Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.A. – Tactfully weaving underhanded humor and whimsical soundtracks with a darker, surreptitious plot accompanied by grand classical pieces, the new television series The Umbrella Academy is delightfully eccentric and grippingly sinister.
Netflix’s foray into the superhero genre follows a family of six siblings, who reunite after many years for the funeral of their bizarre and aloof, but extremely wealthy adoptive father, Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore).
The Umbrella Academy’s most alluring aspect is its extremely diverse cast of characters, each so radically different from the other, yet all united by their shared childhood under the roof of Hargeeve’s New York City mansion.
Each one of the children was bought from their biological mothers who, remarkably, were not pregnant until the moment they gave birth.
Of the 47 children born in this fashion, all around the world, Hargreeves was only able to adopt seven – six of whom possess supernatural powers.
There’s Number One, Luther (Tom Hopper), a hulking, broody astronaut with super strength who harbors suspicions about his father’s death and Number Two, Diego (David Castañeda) a crime-fighting vigilante who throws knives with deadly accuracy. There’s Number Three, Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman), a glamorous celebrity with the ability to distort reality by spreading rumors.
Number Four is Klaus (Robert Sheehan), a flamboyant drug addict who can talk to the dead. Number Five (Aidan Gallagher) is an unnamed time traveler who goes missing for several years, and Number Seven, Vanya (Ellen Page), a professional violinist with no powers to her name.
When Number Five returns from the future with news that the future is a desolate dystopia, this unruly band of misfits must stop an impending apocalypse, fight their inner demons, and learn to trust each other.
The six are supported by a cast of equally odd yet endearing supportive characters, including Pogo, a dapper anthropomorphic chimpanzee (voiced by Adam Godley), as well as Hazel (Cameron Britton) and Cha-Cha (Mary J. Blige), two underpaid time-traveling assassins.
The Umbrella Academy combines the unglamorous peek into superhero’s lives that the X-Men franchise provides with the darkly comical storytelling style of A Series of Unfortunate Events.
Based on the comic book series by Gerard Way, The Umbrella Academy leaves the viewer amused, confused and wanting more.
Vinithra Sudhakar is a Junior Reporter with Youth Journalism International.