Gerard Way, Umbrella Academy, Young Animal

The creators of Umbrella Academy open up at NYCC

Contributed by
Oct 6, 2018

Gerard Way and  Gabriel Bá's Eisner-winning comic book series, The Umbrella Academy not only has a series headed to Netflix in 2019 but a brand new comic series from Dark Horse that reuintes the original creators.

Centered around a dysfunctional family of superheroes who, after their father's death are brought back together for the first time since they were children, The Umbrella Academy offers up a bold and genre-bending new take on the superhero story. The series debuted in 2007, and the first two volumes, Apocalypse Suite and Dallas proved to a hit that left readers asking for more. 

While rumors of a new volume of The Umbrella Academy have been circulating since 2009, now almost a decade later the group of misfit superheroes are back. The first issue of the new volume, The Umbrealla Academy: Hotel Oblivion, was released in comic shops this past Wednesday.

In the panel moderated by Justin Nelson, Daniel Way and Gabriel Bá deatailed their return to The Umbrella Academy.

Gerad Way has certainly had a busy decade, going on the road with his band My Chemical Romance, releasing a solo album, becoming a father, and writing DC's Doom Patrol (2016), along with spearheading and curating their Young Animal line. Gabriel Bá found continued sucess as an artist on B.R.P.D.: 1947 (2010) and the Eisner-winning series Daytripper (2010). But coming back to these characters wasn't difficult. "It's easy to do. We know these characters. I just love this comic. I'm glad it's back," Bá said.

Way and Bá aren't the only ones who've changed over the years. Way offered updates on the characters since we've last seen them: Number Five is a hired gun now. Seance we don't see in issue 1, but you see in issue 2, "he's fallen into old habits. It's pretty dark. You see how far he's fallen down the hole." And The Kraken is still fighting crime and being a vigilante. And you see what Spaceboy is doing.

So what sets these characters apart from the other superheroes that have continued to rise in promience over the past deacade?  Bá said that while other characters could be gotten right simply by getting their costume right, that isn't the case for The Umbrella Academy. Readers certainly know that these characters are more than their costumes.

Moving onto the upcoming Netflix show, Way said that once the series was optioned things started happening quickly. While the show will deviate from the comics, and in some cases go deeper with certain characters, Way assured audience members that showrunner Steve Blackman has shown a lot of respect for the source material. "They were channeling the right stuff, even though it's different from the book," Way said

So how does the show manage to capture the unique look of the comic? Way compared it to "1970s Berlin" aesthetic. Bá added that although the show is a different experience, production and costume design is "mind blowing" and that "we couldn't have asked for a better cast."

So now that The Umbrella Academy is back and set to be bigger than ever, what's in store for the future of the comic? Way shared that the series will be eight graphic novels total and that Hotel Oblivion is the pivotal point in the series. While the writer made it clear that finishing the series wouldn't be easy, and that their original map for the series was altered due to real world polical events, they would pull it off.

And just how will they manage that? Well, Gerard Way got a bit of advice from his biggest influence, comic book wizard Grant Morrison who told him to simply get all his ideas out and “don’t be precious…you’ll have more ideas.”

We'll certainly be waiting with anticpation to see what those ideas are.

The first issue of The Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion is onsale now and season one of The Umbrella Academy will be releaed on Netflix February 15th, 2019. 

Click here for SYFY WIRE’s full coverage of NYCC 2018, including up-to-the-minute news, exclusive interviews, and videos.

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