Ryan’s Random Rawr XD Reviews: Why the Umbrella Academy Show is Better Than the Comics

A+promotional+image+for+the+Netflix+adaptation+of+the+Umbrella+Academy.+The+characters+are+as+follows%2C+back+row+from+left+to+right%2C+Diego%2C+Luther%2C+and+Klaus%2C+and+the+front+row+from+left+to+right%2C+Vanya%2C+Five%2C+and+Allison.
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Ryan’s Random Rawr XD Reviews: Why the Umbrella Academy Show is Better Than the Comics

A promotional image for the Netflix adaptation of the Umbrella Academy. The characters are as follows, back row from left to right, Diego, Luther, and Klaus, and the front row from left to right, Vanya, Five, and Allison.

A promotional image for the Netflix adaptation of the Umbrella Academy. The characters are as follows, back row from left to right, Diego, Luther, and Klaus, and the front row from left to right, Vanya, Five, and Allison.

Netflix

A promotional image for the Netflix adaptation of the Umbrella Academy. The characters are as follows, back row from left to right, Diego, Luther, and Klaus, and the front row from left to right, Vanya, Five, and Allison.

Netflix

Netflix

A promotional image for the Netflix adaptation of the Umbrella Academy. The characters are as follows, back row from left to right, Diego, Luther, and Klaus, and the front row from left to right, Vanya, Five, and Allison.

Ryan Lingerfelt

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Recently Netflix released their version of Gerard Way’s “Umbrella Academy” comics in the form of a 10 part series. The show and the comics are about 7 siblings, whose mothers all become suddenly pregnant and gave birth on the same day, who was adopted by a man who believed they had “powers”, and they did. These brothers and sisters are reunited when their father dies and then they discover the world is going to end and it’s their job to stop it. While the show did it’s best to remain faithful to the source material while still being an interesting experience there were some major changes. The adaptation differing from the comics doesn’t necessarily mean it is objectively bad or worse than the comics, quite the opposite I liked the show far better than the comics. Some changes were made simply because a series has a different set of limits and flow when compared to other media. Overall the show hit the same main points, the world is still ending, there are still 7 children all born on the same day meant to stop the end of the world, etc., but there are also big changes in all of these areas.

Gabriel Bá
An image showcasing all of the characters from the comic version of the Umbrella Academy. From left to right the characters are Vanya, Five, Klaus, Allison, Diego, and Luther.

In both the comics and Netflix adaptation the main seven characters that make up the Umbrella Academy are the same overall. They have the same names, which simply started as them being numbered from most to least important but they later got “normal” names. Although, in the comic in addition they also have “code names” either relating to their power or their past, for example, Luther, or number one, is ‘Spaceboy’ because he lives on the moon. Most of their “powers” remain the same in both adaptations with a few exceptions. These changes were made to number two, number three, and number four. Diego, or number two, has the power of being able to hold his breath indefinitely in the comics while in the show he simply has the power of ‘accuracy’, which is very vague. Allison, or number three, has the power to make anything she says true granted it is preceded by the phrase ‘I heard a rumor’ in the comics, while in the other version she will simply convince the person she is talking to that her word is the truth when it comes after the phrase. Klaus, or number four, has the power to contact spirits in both forms of media but, in the comics, he also has the power of telekinesis, which is kinda overpowered. There are also characters exclusive to either version such as Inspector Lupo who only appears in the comics, he is replaced by Detective Patch in the Netflix series. Overall the tv adaptation took a lot of liberties with the characters, which mostly meant giving them a personality instead of it seeming like a footnote in the comics, and it paid off.

While the main idea of the world ending and the Umbrella Academy stopping that from happening remains the same there are major differences. In the interest of being able to talk about all the differences, this paragraph will contain spoilers. In both series Vanya finds out that her adoptive father lied to her for her entire life and she was, in fact, special like the other six children, in the Netflix show she is manipulated by her boyfriend, Harold, who is using the assumed name Leonard, manipulates her into using her power to end the world. In the comics Vanya is recruited by a conductor to end the world, she auditions then he instantly asks her if she wants to end the world, it’s incredible he succeeded. She is then operated on and they turn her into ‘the white violin’, which is viewed as just a tool to end the world. At some point in the comics, Klaus dies and is rejected by both Heaven and Hell and sent back to Earth. This is something that is almost but not quite touched on in the tv show when Klaus may or may not have briefly died in the middle of a fight at a rave, met God, and also saw his dead dad then just went back to earth no biggie.  At the end of the story Vanya uses her newfound powers to break off a chunk of the moon which, in the tv series, hits the earth and ends the world but, five uses his powers of time travel to take all of the Umbrella Academy to another time, it is unclear whether it is before or after the world ends. In the comics, however, Klaus uses his telekinetic powers to just stop the piece of the moon before it hits the earth, then there’s a section about how everything is okay and they were all saved by Klaus’s Deus ex machina machine powers. Overall the Netflix adaptation is much longer than the comics, which means there’s a lot more content then just their dad dies, Vanya becomes the white violin then almost ends the world but then Klaus pulls out some never mentioned before powers with a few emotions and the like sprinkled in.

The comics feel more like being shown a section in the middle of a story while the show feels more like the full picture. You weren’t given enough time to fully process everything that was happening in the comics but the show was more stretched out. The comic seemed to fall victim to having incredible ideas but not being written very well. Netflix changed a lot from the source material but these changes seem necessary and overall the show was incredible.

Ryan Lingerfelt, Reporter

Ryan Lingerfelt is an 8th grader at Trailside Middle School. He takes guitar lessons and also like to express himself through drawing. He isn’t into...

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