Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Umbrella Academy Vol. 1: Apocalypse Suite

Written by Gerard Way
Art by Gabriel Bá

When this series first started, I was interested because of the involvement of Gabriel Bá, as it started just after his stint on Casanova ended.  I read the Free Comic Book Day story though, and immediately lost all interest in the title.  It was not that good a story.  Then, when the mini-series started, it received nothing but accolades in the comics press, and I figured it would be worth checking out some day.

This is a really good book.  Way has written this as a mash up of Morrison's Doom Patrol, and JMS's Rising Stars.  Seven children were born at the same time to women who weren't previously pregnant, and they were raised by a cold-hearted ideologue, who molded them into a family of disfunctional superheroes.

The team is reunited after years of separation in the event of their "father's" death, and their being together causes an old threat to resurface.  This leads to some more sibling rivalry, and the team's betrayal by their "normal" sibling, who has been previously without powers.

The characters, like Spaceboy, whose head is attached to the body of a giant gorilla, are quite original, but the plot is not.  Way's writing is smart, but his plotting is more than a little conventional.  Bá's art is incredible though, and the book has a nice flow to it.  I look forward to reading the second trade.

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