Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Umbrella Academy

The Umbrella Academy is the comics debut of My Chemical Romance frontman, Gerard Way, and as it turns out the man can write. This is an utterly original, hugely ambitious book the succeeds wildly at everything it tries.

The story revolves around a dysfunctional family of super-powered siblings who are reunited at their foster father's funeral. Throughout the course of the story they eventually unite to prevent the end of the world, at the hands of a killer orchestra. This book is edited by the ingenious Scott Allie, and the tone of the story bares a strong resemblance to the moody humor found in his other Dark Horse books, Hellboy and the Goon.

And much like those books there's a general (somehow believable) wackiness to the world in the story. Besides the orchestra the book also contains such sites as alien squid wrestling, a killer Eiffel Tower, and more talking monkeys than any other book in recent history. The art from Gabriel Ba (along with the best coloring I've ever seen from Dave Stewart) sells every insane moment, and I could not imagine another artist capable of pulling this book off. Between this and Casanova last year Ba is my #1 artist to watch.

This would have been a shoein for my book of the year, if Iron Fist didn't come out at the same time. It's definitely a good time to be a comics fan.

No comments: