Angelique Inchierca / Senior Staff

Jacqueline Pantano

Arts & Entertainment Editor

“The Umbrella Academy,” with its diverse twist on superheroes’ origin stories, developed tormented characters and highly dysfunctional family drama, has brought a surprising breath of fresh air to an extremely saturated genre. Superheroes are flooding small and big screens.

The CW has “Supergirl,” “The Flash” and “Arrow.” ABC has “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and “Cloak and Dagger.” Fox has “Gotham” and “Legion.” Hulu has “The Runaways,” Netflix has its own universe, with “The Defenders,” “Luke Cage,” “Iron Fist,” “Daredevil,” “Jessica Jones” and “The Punisher.” DC has its own streaming site and has since released “Titans” and “Doom Patrol.”

Disney has its own billion-dollar franchise with the Marvel Cinematic Universe (called the MCU). Soon it will have its own streaming service, and the MCU superheroes will be hitting the Internet. Clearly, it is the time of superheroes. Netflix has just been stripped away of its successful Marvel TV shows by Disney.

Disney owns Marvel completely, and its own streaming site will be Netflix’s competitor. Despite the harsh lost, Netflix did not quit. “The Umbrella Academy” just came out. Netflix did exactly what it does best: It took a genre, pulled its strings, manipulated its best qualities and created a dark, strange comedy with amusing, captivating characters.

“The Umbrella Academy” is a television show based on a comic series by Dark Comics. It tells the story of seven children, six with extraordinary abilities, that get adopted by a distant, obsessive billionaire who wants to use them to fight crime and danger in the world.

He calls them the Umbrella Academy. With a fanatic as a father, and a robot as their mother, the kids are raised with severe psychological issues.

Despite the comedy that lightens the mood of the show, the elements which deserve to be treated in depth and truthfully are depicted as they should. Cinema and TV’s superheroes tend to experience trauma in a very superficial manner.

They drink, take drugs, and carry the weight of the world far too well to have human emotions.

In “The Umbrella Academy,” the torment is real, and it is all too human. Sometimes the characters are just rich kids with neglectful parents. You have the pretty divorcee movie star, the aloof drug addict, the body builder/soldier/astronaut, the quiet violinist, the cop-now-vigilante and the intelligence assassin agent; they are the children of an absent billionaire.

It is not surprising at all. It is hard to write a superhero television show in a realistic manner; the foundation of the plot is inherently not realistic. However, “The Umbrella Academy” manages to do so.

It renders a superhero story real, perceptible, and therefore exciting, scary, capturing, overwhelming and deliciously entertaining. Ten episodes, approximately an hour long each, are available to stream on Netflix.

They tell the fresh, new, old story of the Umbrella Academy’s weird, funny, heavily troubled superheroes, who are really just superhumans.

Jacqueline Pantano can be contacted at

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