The Umbrella Academy is in the top 10 and isn’t all that new to Netflix. In fact, the first episode aired in February 2019. But the series – has released its second season and has started to gain a huge following.
Why the sudden hype?
The answer lies in the quirky traits of its production. Its seamless ability to reach out to the nihilistic culture which appears to have engulfed the world.
To the naïve viewer, The Umbrella Academy may seem like another superhero narrative. But the Netflix adaptation of the Dark Horse Comics stories is far from the realms of DC and Marvel.
Having thrown the most random visuals, effects, music and plotlines into a pot of connected but partly inept episodes and hoped for the best. What’s more? It seems to have worked a treat for the particular fans it calls to.
Over the past decade, many comic narratives have been adapted into a live-action series. But most of these have fallen by the wayside. Sky’s ‘The Flash’ started off with a large fanbase but quickly dissolved into an endless stream of “samey” plots. Marvels Agents of Shield appears to have run its course over time. Similarly, Supergirl, which started out as a ‘kick-ass, girl power’ series soon turned boring and repetitive. Yet, The Umbrella Academy has transformed this ‘groundhog day’ of live-action instalments on its head and shaken the genre up.
The top 10 Netflix series, based on the original comics The Umbrella Academy revolves around seven of 43 children. All who were born at the same time during the mid-20th century with no warning. All bearing extortionary superpowers. The Monocle (Sir Reginald Hargreaves) adopted seven of the marvels soon after their birth. He would train them against an unspecified threat to the world. They are all ranked by their power value and named as such. Though, after 10 years the group split, only to reunite years later.
Remarkably, the mastermind behind the original comic series is My Chemical Romance lead vocalist Gerard Way. Way has had a long history with comic writing, especially during the band’s “breakthrough” years. In an interview with the Dark Horse All-Stars panel at this year’s Comic-Con, Way recalled he “went to the School of Visual Arts in New York City”. Where he also took part in an internship with DC in his senior year. He resumed with how he completely shook-up the comic world deviating from the “continuity” of mainstream writing. Developing a plot that, as he put it, “throw[s] people right into the story.” It’s obvious that the original script lacks the usual direct approach which most comics take. For example, the concept of time is varied between scenes and not just the plot’s close relationship with time travel.
The first comic issue ‘Apocalypse Suite 1’ tells the tale of how The Umbrella Academy came to be. And how the 10-year-old siblings stop an attack on The Eiffel Tower, the plot then morphs to 20 years later, after the group have split.
Further publishes contain plots of time travelling, quite a feat for an illustrated comic. Though, for the Netflix series, it’s not just the story that reflects randomness at a whole new level. Directors Jeff F. King and Peter Hoar have created an on-screen adaption. With a range of special effects and bizarre music choices that are set to provide visual whiplash.
The show’s music selection is only one aspect to its success, and although it may seem insignificant, it sets the mood for the whole premise.
Fight scenes in superhero films are often loud, upbeat and fiercely reflect the scene’s tone. But The Umbrella Academy takes a different approach. It uses songs such as Backstreet Boys “Everybody”, completely disarming the viewer who looks upon Allison in a bloody battle with The Swedes, and Klaus attempting to push Ben out of his body, all while the popular 90s classic bops in the background. Kiss’ “I Was Made For Loving You” is another choice that reflects another fight scene between Five, Diago, Lila and The Swedes. It shouldn’t work, it should completely off-set the event, but, it only adds to the whole appeal.
On Netflix The Umbrella Academy isn’t the first to have sported some concepts of the ‘Quintin Tarantino effect’. Giving the audience visual trauma through the art of arbitrary graphics vs sounds. Deadpool is also known for this method. But this technique becomes the only goal, emulating the idea that the story has no meaningful premise. Though that isn’t quite true, the story does evolve, In fact, it advances in several different directions, then reverses back on itself.
The show boasts a great cast too. So much so that you often find yourself pausing the first episode mid-scene just to hit up IMDB to work out where you may have seen them before. From Juno’s Ellen Page (Vanya) to Game of Thrones actor Tom Harper (Luther), the cast is intense, witty but above all, 100% entertaining. The show even gifts us with Mary J Blige’s acting talents.
It’s an epic show to behold, and something completely different from what we have previously seen. If Stranger Things delves into our deep sense of nostalgia, then The Umbrella Academy on Netflix is most definitely a sneak-peek at a whole realm of cinematography yet to be discovered.
It’s no wonder, then, that The Umbrella Academy has made it to Netflix’s top 10 for the whole of 2020 within the first 30 days of the second season’s release.
Alas, The Umbrella Academy has not yet been renewed for a third season. But with the comics consisting of three volumes, it’s possible that Netflix will order another series soon and the show will be back in the top 10.
How do you think season 3 will unravel? Let us know in the comments below.
Read more of our comic book articles HERE.
Read IMDB information about The Umbrella Academy HERE.
Harry Potter: The Questions You Keep Asking, Answered
It’s been over 24 years since the first instalment of the Harry Potter series was published. But regardless of the length of time passed, many questions are still left unanswered. Fansites still tear apart page upon page looking for the key to unlock J. K. Rowling’s extraordinary mind. Interviewers have fired question after question at the infamous author. Yet, when one question is answered, it seems to open the flood gates for many more.
J. K. Rowling has now moved onto crime fiction. But she still finds the odd spare moment to grace Potter fans with her virtual presence. Using Twitter to answer some of the endless questions’ fans have conjured.
Let’s take a look at some of the most valid Harry Potter questions asked on Twitter and how J.K. Rowling answered them.
What happened to Fluffy the three-headed dog?
Poor Fluffy wasn’t mentioned again after being set free in the Forbidden Forest. Never fear! Rowling is here to tell us of Fluffy’s fate.
Back in February 2015, Rowling replied to the question on Twitter. stating that ‘He was repatriated to Greece. Dumbledore liked to put Hagrid’s more foolish acquisitions back where they belong.’
Beyond the happily ever after
A snapshot of Harry, Ron and Hermione’s Happily Ever After is presented at the end of the final book. The three (and Ginny) complete the circle by walking their own children to the Hogwarts train.
But, their lives developed much more than having children. As Rowling revealed back in 2007. Hermione began her career within the Ministry of Magic. She worked in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. Here, she became instrumental in the improvements for the treatment of house-elves. After this, she moved to the Dept. of Magical Law Enforcement, where she ensured the eradication of pro-pureblood laws.
Harry and Ron took different paths. Harry became an aura, a highly trained law enforcement officer. Ron went into the family business, helping his brother run Weasley’s Wizarding Wheels.
Did Harry, Ron and Hermione return to their schooling?
There’s a huge gap at the end of The Deathly Hallows. The pages seem to jump from the defeat of Voldemort to 19 years later. So did the famous trio return to school?
Rowling stated that Hermione returned to Hogwarts to complete her NEWT’s. But Harry and Ron did not, instead, they followed their career paths straight away. Although, I’m pretty sure defeating the source of all evil scores big points on a C.V.
Harry’s scar shape is important, right?
Well, no. Unfortunately, Rowling just thought ‘it looked cool’.
Potter super-fans have other ideas, though. One Tweet back in 2019 revealed that the scar could symbolise much more. @TodayYearsOld Tweeted:
‘Did you know Harry Potter’s scar isn’t a lightning bolt, but the hand motion to cast Avada Kedavra.’
Avada Kedavra is a killing curse used within the Dark Arts. The hand movement looks like a lightning bolt, but much softer. Not surprisingly, the Tweet went viral and caused shock waves through the Potter community.
What does Hufflepuff’s common room look like?
We are taken on a trip to Slytherin and Ravenclaw’s common room, and we spend a lot of time in Gryffindor’s. So, when fans asked Rowling for a description, she was only too happy to oblige.
‘The Hufflepuff common room is accessed through a portrait near the kitchens, as I am sure you have deduced. Sorry – I should say ‘painting’ rather than portrait because it is a still-life. It is a very cosy and welcoming place, as dissimilar as possible from Snape’s dungeon. Lots of yellow hangings, fat armchairs, and underground tunnels leading to the dormitories. All of which have perfectly round doors, like barrel tops.’
Is there more than one Wizarding school?
If you are one of those people who watch the films before the books. You’ll have probably asked ‘Is Hogwarts the only school for wizards?’. In this instance, it’s the books that hold the key, and if you take notes in ‘The Goblet of Fire.’ Students from other schools arrive at Hogwarts to attend the Tri-Wizard Tournament.
The books reveal more about a couple of schools, such as the Palace of Beauxbatons. Beauxbatons is a beautiful chateau situated in the Pyrenees mountains of Southern France. Durmstrang is another, and one of the three largest in Europe. Durmstrang is situated in the northmost regions of Norway or Sweden and is known for its Dark Arts.
Rowling has since revealed more schools, including Castelobruxo, Mahoutokoro, Uagadou and Ilverymorny.
Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood end up together?
It’s a no, which has disappointed fans. But the two remained close friends as Luna followed a career in Wizarding Naturalism. She became famous for tracking rare creatures before marrying Rolf Scamander.
Neville married fellow Hogwarts student Hannah Abbot. Surprisingly, Neville became an aura before returning to Hogwarts as a Herbology Professor.
Did Draco Malfoy get his just desserts?
This is a big one for Potter fans who wished to see Draco pay for everything he subjugated Harry to. But, as The Deathly Hallows hints, it appears he went through a huge transformation.
Draco was a complex character, not only a member of Slytherin, but he was also a bully. But much of his behaviour came from his upbringing.
Draco tried to prove himself to the Dark Lord, only to be rescued by the three he often tormented. This caused him and his mother to neglect Voldemort once it was believed Harry was dead. The two avoided Azkaban, and he went into a very dark place, emotionally. But he emerged a changed man. He had a wife and a son, and a simple nod to the trio 29 years on seemed to solidify that he had changed.
Thanks for reading our article on unanswered Harry Potter questions now answered. Did you already know these? Did we miss any big ones? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out 5 Hidden Messages In Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows That You Missed HERE.
Read IMDB information on Harry Potter HERE.
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