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The Book Peddler

  • Writer's pictureGraphic Grim Reader

The Umbrella Academy Book Review

Book Cover of The Closet

Title: The Umbrella Academy

Genre: Horror

Audience: Adult

Page Count: 192

Author: Gerard Way

Artist: Gabriel Ba

ISBN: 978-1593079789

Publisher: Dark Horse

Series: The Umbrella Academy


This review does not contain spoilers.


"The Umbrella Academy" graphic novel dives into the eccentric world of the Hargreeves siblings, a dysfunctional family of superheroes with extraordinary abilities. Raised by an enigmatic billionaire known only as Sir Reginald Hargreeves, the siblings are brought together as children to save the world from impending doom. However, as they grow older, they drift apart, each grappling with their own demons and insecurities. When news of Sir Reginald's death brings them back together, old wounds resurface, and they must confront the secrets of their past while facing new threats to humanity.


This graphic novel is a curious mishmash of styles and tones that often feels like it's trying to find its footing. On one hand, you've got the gritty, violent storytelling that plunges you into a dark and twisted world. But on the other hand, there's this bright, colorful artwork and old-school comic book dialogue that feels like it's from another era altogether. It's an odd juxtaposition that doesn't always gel.


The dialogue, in particular, is a bit hit-or-miss. While it captures that classic comic book vibe, it often lacks the depth and nuance needed to fully engage the reader. Characters' interactions can feel stilted or forced, and the attempts at humor sometimes fall flat.


One of the biggest issues with "The Umbrella Academy" is its pacing. The story moves at breakneck speed, cramming in so much plot that it can be hard to keep up. Characters are introduced and whisked away before you really get a chance to know them, and key events seem to fly by in the blink of an eye. It's like the creators are in a rush to get to the end, sacrificing depth and development along the way.


To add to the confusion, there are these short, light-hearted stories tacked on at the end of the book that feel completely disconnected from the main narrative. While they're cute and whimsical in their own right, they clash with the darker, more serious tone of the rest of the graphic novel. It's like flipping a switch from night to day, leaving you feeling disoriented and unsure of what to make of it all.


"The Umbrella Academy" is a valiant attempt at blending different styles and tones, but it doesn't quite stick the landing. There are great moments, but they're overshadowed by the overall lack of cohesion, choppy dialogue, and a pacing that's way to fast. With some tweaks and fine-tuning, it could be something truly special, but as it stands, it falls short.



The Umbrella Academy Book Review Ratings and Recommendation

Rating: 2/5

Recommended: No

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The Grim Graphic Reader - Jennifer Swartwood-Walker illustration and signature

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