Adaptation Of Comic Book ‘The Umbrella Academy’ Comes To Netflix!
More announcements from Netflix this week include them confirming rumours that they had commissioned a live action show based on Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba’s 2007 rather unique Dark Horse comic book series ‘The Umbrella Academy‘.
The story is set in a world where, at the instant of the final blow in a cosmic battle, 43 superhuman infants are simultaneously born to unconnected women who showed no previous signs of pregnancy. Seven of the super-powered infants survive and an alien in human disguise called Reginald Hargreeves, A.K.A. ‘The Monocle’ adopts and raises them as the superhero team; ‘The Umbrella Academy’ preparing them for an unnamed future world-ending event.
In some ways ‘The Umbrella Academy’ can be likened to a very dark take on a similar concept to Marvel’s Fantastic Four – but with an estranged dysfunctional family trying to save the world and uncover the events around their adoptive alien father’s death and set in an alternative 1977 where Jon F. Kennedy was never assassinated… so far so good?
‘The Umbrella Academy’ received a lot of critical acclaim for its complex characterisation and dark take on the superhero genre, the first series winning the 2008 Eisner Award for Best Finite Series/Limited Series. It has also been praised for its diverse and well-written range of female characters including Allison Hargreeves, A.K.A. #00.03 The Rumor, who can alter reality by telling lies; and Vanya Hargreeves, A.K.A. #00.07 The White Violin, who could destroy the world with a single note played on her violin.
The second and third series were also well met and a fourth is said to be in development, so there will be plenty of material ready for Netflix to draw on in future if the tv version is well received. After a movie adaptation of was optioned in 2010 by Universal Studios, but dropped off the radar with no signs of resurgence, fans gave up hope of it coming to the big (or small) screen until now.
“What drew us to ‘The Umbrella Academy’ is that it’s wholly unique, visual and stylised”, commented Cindy Holland, Vice President, Original Content for Netflix. “These aren’t the usual superheroes, and this series will embrace the singular tone of the graphic novels — dark yet humorous, supernatural yet grounded in reality. We’re excited to see this world and introduce these unforgettable heroes to Netflix members around the globe.”
Needless to say it’s an interesting pick for Netflix, who look to be widening the scope of their range of comic book licenced projects, hot on the heels of the success of shows such as their Marvel-based ‘Daredevil’, ‘Jessica Jones’, ‘Iron Fist’, ‘The Punisher’, and ‘The Defenders’. We can’t wait to see how this one turns out, and what other Dark Horse properties might have caught Netflix’s attention!
The 10-episode Season 1 of ‘The Umbrella Academy‘ will air on Netflix in 2018.