Netflix recently released The Umbrella Academy, the television adaptation of the cartoon written by Gerard Way, created by Steve Backman for the streaming company. Just like other superhero series released by Netflix over the years, this one too does not focus exclusively on fighting crime and living incredible adventures. The fundamental aspect of this work is the human side of a family with serious relationship problems, gathered for the occasion of the death of the father.

The Umbrella Academy storyline (No Spoiler)

On October 1, 1989, 43 women around the world give birth at the same time, despite none of them showing any signs of pregnancy until the onset of labor. Seven of the children are adopted by the eccentric billionaire Sir Reginald Hargreeves and transformed into a team of superheroes through what he calls "The Umbrella Academy".

Raised with the aim of maximizing their abilities, children are not given names but numbers, from one to seven, for most of their lives. Sir Reginald often and willingly proves hard and detached with them and makes them grow up with the butler Pogo, a talking and perfectly intelligent chimpanzee, and a robotic mother programmed to take care of them.

The siblings' childhoods are mostly flashbacks, while the series focuses primarily on adulthood. It is not particularly surprising to know that with these premises, the situation for adults is far from rosy. The brothers don't talk to each other and the only chance to bring them back under the same roof is the death of the father. Although death seems natural, the brothers will begin to sense that something is wrong.

Characters from The Umbrella Academy

Despite the high number of important characters, there are eleven of them, the writing for each of them is precise and well done. You will not find specks among these characters but real people, with their problems and situations in which they can identify themselves. Although they are individuals with extraordinary powers and were all born on the same day, identification with each of them is not difficult.

Sir Reginald Hargreeves is an eccentric billionaire, nobel prize for research on chimpanzees, Olympic gold medal, but he is not a good father. He introduces himself to the young mothers who gave birth to these extraordinary children and asks, in no uncertain terms, how much they want for their children. He ignores all the principles of modern psychology and, for this reason, ends up traumatizing each of his children.

Luther, also known as N.1 or Spaceboy, has lived on the moon for four years. He is the only one of the seven brothers who has not escaped, at one point or another in life, and remains faithful to his father for most of the series. He will discover, like everyone else, that the shadows eventually touched him too.

Diego, known as # 2 or Kraken, is a vigilante who believes he can change the world one patrol at a time. He has the ability to hold his breath indefinitely and is very good at throwing knives. However, he is a rebel who hates following the rules. He hates his father and has a much closer bond with his mother.

Allison, known as N.3 or La Voce, is a successful actress who has built her life and career with her power to hypnotize people. We see her taken from a cause of separation from her husband, who wants to take away her custody of her daughter and does not let her approach or speak.

Klaus, also known as N.4 or Medium, is an addict who does everything he can to not be sober, since he is tormented by the traumas of his past and the ghosts of those who seek help from him. He has the ability to speak with the dead and, over time, he will discover that he is a real shaman.

No. 5 never got a name because he left too early. Possessing the ability to travel in space and time, one day he simply ran away and never reappeared. His name cannot be pronounced and to this day the brothers do not know what happened to it.

Ben, also known as N.6 or L'Orrore, is the only one of the brothers who died before the beginning of the present story. He possessed several unknown monsters and creatures inside his body, which often manifested themselves through tentacles with superhuman strength. It is not known how he died but, currently, only Klaus can see him.

Vanya, also known as N.7 or White Violin, is the only one not to be part of the Umbrella Academy because it does not have superpowers. Her father brought her an inferiority complex towards her brothers and, in order to feel somehow special, the girl wrote a book where she told all the background of the family (against their will).

Music in The Umbrella Academy

Music and dance appear very often within the series. In several episodes they reveal themselves to be bubbles in the middle of the narrative. Often willingly, the characters, apparently without reason, find themselves dancing to escape the worries and stress. The effect on the viewer is fascinating and I consider it one of the positive points of this series.

An exceptional cast for The Umbrella Academy

One of the strong points of this production is undoubtedly the cast. Starting from an extraordinary Elliot Page we find several well-known faces of American, British or Irish cinema. I hope that, for lesser known but equally extraordinary actors, this series can finally be a stepping stone. I refer specifically to Tom Hopper who, after a wonderful performance in Black Sails and a small role in Game of Thrones, may finally find the limelight. Robert Sheenhan could also benefit incredibly from this character, so similar yet so different to Nathan's in Misfits.


The Umbrella Academy is a series aimed at all those who can believe in something different. The direction and the whole sound sector are always excellent and up to par. Photography sometimes reaches very interesting and suggestive peaks and the interpretation of the actors is superb. Not surprisingly, it has already been renewed for a second season and, continuing like this, I am convinced that it can become one of Netflix's flagship products.