The Umbrella Academy by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba

Ok so, we bent our rule. As a podcast, we only cover completed story arcs (hence the name.) When we sat down to record this one we believed that this was a closed canon despite rumors of a fourth volume. Free comic Book Day 2023 proved that there is more story to come, so we’ll cover it when it does. If you want to learn more about these creators and this project in general without spoilers then check out our Creator Spotlight episode. If you’ve read the books then feel free to jump straight into the discussion.

Is Gerard Way a rockstar turned comic writer? Or a comic writer turned rock star? You’ll have to decide for yourself. He began the writing of The Umbrella Academy after years of success with My Chemical Romance. Gabriel Bá an incredible artistic talent with a highly recognizable style. These two men working together created a universe that felt lived-in from day one. To see everything published in this universe, check out the Dark Horse page for The Umbrella Academy. Before you get started, here is the synposis of the first volume, “Apocalypse Suite”:

In an inexplicable worldwide event, forty-three extraordinary children were spontaneously born by women who’d previously shown no signs of pregnancy. Millionaire inventor Reginald Hargreeves adopted seven of the children; when asked why, his only explanation was, “To save the world.”

These seven children form The Umbrella Academy, a dysfunctional family of superheroes with bizarre powers. Their first adventure at the age of ten pits them against an erratic and deadly Eiffel Tower, piloted by the fearsome zombie-robot Gustave Eiffel. Nearly a decade later, the team disbands, but when Hargreeves unexpectedly dies, these disgruntled siblings reunite just in time to save the world once again.

The Umbrella Academy Volume 01 Apocalypse Suite

Cover for The Umbrella Academy Apocalypse Suite podcast episode from the Storied Arcs podcast

“Lacking in finesse, but… adequate. Can I interest you in destroying the world”

In this week’s episode, Mike and Alex jump right into their discussion of Volume 1 of Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba’s The Umbrella Academy (The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite issues #1-6). They pick up a couple of threads from last week’s zero episode and examine how Gerard Way’s solid and efficient character work quickly changed their opinion of him as a writer and how the Umbrella Academy falls in line with other “alternative” superhero books, like a Black Hammer or Astro City. They also go in on Igor Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring,” as one normally does. Hold on to your seats.

As per usual, this episode does not spoil anything beyond what’s in this volume. And specific to this book, there is also no in-depth discussion of the Netflix adaptation and any potential spoilers that may exist there. So you should be good either way. In the meantime, go pick up The Umbrella Academy Volume 2 Dallas wherever you get your comics and join us back here next week for another deep dig discussion!

The Umbrella Academy Volume 02 Dallas

“But this one’s something special. He’s an idea. And what you can’t take down with bullets… you have to take down with words. That’s why I needed her.”

Welcome back to another episode of Storied Arcs! This week, Mike and Alex travel back to Dallas 1963 to discuss Volume 2 of Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba’s The Umbrella Academy (The Umbrella Academy: Dallas issues #1-6). They once again talk about time travel (seems to be an underlying running theme for the show) and examine how its depiction here differs from some of the other books they’ve covered. They also go out of their way to praise every member of the creative team, all of whom do exception work on these issues. I heard a rumor that you’ll dig this one.

Again, this episode does not cover anything beyond what’s in this volume, nor does it breech the topic of the Netflix adaptation, so you’re safe from any potential spoilers there. That said, if you haven’t checked out the Netflix show, it’s highly recommended. It’s delightfully weird and different enough from the source that there really aren’t any spoils there anyway. Besides that, go out and find The Umbrella Academy Volume 3 Hotel Oblivion and meet us here next week as we wrap up our discussion for this season!

The Umbrella Academy Volume 03 Hotel Oblivion

Cover for The Umbrella Academy Hotel Oblivion

“While I fully support revenge, now is not the time.”

In this week’s episode, Mike and Alex take a look at Volume 3 of The Umbrella Academy, the final (for now) volume of Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba’s comic from Dark Horse (The Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion issues #1-7). They dive deep into what does and does not work for this in volume and how the long layoff between story arcs may have contributed. They also discuss the future of the comic speculate on what direction it could go with the as-announced-but-not-yet-real Umbrella Academy Volume 4 (please, Way and Ba, don’t make us wait as long as we did between Volumes 2 and 3).

Thank you so much again for listening to another season of Storied Arcs! As mentioned before, if you enjoyed this crazy world created by Way and Ba, we recommend you check out The Umbrella Academy show on Netflix as a companion to the book. It’s a lot of fun and just might hint at some future things to come in the comic. We’ll see you back here again soon for our next deep dive discussion!