The Umbrella Academy, Vol.1: The Apocalypse Suite by Gerard Way
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I've always had a sort of love My Chemical Romance. Which is strange, really. I hate that kind of emo, pop-punk, early 2000's sounds for the most part, but there is a dramatic flair to what Way and Co do. One need only look at The Black Parade to see what I'm talking about.
Looking here, at this comic, it is easy enough to see that same flair for the dramatic that Way brings to his music. Things are dark, very dark, but there is a kind of playfulness to it. It's like a Tim Burton movie in some ways, as fucked up and strange as things get, there is always that barrier, that cartoonyness, that makes everything seem playful even when it isn't.
Furthermore, I'm impressed by that fact that Way isn't some pondering emo throughout this book. There are sections when he makes points about belonging and what makes someone special, but it isn't handled in some heavy-handed, unique butterfly bullshit kind of way. Neither is the dysfunctional family.
The steam-punk and after the glory days superhero team thing was also nice. It's always kind of fresh seeing superheroes get together years after the team has fallen apart. It's like watching a reunion of all your favorite actors from your favorite sitcom. Awkward and everyone hates each other, but it still somehow feels right. As if they hate each other because they are practically family.
The art is spot on as well. I mean, when it gets down to it, this is really a classic superhero comic that is brought down to earth just a little. It's fun, it's funny, and it's worth your time.
I look forward to reading more and that's all you can really hope for in the end.
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