Umbrella Academy & Gerard Way – Chaos McKenzie
As a trade waiter, I sometimes get reflective about the past works of various creators that I am eagerly awaiting new stuff from. I’m currently chomping at the bit while I wait for the first releases of the new Young Animal line from DC, which are spearheaded by My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way. Those trades are just starting to drop and I can taste my excitement, while also looking back at when I first fell in love with Way, and his Dark Horse comic masterpiece Umbrella Academy.
On a parallel Earth, Gerard Way was recognized for his amazing writing voice by the same editors that rebuked him here, and instead of going to become a hit music sensation he was a writer on the level of Grant Morrison and Alan Moore, because even cursory flip through Umbrella Academy tells us that Way really had a gift for the kind of exploding ideas and creativity that is often sorely lacking from a medium that produces so much, each month.
Umbrella Academy is quirky and fun, both reverent and destructive of all pop fiction that owes its birth to the mighty funny book. Way plays with character and plot to create a story that stands perfectly woven of both. He gives the amazing Gabriel Ba so many interesting things to draw while never letting the story lull or take a break. It’s an incredible package of the kind of thing that I really only expect from Grant Morrison on a big budget event style project that the publisher has thrown their all into. Way does that on a small scale, and you feel it with every panel and every page. It’s the bizarre adventures of a dysfunctional family with super powers and it delivers on all those fronts. It manages to be fresh without re-treading very familiar ground, especially in the speculative genres. There is adventure, action, drama, and even the best example of music in a silent, graphic work since P. Craig Russell’s opera adaptations.
I expect Doom Patrol and Cave Carson to be amazing, and I get that confidence from the strength of these incredible tomes.
Dark Horse Comics: Umbrella Academy :01: Apocalypse Suite – Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba
Dark Horse Comics: Umbrella Academy :02: Dallas – Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba