of that series, but the show is definitely different, like 100% lol. Ooo I love me some Stranger Things. Can’t wait for the next season (I believe it’s the final season also).

        Oh that’s not too bad as far as distance goes. I also have a very vivid image in my head of a literal mountain of gifts. It’s freaking beautiful haha. Hope there are plenty for you!

        Thanks, you stay safe as well!

      • I miss techno the way it was. Yea, it’s mixed in to a lot of music these days but it’s not the same.. And now I have Bangarang bouncing around my head.

        I have chopped my hair off pretty short before.. Heart attacks were had, drama ensued, and it grew back. This is just the longest I’ve ever had it.

        You’re not kidding! I did love The Originals though. Klaus is something else.
        Stranger Things is insanely addictive but I do think you’re right about this next season being the last. Although, with how popular it is, I can’t imagine why they would want to end it.

        Have a great week!

      • Yeah, I do too. I’ve always kind of regretted that I got into it a couple years after its prime. I was just too young at the time, so it’s nothing I could’ve helped.

        Oh no! Sorry you had a bad experience. Maybe just a trim up if it gets unmanageable. I’m constantly having my hair stylist thin out my hair. it is super thick, but at least I know I won’t be going bald anytime soon.

        The Originals is pretty cool, though I kind of fell off the bandwagon by the time it came out. I think I watched the first season or two of it. I agree completely. I need like 200 seasons of Stranger Things. Just keep it going!

        You too!

      • One amazing thing about music is that no matter what age you are or how old the music is.. Anyone can enjoy it.

        Lol, Thanks. It will get cut eventually, I just have a hard time letting go of it. Not going bald really is a great benefit of having thick hair!๐Ÿ˜†

        I ended up binging The Originals after it had finished so that made it easier.
        Stranger Things is going to break a lot of fans hearts if this really is their final season.
        I’m with you.. keep it going!

        Hope you’re well!

      • Oh yeah, totally! It’s the same way with video games. I bought some throwbacks and as I was playing I was like “Huh, I was doing this same thing 20 years ago” lol.

        I totally understand. You’ll get there! Haha, yes, please let me not go bald. My hairline has receded a smidge, but nothing serious.

        It really is so much easier if a show’s already over to binge the heck out of it. Back when I started it, it was still in the early days of being on TV.

        They most definitely will break my heart! Fingers crossed they at least do it justice if they’re going to end it.

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