‘Umbrella Academy’ makes new superhero perspective

Characters offer variety of powers, talents; group dysfunction entertains



“The Umbrella Academy” is a new series from singer Gerard Way that chronicles the lives of seven children with unique powers. The show is great for Netflix binge-watchers.

MARA JOHNSON, Evergreen columnist

New on Netflix from “My Chemical Romance” lead singer Gerard Way is “The Umbrella Academy.”

My former love for “My Chemical Romance” sparked my interest in the show. Anyone interested in superhero shows might find this show absolutely binge-able or — like others — you might find it a bit overhyped and not worth your time.

Just because of Gerard Way, I was hoping to really enjoy this show and for the most part, it was fun to watch. But as I started watching it again I realized how dumb it actually is.

Before I go any further I would just like to say that in no way is this an insult to the cast, crew or creators of the show and original comic books. “The Umbrella Academy” is a decent show and this is mostly just a joke.

Maybe if I had gotten into the comic books I would have enjoyed the series more, but I just jumped straight into the fandom.

The series opens up with a weird pool scene somewhere in Russia. Different pieces of the backstory are shown throughout the first season, giving the audience a look at the insane lives these main characters — seven young superheroes — lead.

Moving on from the boring beginning, I’d like to talk about each of the characters individually, as they all bring a unique perspective to the show.

Number One, or Luther, is a giant of a man who lives on the moon because his adopted father banished him there after an unfortunate accident that could have cost him his life. Even though his father almost ruined him completely, Luther prides himself on being the team leader regardless of the situation and is still a daddy’s boy long after his father’s passing.

Luther’s only strength is, well, strength. When you think about all the fights that Luther went through during the series, his inhuman strength gives him a leg up over his opponents. Other than that, he doesn’t have incredible skill, unlike his brothers and sisters.

Number Two is the jealous one, also known as Diego. This man can do some serious damage. Where his brother Luther can crush people with brute force, Diego can curve anything he throws — typically knives. Throughout the show, Diego is a jerk to everyone, but he is still a badass with his throwing skills.

Diego never let his superhero past go. As children, six of the seven main characters would fight crimes together, a rush that Diego has been chasing since leaving his childhood home.

Allison, also known as “The Rumor” or Number Three, she’s able to control people with her voice. Definitely not the coolest power, but still impressive. Unlike Diego, who uses his ability for mostly the greater good, Allison seems to only use her powers for things she wants. Don’t get me wrong, I’d use my abilities to my advantage too, but that’s all Allison does. Other than the flashbacks we see in the first season, Allison is never seen controlling people even for the good of her fellow heroes.

The messiest of the bunch is Number Four, “The Séance” or Klaus. Probably one of the more popular characters in the show due to his chronic drug abuse and ability to conjure the dead. Haunted by his dead brother Ben, Klaus is always causing trouble but also has the most useless power. When would conjuring the dead be helpful in a fight involving guns? Ghosts have no power over stopping bullets, duh.

Klaus is a cool character, a comedic voice in a sea of depression and toxic masculinity. I see no problem with Klaus being a drug addict, but I do see a problem with how he is portrayed most of the time in the show. In one scene between Klaus and Diego, Klaus’ addiction is treated with an odd childlike tone rather than a serious commentary.

Throughout the show, Klaus is depicted as a child, never taken seriously or listened to. But that might be a good thing since he never takes anything seriously anyway. In the first episode, Klaus was seen smoking a joint outside before putting the entire thing out in his father’s ashes. I mean, what kind of a drug addict wouldn’t finish a joint they just lit and would instead ruin it forever by putting it out in the spilled remains of their deceased dad?

The time-traveling boy, also known as Number Five, went missing for 17 years but is still seen as a 13-year-old boy. If Number Five had never come back, then a lot of the mess that happens wouldn’t have occurred. His ability to time travel makes Number Five the coolest character, in my opinion.

Number Six, or Ben, is dead and to me, he is useless except for him being the voice of reason for Klaus, which doesn’t seem to do much for him.

Number Seven is the ordinary one — or so we think. Out of the other “Umbrella Academy” members, Number Seven, Vanya, is the family outcast and is hated by her siblings because of the autobiography she wrote about her family.

Because of the differences in her family’s eyes, Vanya, played by Ellen Page, is easily manipulated by other people. Namely, her boyfriend Leonard, who is a total creep from the beginning.

Ever since I watched Juno for the first time, I’ve loved Page and she, along with Gerard Way, was the main reason I started watching the show.

The entire family is dysfunctional and they all seem to hate each other, except for Luther and Allison, who’ve pretty much been dating since they were kids. Weird right? Basically, siblings sleeping with each other. Also, their dad was so loveless that instead of finding his kids a real mother, he built them a robot. Nothing says love like a mother-figure who is incapable of feeling love.

All-in-all, “The Umbrella Academy” is a watchable show with diverse characters and I would recommend it to almost anyone. It is cheesy and dumb — but then again, aren’t most of the TV shows we watch? “The Umbrella Academy” is a new addition to the line of superhero shows with a different perspective of superhero life.