Friday, 30 December 2011

Review - The Umbrella Academy : Apocalypse Suite by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba

This was one of my awesome Christmas presents. I’d heard about it from all my awesome nerd friends who are painfully addicted to anything and everything to do with My Chemical Romance. You can imagine the excitement when we discovered that much acclaimed singer Gerard Way had something to offer the literary world.  Up until their recent album Danger Days I’d pretty much given up on MCR, so i was fairly sceptical about whether The Umbrella Academy would actually be any good. I have to say that as graphic novels go this one is pretty good. It’s definitely not the best I’ve read, but let’s be honest there aren’t many graphic novels that can compete with the likes of Alan Moore’s Watchmen and V for Vendetta and Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series.
I love the obscurity of the story and the inventiveness of the characters. It reminds me of the strange stories you get from 7 year olds with over active imaginations. There are literally no boundaries, anything is possible and everything somehow links or morphs into everything else. The Umbrella Academy take heroism to a totally new level, a level which isn’t really above or below any other level but it’s somewhere off to the left. There’s a continuing undertone of cynicism that seems almost childish and no matter how serious the situation (being the apocalypse) may seem it never seems all that threatening. That may be because the ultimate villain is a human white violin being fought by a half monkey space man, a 10 year old and various other super weirdo’s. I love it because it’s so completely out of this world yet set smack bang in the middle of it. The combination of all the necessary elements of genius; comedy, romance, drama, action and of course the unexpected make it impossible for you to be bored. If you’re ever bored or in need of something new i recommend this. 

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