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The Umbrella Academy, a new series on Netflix, is based on a comic book written by Gerard Way, the former front man of the rock band My Chemical Romance. It tells the story of a group of children, all born on the same day, who are adopted by an eccentric millionaire, Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore), who wants use their exceptional abilities for good.
The story begins when Hargreeves dies, and his grown children return to the academy. Despite their amazing abilities, they are all dysfunctional in their own ways. Their brother, 5, who vanished when they were kids, reappears with news of the impending end of the world. They are forced to work together to determine what happened to their father and stop world from ending.
So why does The Umbrella Academy succeed while other super hero ensembles like Defenders, The Gifted, and Titans are lukewarm? It dares to explore crazy premises, has an epic story line, and builds interesting characters with real problems that we can identify with. The closest thing I’ve seen to it recently is Legion, but I find the story and characters in The Umbrella Academy more compelling. I’d say it compares favourably to the first season of Heroes.