[REVIEW] The Umbrella Academy, Volume 1: Apocalypse Suite – by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba

Rating: 3 out of 5.

(Writer) Gerard Way (Artist) Gabriel Ba

I randomly read Volume 1 of The Umbrella Academy today – after years of meaning to do it – and I’ve got to admit I was disappointed. It’s rare when an adaptation is better, but that’s the case here. The show is great; the comic is very much splintered. The art is hit or miss, the story is choppy and missing necessary details, and the characters are completely flat. I couldn’t help but wonder just how confused I would be throughout this book had I not seen the show beforehand. How much of this is anticipation at fault, I couldn’t say; however, I feel like there’s a heavy difference in “feel” between the comic and the show. Seeing as this review is about the comic (and volume one, more specifically), I will point my focus there. The atmosphere is one of a comic already established; it doesn’t need to explain anything and it has an already defined audience to push the experience further. The problem is this was the first set of issues to arrive, not a volume several deep into its existence. If I had picked up this comic when it first dropped – thanks to my love for My Chemical Romance, of which Gerard Way fronted – I think I would have just decided Way had a long road ahead of him before his storytelling took shape. As it stands, I haven’t read anything else by him yet, so I can’t provide a “yes” or “no” answer to the question: Does it get better?

I hope Volume 2 is more defined than this collection. If not for the show being so damn enjoyable, I think I would just forgot about this series. But, thanks to the adaptation (how many times can you say that?), I will try another volume of this eventually.

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