The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite #1


Share this review

  • Button Delicious
  • Bttn Digg
  • Bttn Facebook
  • Bttn Ff
  • Bttn Myspace
  • Bttn Stumble
  • Bttn Twitter
  • Bttn Reddit

The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite #1


  • Words: Gerard Way
  • Art: Gabriel Bá
  • Inks: Gabriel Bá
  • Colors: Dave Stewart
  • Story Title: The Day the Eiffel Tower Went Berserk
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Sep 19, 2007

My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way brings his comic book vision to publication, with a first issue that’s as rampantly creative as it is complexly structured.

In last May’s “Free Comic Book Day” offering from Dark Horse, The Umbrella Academy was featured in a preview short that had many readers salivating for more.  Seven oddly-powered individuals headed by a sociopathic Victorian pulp-adventurer named The Monocle, thrown together like the mother of all dysfunctional families?  What was this?  The answer begins to come clear in Apocalypse Suite #1, wherein the origin of the kids and their mentor is plainly divulged, though with a veritable textbook of hidden story hinted at, yet to be revealed.

How much fun can a single book be?  In TUA: AS #1, the Umbrella Academy kids attack an Eiffel Tower gone berserk, manipulated by a steam-run cyborg version of Gustave Eiffel himself!  Meanwhile, The Monocle prepares for a future threat of…something (no one knows), and then we jump twenty years forward to the most startling news of all—the Monocle is dead, and now the kids, grown to adulthood and superhero-ish-hood, must return to face the whatever-it-is their “father” had brought them together for in the first place.

With Gabriel Bá on art chores (the man behind Image’s Casanova ), you know the book’s going to have a wild, anything-goes feel to it, and it does, but writer Way never lets it seem unsystematic, but rather the bizarre aspects of the story continue to flesh-out and set up the greater epic as a whole.  The final result is an ongoing saga told in alternating pieces of pulp fiction action and weird sci-fi set-up, producing a book highly reminiscent of Dark Horse’s flagship title Hellboy.

Way is definitely from the Robert Kirkman and Matt Fraction generation of fanboy-cum-writers, influenced by the same, somehow ending up with a similar take on what modern comics should be.  That’s far from a complaint (though it is a warning), and anyone who enjoys outlandish vistas populated by over-the-top characters who think and speak and act like everyday Generation X’ers, will utterly love The Umbrella Academy.  Gerard isn’t as wordy as Kirkman, or as frivolous as Fraction, and in fact he seems, at the core, a stronger writer than either.  There’s only a single issue (and a preview) to base that statement on, but so far so very, very good.

Bá’s art is pure eye-candy; even juggling two books he seems better than ever before.  The  action is wowing, the humor and drama spot on, and coupled by Dave Stewart’s wonderfully selected palate, the series takes on a life of its own, reading like a long established ongoing at the peak of its popularity and artistic expression.

All around, The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite is a glorious debut, one of the strongest, hands down, in many, many years, from Marvel, DC, Image, or even Dark Horse itself.  It’s a very well thought out and brilliantly executed adventure yarn, with flavors of nearly every genre under the sun while yet retaining an actual, solid aesthetic that isn’t just a haphazard jumble of inspirations.  It’s nothing groundbreaking, nothing that hasn’t been more-or-less the popular kind of comic within the industry since the new millennium began, but what it is , is one of the best of its type to see the two sides of printed paper.  It’s derivative, but it’s wonderfully so, and artfully managed.

Related content

Related Headlines

Related Lowdowns

Related Reviews

Related Columns


There are no comments yet.

In order to post a comment you have to be logged in. Don't have a profile yet? Register now!

Latest headlines


Latest comments
Comics Discussion
Broken Frontier on Facebook