The Umbrella Academy Review: 7 Ups & 2 Downs

Gerard Way breathes life into Netflix's superhero stable...

The Umbrella Academy

It's been years since Universal initially picked up the film rights for The Umbrella Academy and in the decade since it first became a thing, the lack of news and positive updates has been a frustration but no extinguisher to the excitement. And thanks to Netflix, the patience shown by Gerard Way's army of fans and those who came to the excellent comic for different reasons has now been rewarded with an ambitious, hugely entertaining series adaptation.

It's safe to say Steve Blackman's adaptation is one of the most impressive comic book TV shows of recent times, shrugging off some of the issues that blighted the platform's Marvel shows and offering up a riff on X-Men, Doom Patrol and The Haunting Of Hill House (add them all together with a Tim Burton-like eye for character generation and you have the formula for Umbrella Academy) that is truly great.

It's far from a flawless show, but there's a lot to be impressed by here. Equally, it wouldn't be fair not to mention where it slightly falls down in the name of balance.

First the negatives...


2. The Mid-Season Sag

The Umbrella Academy

Despite the show mercifully avoiding Netflix's usual superhero show length of 13 episodes - which inevitably means there are two or three episodes in the middle that lose their grip - The Umbrella Academy sags in the middle the same way Daredevil and his Defenders buddies' shows did.

It's perhaps because there's not quite enough story to justify the ten episodes, which makes the exposition-heavy first episode a little confusing. The problem there, of course, is that that episode worked exceptionally well and it's the pacing established there that makes the sag so noticeable.

It's not at all fatal, but it's a shame that it seems to be so emblematic of Netflix shows now.

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Executive Editor

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