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The Umbrella Academy – Netflix Season 1 Review

My first experience with the Umbrella Academy came during a snowy winter night in early February 2018. My wife and I binge-watched the entire 10 episode series over the weekend. We absolutely loved it! Let me tell you why.

The Surprise

As we scrolled through Netflix we stumbled upon the Umbrella Academy and we said heck let’s give it a shot it seems interesting enough. We had very low expectations going into this thing, so we were pleasantly surprised with how much we enjoyed episode 1. I turned to my wife and said what you think? She replied with “not bad”. In woman, that means she liked it. I concurred. Here’s the reasons why we liked it and kept on watching and ultimately binge-watched the season.

Dark Horse Comics

The Netflix show proves that Dark Horse Comics is very different from the competition; which is why this series was able to standout so much. Firstly, the characters were a refreshing change of pace from what we are accustomed to seeing in other super universes. Secondly, they were all united under a single roof or Umbrella, as infants and treat each other like siblings as the result. This kind of had an X-Men feel to it but from a such a unique family perspective it felt completely different. Thirdly, their powers were super unique and some were vaguely described.  At times it made it seem like they didn’t even have powers. Yet there was a strange silencing when their powers were actually being used.

The Characters

What a fun blend of characters! The adopted Hargreeves children did have names, however their father, Sir Reginald Hargreeves, referred to them by number. Numbers 1-7 are a wild group that have very interesting powers. Raised as siblings by their cold father and robot mother, Grace Hargreeves, they are a strange bunch to say the least. Don’t forget Pogo, the ape butler. He looks like Caesar from Planet of the Apes, but acts like Mr. Belvedere, in a creepy talking monkey in a suite with secrets sort of way. Let’s take a quick look at the hero’s shall we?

#1 Spaceboy – Luther Hargreeves

Luther is the leader of The Umbrella Academy. Firstly, #1 has super-strength. Secondly, after a failed mission in which he almost died; his life was saved by being merged with a martian gorilla. His martian gorilla body is capable of being space.  When we meet Luther his living on the Moon. Although raised as siblings he has somewhat of a love interest in his sister#3, The Rumor. Hargreeves incest at its finest, but heck they aren’t blood so I guess it’s fair game!

 

#2 The Kraken – Diego Hargreeves

Diego is reckless and rebellious. He has the ability to hold his breath forever. I learned that through comics because the Netflix show has only demonstrated a strong affinity for knife-throwing. So far. He and Luther have an obviously distinct rivalry. Diego doesn’t like taking orders from Luther. He seems to have a special spot in his heart for Vanya aka #7. The truth about Diego is that doesn’t really seem to love anyone except himself.

#3 The Rumor – Allison Hargreeves

Allison is somewhat narcissistic. She has the ability to instantly alter reality by lying. Once she says the words “I heard a rumor” the person she is speaking to automatically believes it to be true. It’s basically a voice induced mind control.  Netflix points to her marriage with husband Patrick to whom she had a daughter from named Claire. We don’t get to meet them, however. We do get the impression that she has used her powers along the way to basically get anything in life she has ever wanted.

 

#4 The Séance – Klaus Hargreeves

Klause is showcased a fretful, morbid temperament with the ability to contact the dead. Oh yeah and he’s rarely sober. Klauss is experimenting with drugs and alcohol daily.  He can be funny and charismatic. He also is in constant contact with Ben, his deceased brother #6.

#5 The Boy – Five

Five disappeared at the age of 13, by traveling 27 years into the future. He also could transport himself in a Night Crawler-ish or Peekaboo-ish type of way. It took Five, 45 years until he discovered how to go back in time. He physically aged normally during this time. However time travel causes him to retain his 13-year-old appearance. Despite his adoptive siblings being 40. His body is apparently stuck in time and cannot age.

Five claims to have read accounts of the Academy’s immediate future and their connection to an apocalypse. While trying to go back in time to warn his adoptive brothers and sisters about the apocalypse, he worked with the Temps Aeternalis. He can “microjump” in time, allowing him to move faster than the eye can see. Because of this Five is considered to be “the perfect assassin.” He has DNA of the best killers in history. Five has a 100% chance of killing if he so chooses to.

#6 The Horror (Ben Hargreeves)

Possesses monsters from other dimensions under his skin (most often appear as tentacles emerging from his torso). Is deceased, but no information about his death is given. There is a memorial statue of him located in front of the Academy. Even though he’s been dead since before the start of the series, he’s been portrayed as a member of The Umbrella Academy, appearing as his statue counterpart, in visions, or with Klaus since he has the ability to talk to the deceased.

#7 The White Violin (Vanya Hargreeves)

The most estranged member of the group. Vanya, originally showcases no particular powers, other than an interest in music. Vanya wrote an auto biography detailing her life with the Academy and her decision to leave. The rest of her “siblings” detested that decision.  As a child, The Monocle suppressed her powers. She was kept  on medication to keep her from using her powers. They were eventually released by “The Conductor” whom ended up driving her mad. She is capable of releasing destructive waves of force using her violin. Her powers are strong enough to cut someone’s throat or destroy an entire building with a single note. She’s the most powerful of The Umbrella Academy and heading into season 2 the most evil.

Cinematography

This show was filmed very well in my opinion. I’m not a cinematographer but I do feel like the show was beautifully colorful at times and perfectly dark when it needed to be. The Music was great and matched well from scene to scene. The Umbrella Academy (Original Series Soundtrack) was a great mix of music that they placed very well throughout the show. Everything seemed to be perfectly timed including this dance scene. That scene was fun and audience capturing. Overall the show was interesting and entertaining. I suggest watching this show, it’s a solid B+ if I had to give it a letter grade.

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