Comic Kam: 'Umbrella Academy' characters enlarged in trade paperback

I recently had the pleasure of reading The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite. I hadn’t read the book prior to watching the Netflix series of the same name, so I thought it was time to compare the two.

The book starts out with an odd worldwide event — the simultaneous birth of 43 remarkable children, born to women who had previously not shown any signs of being pregnant. While many of the children die, are abandoned or put into orphanages, one man, a millionaire named Reginald Hargreeves, decides to adopt as many as he can.

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When asked by the press why he would do such a thing, the simple answer was, “To save the world of course.”

After successfully adopting seven of the unusual children, he sets to work on developing the gifts that make each one extraordinary — all except one of them, a girl with no apparent powers of her own. Thus is born the Umbrella Academy, an utterly bizarre dysfunctional family of superheroes with peculiar powers unlike any you may have read about before.

But can they, indeed, save the world?

If you’ve already watched the Netflix series, this trade paperback enlarges the characters and their personalities, as well as the world they live in. There are hints of what the next season of the Netflix series may have in store for viewers, as well as some revelations that are only available in the comic.

While you wait for the second season to arrive, you can read ahead in the sequels to The Umbrella Academy, also available in trade paperback. The second book in the series, The Umbrella Academy: Dallas, is already available.

The latest comic in the Hotel Oblivion series was recently released and the trade paperback is set for release in September.

This series was conceived by the mind of Gerard Way, leading man of the band My Chemical Romance.

Way has also been the driving force behind such comics as The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, Doom Patrol and Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye.

He has also shared writing credit in Marvel’s wildly popular Edge of Spider-Verse, where he introduces character Peni Parker, a Japanese-American student who pilots a bio-mechanical suit named SP//dr. He has added his talent to several other titles, as well, and has created some short stories for other comic collections. He is also a talented artist who has several cover art credits to his name.

The art for this book was skillfully done by Gabriel Ba, who has also drawn in the series Casanova, BPRD: 1947 and Daytripper.

Dave Stewart has delighted readers with his colours for companies including Marvel, DC and Dark Horse.

Together, the two make a lively and colourful saga that ties this story together and brings it to life.

The book also features a forward by Grant Morrison (Batman, All-Star Superman), an afterword by Scott Allie (Solomon Kane, Abe Sapien), original designs and short stories.

The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite has won five awards, including the Harvey Award for best new series and the Yalsa great graphic novel for teens award. It is recommended for those age 13 and older.

Randy Wagner is assistant manager of High Octane Comics. For more, visit 250 Third Ave. or call 250-377-8444.

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