Amazing Kids! Magazine

The Umbrella Academy Braves The Storm of Superhero Tropes

By Sarina Patel, Jr. Assistant Editor and Comic Hub Co-Editor

 

Six adopted kids have to stop the apocalypse. That sounds like the tagline of Teen Titans Go, or Codename: Kids Next Door. Umbrella Academy, however, is not like any other live-action superhero TV show. In fact, it is not like any other superhero story ever written.

When their master and paternal figure Sir Reginald Hargreeves passes away, seven internationally renowned siblings (one of whom passed away prior to the start of the show) have to pick up the pieces and save the world one last time…with the help of each other.

All this would be made incredibly boring if the show was not a masterful, expertly-timed amalgamation of creator Gerard Way (of My Chemical Romance)’s musical theatricality and colorful comic book mania. The heroes are petty, childish, and at times downright disgusting…precisely why they are so fun to root for. The villains are affable and personable, calling to mind The Handler’s pleasant smile and lovable Hazel’s affinity for donuts. Even the most reluctant audience will find it hard not to crack a smile at this role reversal.

If the strong characterization of each of the six siblings within their family feud does not strike a winning chord, then the themes most certainly will. Triumphing disorder with order, hate with love, and dark with light. But the space where The Umbrella Academy is unburdened by the comic book tropes that tackle its peers on other superhero shows is where it truly shines. Characters such as Klaus Hargreeves (one of the superheroes) experience notable physical and mental pitfalls on screen, letting the audience know that sometimes, even those with impeccable strength can still fall, stressing that it can be okay not to be okay…but that dealing with it is an extremely important part of getting over it.

The Umbrella Academy is now streaming on Netflix.