[VoxSpace Review] The Umbrella Academy : Netflix’s Estranged Superheroes

Netflix’s Umbrella Academy

Another exciting Netflix month and another superhero show. Wait. Is it Marvel? Is it DC? Well, there is a rumour that it is better than either of them (reference game strong). So, what did we get? Well, seven estranged superheroes with weird powers and a dysfunctional family- The Umbrella Academy.

The story starts with (NO SPOILERS AHEAD) a random day in 1989, when 43 women, who showed no signs of pregnancy when the day started, give birth. Out of these 43, seven are adopted by the multi-billionaire industrialist Sir Reginald Hargreeves. With the seven under his wing, the Umbrella Academy is created.

The show begins with six of them meeting at the funeral of their father, who dies suddenly. As they come to terms with their father’s death and try to solve the mystery surrounding it, the family realizes that their different personalities and moods cause rifts between them.

The plot thickens when our quirky superheroes face an imminent apocalypse. The rest of the story is how the superheroes deal with it.

What’s New In This Superhero Story

The show is created by the lead singer of My Chemical Romance, Gerard WayThe show offers a very different palate of superhero elements as these seven superhero siblings, along with a talking ape butler, who somehow has an Alfred vibe, come together in this show.

While the show has a very refreshing taste, one can simply wonder at the various paths leading to the plot. Why did the billionaire take-in only these seven children? How did the seven reconcile their differences when the first few episodes are dedicated to highlighting it?

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I watched the ten episodes in a mega binge-athon of 10 hours or so, finishing the show in one go. As I eventually digested it, I marvelled at the layered narration that brought alive all these characters with such interesting personas.

Despite the strong superhero flavour, the show also swings between comedy and drama which somehow balances the flow of the show, giving the viewer an enjoyable time.

There might not have been a background score composed by Hans Zimmer, with sensational orchestral sounds, but the music does phenomenal justice to the undertone of the show, providing a very cinematic feel to it.

Showing The Good, Bad And The Ugly

What really highlights the show is how the makers highlighted the awful, superficial qualities of being a superhero, as much as the fun and good parts as well.

The show shifts its timelines back and forth, providing a visual treat of the sevens’ childhood and the imminent apocalypse they face. We see not only the childhood parts of the equation, but also their adult version, layered with narcissism, love, hate and much more.

We are not disappointed with the way the show not only highlights basic human emotions of good vs evil, but also those of sibling love, emotions that follow when we hurt a loved one, and the guilt we carry with the loss of a dead person.

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The show also shows us how an ordinary person meanders through the world of the powerful and the teaching elements of standing tall, despite the odds that are freshly served to us. 

The action sequence is quite spiffy and is set to dazzle with the choreography. That coupled with the music (damn, it’s good), the Umbrella Academy is quite a treat for an ardent lover of Netflix Originals.