Comics To Read If You Love The Umbrella Academy

You've binged every season of "The Umbrella Academy" and made your way through the graphic novels — written by Gerard Way and illustrated by Gabriel Bá — that they were based on. So, what's next? Here are some comics to check out if you like "The Umbrella Academy" and want to read something with a similar vibe and/or subject matter. There are a lot of reasons to love "The Umbrella Academy," and most of those reasons can be partially found in other comics.

"The Umbrella Academy" isn't as cynical as Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson's "The Boys," but it is a little more emo and a bit more sarcastic than most mainstream superhero comics. These suggestions come from the edge of the mainstream and beyond, with a few having popular big-screen adaptations already (and others with not-so-popular adaptations). Some of these comics have yet to be adapted, and may never be, and that's fine, too! Not every comic requires an adaptation, right? 


Let's begin with a comic that is mainstream-adjacent. Rainbow Rowell's recent "Runaways" run (say that five times fast) is particularly excellent. This team of young Marvel heroes would probably have more than a few things to discuss over coffee with the members of the Umbrella Academy. The group banded together upon realizing that their parents were members of an evil cult and basically supervillains. They're not exactly the same as Hargreeves, but similar enough. In Rowell's revival, the group comes back together after some time apart — much like the Umbrella Academy at the beginning of their story. There's also time travel, emotional support robots, angsty romance, and a healthy balance of enthusiasm and cynicism. 

If you want to start from the beginning, check out Brian K. Vaughan's original "Runaways" run. But there's going to be a lot of Vaughan on this list, so we're spreading the love. There was also a Marvel Studios adaptation of the series on Hulu (now available to stream there and on Disney+) that never got quite as weird as the comic, but it came pretty close and does a great job representing the characters.


This Marvel superhero team is decidedly more mainstream following Chloé Zhao's film adaptation, but Neil Gaiman's comic still flies under the radar. The name most associated with the team is original creator Jack Kirby, and understandably so. But Gaiman's "Eternals" miniseries finds the ancient heroes scattered and with no memory of their life and legacy. Just like "The Umbrella Academy," it is the story of a bunch of weirdos getting the band back together. It's about former superheroes who, with some supernatural nudging, have moved on and tried to create normal lives. 

It's also about a family that isn't related in a traditional sense and doesn't necessarily get along. Comic books are particularly good at telling stories about dysfunctional and/or found families, aren't they? The characters in "Eternals" and "The Umbrella Academy" have a history. Gaiman's run, drawn by John Romita Jr., also has more muted colors than Kirby's ... worth mentioning for no reason whatsoever.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Another revival series that might appeal to fans of "The Umbrella Academy" is BOOM! Studios' reboot of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" from Jordie Bellaire, Dan Mora, and Raúl Angulo. The series starts the Slayer's story over, set squarely in the 21st century. The "Buffy"-verse is weird and as sardonic as "The Umbrella Academy," with a lot of concepts that feel of a similar ilk. For example, the Commission in "The Umbrella Academy" feels a lot like some of the Powers That Be that show up in "Angel." Why this comic, in particular? It's a fresh start, a great entry point, and it manages a little course correction with regards to some elements from the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" televisions series that haven't aged particularly well.

Not all, however. As for the elephant in the room, the new series is "reimagined under the guidance of series creator Joss Whedon," and his name is pretty big at the top of each issue as the creator. Bellaire is the writer, and this reimagining could be seen as a way for uneasy "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" fans to find their way back to the Hellmouth. If you're trying to totally distance yourself from Whedon monetarily, though, this may be a pass. 


Why break something that doesn't need to be fixed? "Watchmen," technically a DC Comics property, is a classic. If you love the off-beat nature of "The Umbrella Academy," check out one of the most famous graphic novels to subvert the superhero genre. Much like "The Umbrella Academy," it also explores an alternate history. Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons aren't exactly emo, per se, but they do treat their audience with respect and tell an intelligent story.

Once again, this is the story of superhero misfits who are past their prime and trying to put their vigilante days behind them. That's a bit reductive, but please allow it for the purposes of comparing "Watchmen" with "The Umbrella Academy" in a general plot sense. Also, in both stories, the characters reunite after the death of someone from their past. It's pretty clear that "Watchmen" inspired "The Umbrella Academy" in many ways, actually — making it the perfect thing to pick up when you're looking for a similar vibe.


If you like "The Umbrella Academy" and are looking for something that isn't connected to DC or Marvel in any way, "Saga" is a great place to start. Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples' graphic novel series is, well, epic. It's a space opera set in a romantic wartime fantasy, and it is not for children. The series just returned in 2022 after a four-year-long hiatus, so now is a great time to get caught up.

"Saga" is about Alana and Marko, lovers from different planets and different species whose people are in the midst of a brutal war. They defect together and go on the run with their newborn daughter Hazel — who would certainly be of interest to multiple parties if she were to be discovered. The family goes on many adventures, together or apart, as they try to survive and find answers about their homelands and the war. With 56 issues spread out over four books and ten volumes (and counting), "Saga" is a long read, but totally worth it.

The Walking Dead

Speaking of long-running comics that are unassociated with DC or Marvel, another one worth checking out is Robert Kirkman's post-apocalyptic zombie epic. (That said, thanks to the juggernaut that is Atlanta Film, there is a lot of cast overlap between "The Walking Dead" television series and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.) This is a great, isolated story that you can dig into. There are 193 issues so, like "Saga," it's a nice long read. 

As you may know from the popular AMC series, "The Walking Dead" is the story of a group of survivors in the wake of a zombie outbreak. They are led by Sheriff Rick Grimes who wakes up from a coma to discover that the world has ended. "The Walking Dead" handles the found family theme like nothing else, and it doesn't really get supernatural beyond the zombie stuff. That being said, it does get weird. The various cults and charismatic villains that Rick's group encounter over the graphic novel's long run are certainly out there at times, to say the least.


One of the artists for this series, Gabriel Bá, also did "The Umbrella Academy," so if you like the way this looks, suffice to say you may be interested in reading this comic as well. (The other artist on "Casanova" is his twin brother, Fábio Moon.) "Casanova" is also written by Matt Fraction, arguably one of the best working writers. Instead of superheroes, "Casanova" is a spy story. The titular character, Casanova Quinn, is a thief who gets pulled into a parallel universe and blackmailed into going undercover as himself.

Like "The Umbrella Academy," the characters in "Casanova" hop from the past to the future and work in alternate timelines, and also deal with complex sibling dynamics. Also similar to "The Umbrella Academy," it starts with a funeral. If you like espionage and a lot of comic book time travel nonsense (that's a compliment), "Casanova" should be added to your reading list.

Jupiter's Legacy

The 2021 Netflix adaptation of Mark Millar and Frank Quitely's graphic novel was canceled after one season, but nothing's stopping you from going to the original source material. If you like your superheroes with daddy issues, and you probably do if you enjoy "The Umbrella Academy," this is a great avenue to explore. 

"Jupiter's Legacy" certainly isn't the first to imagine what it would actually and realistically be like if superheroes existed and held celebrity status in society. What this series focuses on, in particular, is what it would be like for the next generation. How could you ever live up to your parent's reputation if they were superheroes? If you followed in their footsteps, would that be nepotism? Would the pressure drive you to become a supervillain or just towards regular mortal self-destructive tendencies like any other rich kid? Like "The Umbrella Academy," "Jupiter's Legacy" is also about how difficult it would be to grow up famous. There's also a storyline regarding the parents and if they are or are not willing to toe the line as heroes as well.  


This coming-of-age comic is also about a kid whose dad is a powerful superhero. It has a lot in common with other books on this list and is another long read with over 140 issues. Written by "The Walking Dead" scribe Robert Kirkman, the comic was also adapted to series in 2021 on Prime Video. The source material is surprisingly dark, despite the colorful look of the artwork and the fact that each volume is named after a sitcom. It's of the gritty superhero variety, just like "The Umbrella Academy."

Mark Grayson, a teenager who's pretty average despite having a famous father named Omni-Man, suddenly manifests superpowers due to his father's alien DNA. He becomes the hero Invincible and joins a teen team of vigilante heroes. But, there are some skeletons in the closet of his seemingly charmed life, and a lot of people and other beings have conflicting ideas as to what Mark's destiny should be.

Deadly Class

The television adaptations of "Deadly Class" and "The Umbrella Academy" debuted around the same time and had very similar looks in both the design and the advertising. So chances are, if you're familiar with one, you may be familiar with the other. But while the comic book that "Deadly Class" is based on might appeal to fans of "The Umbrella Academy," they aren't actually all that similar. 

"Deadly Class" is about a group of students attending an underground boarding school called the King's Dominion Atelier of the Deadly Arts. Instead of training to be superheroes like in "The Umbrella Academy," though, they're training to be young assassins. Similar to a few other properties on this list, the characters are living in the shadows of their parents. But this time, the parents are just run-of-the-mill organized crime bosses and hired killers. The protagonist, an orphan named Marcus Lopez Arguello, thinks that he'll no longer be an outcast when he arrives at King's Dominion ... but he is (womp womp).


You know ND Stevenson's work from "She-Ra and the Princesses of Power" on Netflix, but their graphic novel "Nimona" is a Cinderella story for the ages — in that the comic itself has had quite a rise. It started as Stevenson's senior thesis and a web comic. It was later published as a graphic novel, won an Eisner Award, and was adapted into an audiobook. The comic was supposed to become an animated film, but the project was unfortunately canceled. Fingers crossed that it gets uncanceled in our lifetime because "Nimona" is something special!

The comic is set in a fantasy world with dark magic, jousting, and television. It's about a young girl named Nimona who becomes the sidekick to Lord Ballister Blackheart, colloquially believed to be the villain in the land. However, Blackheart and Nimona set out to flip the script and prove that the heroes — including Blackheart's former BFF Ambrosius Goldenloin — are actually the bad guys. 

Emily the Strange

Okay, emo kids, this one's for you. If you came to "The Umbrella Academy" for the Gerard Way of it all, check out one of the most Hot Topic-y comics out there. Her face is as famous as other famous alternative chicks like Wednesday Addams and Daria. "Emily the Strange" stickers were distributed at concerts, skate shops, and record stores in the '90s to promote Rob Reger's clothing line. So why not get into the comics — the images behind the image — also created by Reger?

Emily is a moody teenager who loves art, black cats, and going against the grain. She's a little bit of an inventor who solves mysteries and is also a skater girl. Her comics involve spirits, time travel, magic, and doppelgangers. But the real appeal of "Emily The Strange," just like with "The Umbrella Academy," is the character. She has a real personality, and gets bored a lot.