January 10th, 2021

Book 27 - 2019

Book 27: The Umbrella Academy: Volume 1 - Apocalypse Suite by Gerard Way & Gabriel Ba - 184 pages

Description from bookdepository.co.uk:
In an inexplicable worldwide event, forty-three 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.

So I'd never heard of the Umbrella Academy until I stumbled upon the show not long after it was released on Netflix. I gave it a go and loved it - I think I watched it twice in quick succession. I've been trying to get the graphic novel off Book Depository for months, but as quick as it would come in, it would sell out. So while in a book shop in Canada recently, I found this volume and had to purchase it! For those who haven't seen/read it, basically the idea is that a strange wealthy man adopts seven supposedly super powered children in order to train them to save the world. Twenty years later, the death of their adoptive father brings the now adults back together but they each struggle with their powers and the ramifications of their childhood in different, often destructive (or self-destructive) ways. I think the premise, particularly the start with the babies, got me interested, and the graphic novel certainly mimics that (or the TV show mimicked the graphic novel!). From there, there are some relatively significant differences between the TV show and the graphic novel (though without reading the second volume, I don't know how much was brought forward to pad out the TV show). This suite feels like a skimmed down version of the TV show, and I must admit I like the additional characterisation that happens in the show. Not to say the graphic novel isn't good - lots of interesting ideas and things to explore. The relationships between the siblings, how they came to exist, Hargreeves' motives in the first place, what happened to Ben, are all intriguing. But in some way, cause I'd seen the show, the graphic novel felt a little light on. No matter, I will be pursuing the next volume (and I believe the third volume comes out soon), hoping for answers! Recommended for anyone who liked X-Men.

27 / 50 books. 54% done!

7489 / 15000 pages. 50% done!

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The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: Volume 3: White Gold Wielder
by Stephen Donaldson – 500 pages
The Odyssey
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The Sandman: Volume 2 - The Doll’s House
by Neil Gaiman - 232 pages
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