Ken Bebelle

Magic – Monsters – Mayhem

Just finished season three of Umbrella Academy on Netflix last night and still really enjoying one of the best comics adaptations on TV right now. (Along with Sandman, Netflix is killing it!)

Spoilers below…

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Full disclosure, Hotel Oblivion is the one arc I haven’t read yet, but I will rectify that soon.

As with the first two seasons, I find the Netflix adaptation to be strong both in writing and acting. I always found the comic to be weird and quirky, which might not have translated into good television. The decision to focus on the interpersonal drama between all the siblings is pure gold.

In season three the Umbrellas are faced with a real crisis of identity as they land in an alternate reality where they never existed, and their father had raised another set of special kids into an Uber-Umbrella – the Sparrow Academy. These kids are everything the Umbrellas aren’t – they fight like a team, they’re powerful, and they’re revered as heroes in this world.

Of course, the plot is about saving the world (again) but really this season is about identity. How much of you is really you, when you’ve been raised by a megalomaniac to their own ends? And then what happens when all that is taken away?

Hargreeve’s plan comes into focus at the climax of the season, taking remnants of both teams to a pocket universe where he uses the children’s power (painfully, of course) to power a machine that can reset the universe. When they wake up on the other side, the kids discover that (a) the universe has been saved and (b) they no longer have their powers.

The idea of family is tossed around a lot during this season, and the strength of this family is tested in a lot of ways. But this one might be the hardest test of all. Without their powers, and now with different priorities, are they even a family any more? Were they ever a family at all?

Thankfully, a fourth and final season of Umbrella Academy was just announced, so we’ll have one more run with the Hargreeves kids as they try to set the universe straight.

Again.

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