Gerard Way says members of My Chemical Romance inspired characters in ‘The Umbrella Academy’

"Being in a band is like being in a dysfunctional family"

Gerard Way has said members of My Chemical Romance inspired the characters in his new Netflix series, The Umbrella Academy.

Way’s Eisner Award-winning comic book series – first published in 2007 – has recently been adapted by Netflix, arriving on the streaming platform earlier this month (February 15). The show sees Ellen Page star as Vanya Hargreeves, while Tom Hopper appears as Luther Hargreeves.

Speaking to Rolling Stone, Way said all the different characteristics found in a band helped to shape the characters he created.


“Being in a band is like being in a dysfunctional family and all these personalities are really distinct and really big, not just the people in your band, but the people you meet on the road or the crew that you work with and all this stuff,” Way said.

“A band especially is a dysfunctional family, so there’s little bits of me in all the characters, there’s bits of some of the guys in some of those characters and the different roles that we would play in the band and how those roles would change sometimes.”

The Umbrella Academy first reviews
The Umbrella Academy

Way also revealed that he relates to many of the characters, adding: “We were in a big pressure cooker of fame and notoriety and the characters experience that in the comic and the show.”

Last week, footage was unearthed of Gerard Way discussing The Umbrella Academy while on tour with My Chemical Romance 15 years ago.

“I’m working on a comic,” explains Way in a video shot aboard My Chemical Romance’s tour bus. “It’s about superheroes because I’ve never done superheroes before.”


Elaborating on his idea and referencing the character Klaus, he adds: It’s kind of like X-Men… This one I’m working on is called The Séance – and he’s a guy who uses a ouija board to contact dead superheroes. And they get his powers when they possess him.”

Earlier this month, eagle-eyed fans spotted a Gerard Way Easter egg in the first episode of The Umbrella Academy.