Not content with being the frontman of one of modern rock’s most enduring and iconic groups (and a top-tier solo artist to boot), Gerard Way‘s a dab hand with the old felt tips, too. The Umbrella Academy, Way’s 2007 comic book series, created alongside artist Gabriel Bá, grabbed the attentions of those far beyond My Chemical Romance fandom, with its fanciful tale of an alternate universe superhero family, helmed by a man who goes by The Monocle.
If graphic novels aren’t your cup of tea, fret not – the show’s been picked up by Netflix, following initial calls for a movie adaptation. With the weird and wonderful storyline a perfect fit for your next binge-watch, below we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about it.
What’s this about a special print edition of NME?
Nope, you didn’t dream the last 10 months, but there really is a print copy of NME coming out this Friday (February 15) to celebrate the release of The Umbrella Academy. In it, you’ll find exclusive interviews with the cast, and Gerard Way, and even a one-off, seven-page Umbrella Academy comic.
You can get your FREE copy by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or pick one up at selected gigs and stores around the UK. We’ll publish a full list on NME.COM. UK signups only please.
What is The Umbrella Academy?
Originally a Eisner Award winning comic by former My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way and artist Gabriel Bá, it’s now a TV show, the first season of which drops on Netflix on February 15.
What’s The Umbrella Academy all about?
The Umbrella Academy TV series begins in 1977 (the year Gerard Way was born, calendar-fans) within a fictional timeline in which US President John F. Kennedy was never assassinated. One day, 43 babies are born to women who weren’t pregnant at the start of the day. Seven of these children, each possessing a unique ‘power’, are adopted by the billionaire Sir Reginal Hargreeves, aka The Monocle. He’s an undercover alien. But nobody knows that at the beginning, so shhh.
Two themes reign supreme in The Umbrella Academy: family and trauma. Of the latter, Gerard says that personal events infused The Umbrella Academy’s with its themes of coping and healing. “Trauma is a very intense thing and a very real thing,” he says, “and everybody experiences it in some way. I obviously did not have a childhood like these kids. But I did have a childhood in which I needed to escape a lot.”
When will The Umbrella Academy be released on Netflix?
As was announced on December 9, 2018, the Umbrella Academy TV show will hit Netflix on February 15, 2019.
Who are the stars of The Umbrella Academy?
A number of big-name appear in The Umbrella Academy, including Ellen Page, who plays Vanya Hargreeves / ‘The White Violin’, Tom Hopper as Luther Hargreeves/’Spaceboy’, an aspiring astronaut with super strength whose body is that of a Martian Ape, Robert Sheehan as the telekinetic Klaus Hargreeves/’The Séance’, Emmy Raver-Lampman as Allison Hargreeves/’The Rumor’, David Castañeda as Diego Hargreeves/’The Kraken’, and Aidan Gallagher as the time-travelling Number Five/’The Boy’. Mary J. Blige is also set to star as Neo-Nazi criminal Cha-Cha.
The heroes are led by Colm Feore as Sir Reginald Hargreeves/’The Monocle’.
In addition, Cameron Britton appears as as Hazel, Cha-Cha’s partner, Adam Godley as Hargreeves’ chimpanzee assistant Pogo, John Magaro as Leonard Peabody, Ashley Madekwe as Detective Patch and Kate Walsh as ‘The Handler’.
Is there a trailer for The Umbrella Academy yet?
Yep! The first trailer for Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy adaptation was released at the beginning of December 2018. Watch it below.
In late January 2019, a full official trailer for the series was shared – watch that below.
A second trailer followed on February 10, confirming that the series would feature new music from star Mary J Blige, and Gerard Way himself.
Will the show feature Gerard Way’s music?
It will indeed. On January 24 2019, Way shared a cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Hazy Shade Of Winter’. The cover features in the trailer for The Umbrella Academy, and saw him reunite with his old My Chemical Romance bandmate, Ray Toro.
A second trailer confirmed that new music would be coming from Way and star Mary J Blige, and would be featured in the series.
Speaking to Billboard, Way said watching the show being filmed had sparked some new ideas. “When I was on set the very first day and we were watching the very first shot, which was a scene between Ellen and Aidan,” he said. “It’s the very last shot of the pilot and they’re talking about the end of the world and it’s supposed to cut to black.
“And a song popped into my head for that and I started writing this song that I ended up recording. I haven’t finished it yet, but it’s a song I would love to give to the show.”
The Umbrella Academy is only on Netflix from February 15