the umbrella academy early buzz

The Umbrella Academy is just the latest of many superhero series to hit the small screen, as Hollywood breathlessly tries to mine every comic book for a TV show or film adaptation.

But the Netflix series, based on the Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá Dark Horse comic book series of the same name, stands apart from the rest. Ellen Page leads the cast of The Umbrella Academy, which follows a gang of misfit siblings with superpowers who reunite to solve the mystery of their father’s death. Critics are praising the Netflix series for being a breath of fresh air from the glut of Marvel and DC Comics adaptations, offering a refreshing and bonkers take on the familiar genre.

See The Umbrella Academy early buzz below.

The Washington Post praises The Umbrella Academy as “refreshingly weird” and a bright indicator of Netflix’s future of superhero shows post-Marvel:

Hollywood execs and streaming giants are still sifting their fingers through bagged and boarded comics looking for gold, but they’re finally taking chances on the really good stuff. Don’t get me wrong: “The Umbrella Academy” is a superpowered affair, with creepy domino masks, heroics and a superhero-adoring public.

But many comic book readers head over to a publisher like Dark Horse Comics because their tastes are asking for something different from the superhero norm. And that’s why you’ll probably enjoy this show.

Collider writes that The Umbrella Academy is a “refreshing and wonderfully bonkers” antidote to the influx of superhero movies:

For those fatigued by the current glut of superhero TV shows and/or movies, The Umbrella Academy is the tonic you need. Steve Blackman and Jeremy Slater’s Netflix series, based on the Dark Horse comics by Gerard Way, immediately immerses you in this strange world and establishes that it is playing by its own rules. It’s not always clear what those rules are, but it doesn’t matter because the journey is so much fun.

Comicbook.com calls the series “a bold yet familiar take on the superhero genre,” adding:

Having now seen seven episodes out of the full order of 10, The Umbrella Academy strikes the perfect blend of irreverent humor and dark introspection within its first seven episodes, paving the way for a show that Netflix will surely want to pursue. Originally created by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba, the comic book got its start years ago under Dark Horse. As you might expect from the frontman of My Chemical Romance, The Umbrella Academy revels in its macabre aesthetic and joint-aching twists, and these are all things Netflix embraces fully with its adaptation.

The Observer says that while The Umbrella Academy is based on existing source material, “it feels original. It isn’t beholden to the overbearing rules and restrictive continuity of a shared cinematic universe”:

Developed by Steve Blackman—who has had a hand in LegionFargo and Altered Carbon in recent years—the series feels less constructed than birthed by the streaming-era ecosystem. With a blend of just enough seriousness to explore painful emotional truths and a sense of playfulness that stylishly hustles the story along, it is perfectly suited for a stuffed weekend of viewing (we’ve seen—well, hoovered—the first seven episodes).

CNET calls the series “a fantastic riot of action and pop music,” writing:

The high concept: seven children, born at the same time, on the same day, are adopted by an eccentric entrepreneur and trained to become superheroes. It’s a story that mixes multiple storylines as you breathlessly try to keep up, and it spices up scenes with just the right amount of pop music.

“Weird” and “refreshing” seem to be the words of choice in all these reviews, and that bodes well for The Umbrella Academy, which has to set itself apart from the influx of superhero shows that hit primetime and cable networks in addition to countless streaming platforms. With a star like Page, who is a superhero veteran at this point, leading the way, The Umbrella Academy could just be bonkers enough to become a bonafide sensation.

The Umbrella Academy premieres on Netflix on February 15, 2019.

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