The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 1: Apocalypse Suite - Gerard Way, Gabriel Bá as the back cover states, this is a comic with an arch Victorian sensibility. steampunk superheroes, i love it! in an alternate world, "43 extraordinary children were born..." and seven of them were collected, to form a super-powered super-team. they have powers like time travel and mind control and super-strength and super-agility and the ability to spawn cthulhic tentacles. they are pretty awesome. my favorite is the devious, cold-blooded little killer Number Five, a 10-year old with a 50-year old mind, whose sinister travels in the timestream have earned him a host of implacable enemies.

apparently steampunk will never go away... yahoo! possibly i'm one of a diminishing number of folks who still feel such affection for this overly-hyped mongrel genre. ah, so what. this was a smart, witty, and sometimes dark pleasure from beginning to end. well, i could have done without the panels of the tortured little girl with one arm devoured - ugh, disgusting and unnecessary. but overall this was great. if i called the shots, there would be a lot more flashbacks to our heroes as super-kids; hopefully there will be more to come.

there was a feeling of being shown very small, sometimes random parts of the narrative and the history of the characters themselves. that can be frustrating, but i enjoyed it as well. it leaves a lot of room for growth in future episodes, and if not, well i personally love questions that aren't answered, that let me try to connect the dots and figure things out. the narrative and the characters live in a fully-realized, lavishly detailed world, one i'm looking foward to jumping into again.

the art by Gabriel Ba is fantastic. the idea-smith is Gerard Way, apparently a member of a band called My Chemical Romance. i don't know them - do they do the theme song for some tv show or movie? eh, whatever, the writing and the ideas on display are a lot of fun and surprisingly moving at times. good job, Gerard Way, whoever you are! what a clever and multi-talented lad. i hope he sticks with this.