Netflix has released the first full trailer for , its TV adaptation of the comic book series of the same name, written by Gerard Way and illustrated by Gabriel Bá. So we’ll soon be treated to the darkly comic adventures of the Hargreeves siblings, a dysfunctional family of reluctant superheroes. Think of them as the anti-.
The comics are set in an alternate 1977 (the year Way was born) in which President John F. Kennedy was never assassinated. The Monocle, an alien disguised as billionaire industrialist Sir Reginald Hargreeves, adopts seven surviving children out of 43 mysteriously born to random women who had not been pregnant the day before. The children are raised at Hargreeves’ Umbrella Academy and become a family of superheroes with special powers. But it’s a dysfunctional arrangement, and the family members ultimately disband, only reuniting as adults when Hargreeves dies. Later in the series, one of their own becomes a supervillain, prompting them to officially become a crime-fighting team again.
Fans of the comics will be pleased to hear that the Netflix adaptation looks to roughly follow the same basic premise—except the 43 mysterious babies are born on the same day in 1989 instead of 1977. Once again, the team disbands and reunites for the funeral of their childhood benefactor 17 years later, except they don’t really have many nice things to say about him. “He was a monster,” Diego Hargreeves (David Castaneda) offers as the ashes are scattered.
So now they’re all back at the family estate. Diego, aka The Kraken, specializes in knife-throwing and, for some reason, being able to hold his breath for a really long time. Klaus Hargreeves (Robert Sheehan) is The Seance, a flamboyantly charming telekinetic who can communicate with the dead. Luther Hargreeves (Tom Hopper) is Spaceboy because he wants to be an astronaut; he also is super strong. Allison Hargreeves (Emmy Raver-Lampman) is The Rumor, who can manipulate reality with her lies. Vanya Hargreeves (Ellen Page) apparently has no superpowers but is a killer violinist—hence her nickname, The White Violin. The fabulous Mary J. Blige plays Cha-Cha, a time-traveling hitwoman—not technically a family member but still pretty cool.
Finally, there is Number Five (Aiden Gallagher), aka The Boy, another time traveler, which for some reason means he never seems to age much outwardly (inwardly is another matter). He tells his siblings that he jumped forward in time and got stuck there a while. “Know what I found? Absolutely nothing,” he says. There’s a major apocalypse pending, and it’s supposed to happen in just eight days—unless The Umbrella Academy can thwart it. That might not be easy, since another faction is intent on making sure it happens. (This is likely the very thing Sir Reginald was trying to prepare them for as children—at least that’s what’s strongly hinted in the comics.)
Oh, and apparently there is also a big mystery surrounding Hargreeves’ death for the siblings to solve, assuming that pesky global apocalypse doesn’t get in their way.
Production-wise, the trailer makes the series look like a lot of fun, with a great cast, plenty of action, and the occasional bit of comic relief. Whether it will live up to the trailer’s promise remains to be seen.
premieres on Netflix on February 15, 2019.