Review: ‘The Umbrella Academy’ stands out with wacky aesthetic

The new Netflix series “The Umbrella Academy” is based off of the Dark Horse Comic series and features a surreal aesthetic that has been well-received. Photo courtesy of Imdb

Molly Atchison | Editor-in-Chief

Looking for a quirky superhero story filled with dark comedy and family drama? “The Umbrella Academy” is the next Netflix series you should binge. The show, based on a 2007 Dark Horse Comics series by the same name, pulls viewers in right away with a mysterious sequence of births and deaths, all linked together by a slew of slightly abnormal characters. It is soon revealed that all of these characters, numbered and named, became “siblings” raised by an eccentric billionaire who fashioned the seven (then six, then five) children into superhumans.

If you’re slightly confused with what you just read, that’s essentially the purpose of the show. As avant garde as the comics and just as twisted, the Netflix series revives seven unique superheroes and reimagines them to fit our modern times. The entire design of the show seems like a darker, more PG-13 version of the “A Series of Unfortunate Events” series — full of hyperbolic acting and dramatic detail shots.

The show jumps back and forth in time, and follows these seven heroes (give or take a few) as they struggle with their individual identities in the world around them. Those efforts in self-actualization are stifled by an impending crisis brought back to them by one of the siblings, who reappears 17 years after an unfortunate disappearance into the future. The boy, simply named “Number Five” (played by breakout star Aidan Gallagher) returns to present day in the same 13-year-old body he left in 17 years prior, warning of an impending apocalypse and urging the fractured group of siblings to work together to stop it.

Possibly incestuous love affairs, time traveling assassins and robot matriarchs are just a few of the odd situations and characters viewers encounter in this Netflix series, and it’s one of those shows that makes you open your mind because just when you think it can’t get weirder, it does. While the plot itself is fairly predictable for anyone who even remotely understands the hero story arch, there’s so many twists and turns throughout the show and such strange little anecdotal scenes that it’s still incredibly entertaining to watch. The show also follows the comics closely because the creator of the series, Jeremy Slater, brought the comic book creator Gerard Way in to collaborate on the evolution of the TV characters.

All in all, the series is promising, and brings a flair of satire that those with an edgy sense of humor will love. We can’t divulge any more information because, to be honest, it wouldn’t make any sense. So if you’re a fan of comic books, suspense and wacky creativity, check out “The Umbrella Academy” on Netflix to figure out what the heck we’re talking about.