In one remarkable moment, 43 extraordinary children, with mothers showing no signs of pregnancy, were born simultaneously. Millionaire genius Reginald Hargreeves adopted seven of them and formed a superhero team, who later became a dysfunctional family, to save the world from all kinds of bizarre threats.
This is the basis of Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba’s The Umbrella Academy, the Dark Horse series, which delves into the weird side of superhero comics. The comic’s unique take on the genre has garnered fan and critical acclaim, a Netflix series, and an Eisner Award.
If you love the Netflix series and want to read the comic books it’s based then you’re in the right place. This guide will point you to the perfect place to start reading as well as a reading order so you can continue reading the weird and dysfunctional adventures.
Where Do I Start?
While it might sound obvious, it’s best to start Umbrella Academy at the very beginning. But with Umbrella Academy broken up into multiple miniseries*, each with their own #1 issue, it’s not as easy to figure out which one you should be reading first.
The answer to this is Umbrella Academy: The Apocalypse Suite #1. Follow this miniseries through to the end before jumping on to the next one.
Check out the next section to find out the recommended reading order for Umbrella Academy.
*This allows the creators to release Umbrella Academy at their own pace and not have to worry about making sure they have a comic released each month.
Umbrella Academy Reading Order
So you want to read all of Umbrella Academy, or at least what’s available so far? These are the trade paperbacks you’ll need to check out and the order to read them in:
The Umbrella Academy Volume 1: The Apocalypse Suite
Collects: Umbrella Academy: The Apocalypse Suite #1-6
The Umbrella Academy Volume 2: Dallas
Collects: Umbrella Academy: Dallas #1-6
The Umbrella Academy Volume 3: Hotel Oblivion
Collects: Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion #1-7
Each miniseries is also available in the Library Editions format. These are over-sized hardcover editions which look rather nice on the bookshelf.
Further to that, the first three miniseries also come in a boxed set, which comes with an exclusive poster.
Umbrella Academy is set up in a way where there is a wealth of spin-offs that they could do. At the moment there are two, but there will likely be more to come.
Hazel and Cha Cha Save Christmas: Tales From Umbrella Academy
Written by Gerard Way and Scott Allie. Art by Tommy Lee Edwards.
This is a Christmas themed one-shot featuring Hazel and Cha Cha.
You Look Like Death: Tales From Umbrella Academy
Written by Gerard Way and Shawn Simon. Art by I.N.J. Culbard.
Collects: You Look Like Death: Tales From Umbrella Academy #1-6
You Look Like Death is a six-issue miniseries which focuses on The Séance (aka Number Four) and is set ten years before The Apocalypse Suite.
Will there be more Umbrella Academy?
There sure will be! Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá mentioned in an interview with Collider that they have long-term plans for the comic book series which should see eight series in total.
Speaking to Forbes back in 2020, Way mentioned that he had begun the fourth miniseries. This will be called The Sparrow Academy and will explore what happened to all of the other children that were born on the same day as The Umbrella Academy cast.
Dark Horse hasn’t announced when we will see The Sparrow Academy. I guess it will depend on Gerard Way’s schedule, which must be pretty busy with My Chemical Romance reforming and the Netflix series. That being said, the first two miniseries were written while Gerard was on tour so I guess we’ll have to wait and see!