The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite - Gerard Way, Gabriel Bá et al.
Thirty years ago, forty-three women - most of them single, and none of them showing any signs of pregnancy - spontaneously and inexplicably gave birth to extraordinary children. Sir Reginald Hargreeves, a.k.a. the Monocle, world renowned scientist and secret space alien, sought out these children, succeeding in finding and adopting seven. When asked why, he simply replied, “To save the world.”
The Umbrella Academy is the kind of story where the writer - Gerard Way, apparently a well-known musician* - has clearly let his imagination run away with him. At a lightning fast sprint. Creating a book with talking chimps, the zombie-robot Gustave Eiffel and a violinist so talented she can cut you in half (lengthways) with a single note is quite a feat in itself - but more than unchained imagination, what‘s impressive here is how well this all hangs together, how all these disparate and impossible elements are melded into a cohesive whole.
I suppose that, since it’s about super-powered people trying to save the world, this is really a superhero comic. But it doesn’t feel like one. It feels like a story about a dysfunctional adoptive family trying to live and love in a world where pretty much anything can happen. A world that looks set to end in only a few days as a direct result of their own bitter in-fighting. It pleases me that the next story arc featuring these characters is already underway. If Apocalypse Suite doesn’t quite manage to find the time (in between flights of fancy) to fully flesh them out, that’s only to say that it left me wanting more.
*I don't really follow music.