The Umbrella Academy

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Name: The Umbrella Academy
Abbreviation(s): UA, TUA
Creator: Gerard Way
Date(s): 2007, 2008 (comics)
2019 (TV Series)
Medium: comic book, live-action TV series
Country of Origin: United States
External Links: Wikipedia:The Umbrella Academy
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The Umbrella Academy is a Dark Horse Comics short comic book series written by Gerard Way and illustrated by Gabriel Bá that won the 2008 Eisner Award. The first series, The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite, ran from September 2007 to February 2008, and the second, The Umbrella Academy: Dallas, ran from November 2008 to April 2009. The first issue of the third series, Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion, was released on October 3, 2018. As of February 2019, 2 issues have been published. A live-action television adaptation premiered on Netflix on February 15, 2019.

Have you ever watched X-Men and was like, "Yeah that was great, but what if there was more crying and daddy issues?" And by "daddy issues" I mean an exploration of parental neglect and how it affects your ability to form meaningful relationships, communicate clearly with others, and regulate your own emotions as an adult.

Quinn Curio[1]

The Umbrella Academy comics had a small fanworks fandom, with fans posting art to deviantart and tumblr. The television series has inspired renewed interest in the fandom and drawn in new fans. As of 10 March 2019, there are 159 fanfics on fanfiction.net[2] and over a thousand fanworks on the AO3[3]. (For comparison, in July 2017, there were 74 fanfics on fanfiction.net and 60 fanworks on the AO3.)

Because Gerard Way was the frontman of My Chemical Romance, there is a lot of crossover interest among Bandom fans.

Comics Canon

In an inexplicable worldwide event, 47 extraordinary children were spontaneously born to women who'd previously shown no signs of pregnancy. Millionaire inventor Reginald Hargreeves adopted seven of the children; when asked why, his only explanation was, "To save the world."

These seven children form the Umbrella Academy, a dysfunctional family of superheroes with bizarre powers.

Number Name Epithet Powers
1 Luther Hargreeves Spaceboy Super strength + an emergency procedure gave him the torso of a gorilla
2 Diego Hargreeves The Kraken Can hold his breath forever, can curve anything he throws
3 Allison Hargreeves The Rumor Can control minds and bend reality with the phrase "I heard a rumor..."
4 Klaus Hargreeves The Séance Can communicate with the dead and temporarily make them corporeal
5 Number Five The Boy Can displace himself through time and space + 58 years old in a boys body
6 Ben Hargreeves The Horror Can summon tentacled horrors from his body
7 Vanya Hargreeves The White Violin Can use sound pitches to cause destruction

Crossover with Bandom

My Chemical Romance fans were anticipating The Umbrella Academy for months before the first issue came out.[4] In September 2007, so many fans were posting about The Umbrella Academy to chemicalromance, the general MCR comm, that a mod posted an announcement banning the topic and directing people to a separate community, theumbrella_acd; comments on the post noted that the comic book signings they had been to had been attended primarily by MCR fangirls.[5] Meanwhile, one of theumbrella_acd's posting rules read, "No posts about My Chemical Romance will be accepted unless they are directly connected to The Umbrella Academy as well. This community is dedicated to Gerard Way's The Umbrella Academy, not Gerard Way, Mikey Way, Ray Toro, Bob Bryar, and Frank Iero's post-hardcore band."[6]

A small percentage of MCR fanworks incorporate the Umbrella Academy in some way. For example, one 2010 Bandom Big Bang entry was an AU "where bandom are filmmakers and Gerard is directing the Umbrella Academy movie."[7] On the Archive of Our Own, MCR is the most common crossover fandom for the comics fandom after cross-listed comics and tv fandom fanworks, though the overall numbers are low.[8] However, the relationship with MCR does not seem to have continued in the television fandom; MCR does not make the top ten crossover fandoms in the AO3 television fandom tag.[9]

Netflix show

In July 2017, it was announced that The Umbrella Academy would be adapted into a live-action Netflix series, due to premiere in 2018.[10] The show premiered on Netflix on February 15, 2019. It comprises 10 episodes, roughly 45 minutes each.

The show's release led to the Who is Gerard Way meme.

Shipping

The fandom has more gen fic than any other category on AO3.

Harcest

Amnesia!Vanya: Aren't we all brothers and sisters, or…?

Allison: Well, technically it—

Klaus: "Technically"? If you have to use the word "technically" you're already in trouble.

2x05, canon

The main characters were born due to spontaneous birth from 43 women around the world. Sir Reginald Hargreeves adopted 7 children and gave them numbers, rather than names, and trained them to be superheroes. There is much debate regarding whether this makes shipping them with one other incest, given that the children were raised as family, to an extent. Others arguing that because they were raised in such a clinical environment, it's more comparable to a boarding school than adoption, and thus it's not incest.[11] Cultural standards differ across the world.[12]

After the question of "Is it incest?" there's the question "Is that a problem?" There is a contingent of fans who are happy to embrace the pseudo-incest. Many more, even if they're not exactly on board with the incest, still feel that anti-shipping is a toxic force within a fandom, and that people should ship and let ship.

Luther Diego Allison Klaus Five Ben Vanya
Luther Alluther
Diego Kliego
Allison Alluther
Klaus Kliego Klive Horrance
Five Klive Fiveya
Ben Horrance
Vanya Fiveya

Fanwork Examples

Comic book fandom

Fanart

Bandom crossovers and fusions

MCR bandmembers as Umbrella Academy characters:

Television show fandom

Fanfiction

  • Keep A Light On by DarkFairytale, Diego & Klaus and Ben & Klaus, "All these lights,” Klaus wafted his hand around. “They helped me sleep at night, and now, well now, I just have more grown up methods.” He popped the cigarette in his mouth. He let it dangle from his bottom lip as he struggled with his lighter. (February 20, 2019)
  • From Beyond the Grave by flumen, Ben & Klaus and Diego & Klaus and Allison/Luthor, When Ben first visits him from beyond the grave, Klaus nearly wakes every corpse in the vicinity with his screams. (February 25, 2019)
  • Bring Back the Lost by SnafuConstellations, Klaus/Dave, Klaus uses his newfound powers to introduce his siblings to Dave. (February 18, 2019)
  • The Dead Aren't Good Company by RosyPages, Klaus & Reginald and Ben & Klaus, They’d been back in time for less than a month when their father forced Klaus back into the mausoleum. But maybe this time his family can do the right thing. (February 26, 2019)
  • Hugs for Benjamin by Katydid_99, Diego & Klaus and Ben & Klaus, 'Klaus ODs. Again. Diego visits him in the hospital and learns more than he ever wanted to know. (February 19, 2019)
  • If You've Got the Time by doctorkilljoy, Klaus/Dave, The trials and tribulations of Klaus Hargreeves, and a family that doesn't notice when he's in peril. (February 17, 2019)
  • Bloody Fingernails by Poshii, Diego & Klaus and Klaus & Vanya, Diego and Klaus get trapped in a room together. (February 21, 2019)
  • Istanbul by Utopsite, Dave/Klaus and Diego/Eudora, Once again, the Umbrella Academy saves the day - not that the day cares much about it one way or another. (February 20, 2019)
  • Numb Without You by Fearless_leaderr, Father puts a statue up in the courtyard, bronze immortalising a boy forever. Ben would hate it. “I hate it,” Ben says from beside him, crossing his arms across his chest. (February 20, 2019)
  • We're Running Just As Fast As We Can by CloudElemental, Vanya & Hargreeves siblings, She wish she could go back to not feeling. This- this guilt and grief and shame was filling her up, drowning her. She couldn’t fix this. Just like she couldn’t fix Allison when she slashed her throat open with her bow. Being sorry wasn’t going to change anything. Vanya is given the chance to fix her mistake, save the world and her siblings. She really doesn't know what she's doing. All she knows is that the future she made can't be allowed to happen. (February 20, 2019)
  • War is Hell by sauropod, Dave/Klaus, Klaus' hands were still filthy with dried blood and muck as he fumbled at the clasps, the combination lock on the top. Desperate, blind hope had his heart going a mile a minute. The dial still read that seemingly random set of numbers it had the first time he opened it on the bus, what felt like a lifetime ago. (February 23, 2019)
  • a hazy shade of winter by highqueenalice, Klaus & Vanya and Ben & Klaus and Ben & Vanya, In which Vanya has a stalker, Ben is a tired ghost and Klaus is Klaus. (February 24, 2019)
  • and i know that you’ll be by my side by luciimariiellii, Klaus & Vanya, Klaus is the only constant in Vanya’s life. He’s fucking insane, but he’s always there. Even when she doesn’t expect it. (February 24, 2019)
  • Ghosts of You(th) by SilvertonguedClotpole, It was a mausoleum, and right now it was probably the best chance they had at hiding from those chasing them. But of course, a mausoleum isn't just a mausoleum to Klaus. It was a hell. And his siblings were about to see a true glimpse of what it was like being Klaus Hargreeves. When they're forced to hide in the cemetery, the siblings get more than they bargained for when they have to fight to remain hidden, and fight to keep their brother from toppling over the edge. (February 25, 2019)
  • Chaotic Good | The Umbrella Academy by scooteringdinosaur. Features an OFC, Edelyn "Eddie" Hargreeves. (Aug 30, 2020)

Crossover Works:

  • The Fault in our Leap by PhantomWriter, A week after the Chitauri Invasion, a wormhole appeared in New Mexico. Though instead of some monstrous-looking aliens, seven children emerged instead. Seven superpowered children. Director Fury wasn't happy. (February 27, 2019) (MCU crossover)

Vids

Fanart

Meta

Fannish Resources

References

  1. ^ "Small Quick Ordinary Look at The Umbrella Academy" video essay by Quinn Curio
  2. ^ The Umbrella Academy is listed in the comics section.
  3. ^ Split between two fandom tags, but some fanworks are tagged with both: 254 in The Umbrella Academy (Comics) and 1067 in The Umbrella Academy (TV)
  4. ^ batmanboxers. Does anyone know when the umbrella academy comes out?, Archived version, posted in chemicalromance, 2007-01-23.
  5. ^ theguernica. Mod post., Archived version, posted in chemicalromance, 2007-09-23.
  6. ^ theumbrella_acd - Profile, Archived version (Accessed 9 July 2017.)
  7. ^ In Production - ladyfoxxx, Archived version
  8. ^ As of 22 March 2019[1]. 349 fanworks in the comics fandom tag, 266 of which are also tagged with the television fandom, and 9 of which are MCR.
  9. ^ Filter sidebar on the works page as of 22 March 2019.
  10. ^ Umbrella Academy at Netflix.com
  11. ^ "okay so I kind of get the concept of fiveya esp after following you for a hot minute but I still find it a little weird that they're technically siblings..." Archived from the original on August 1, 2020. 
  12. ^ "Heyy Regarding one of your previous posts, I just wanted to say that in my culture and where I live, it's legal and accepted for adopted siblings to get married". Archived from the original on August 1, 2020.