The Umbrella Academy: Graphic Novel vs Netflix Show [spoilers]

If you haven’t heard of The Umbrella Academy by now, where have you been? It’s a super popular Netflix show based off of the graphic novels by Gerard Way (of My Chemical Romance fame). I, personally, watched the show first and quickly became OBSESSED. The show is quirky and fun while also having a generous amount of darkness and violence. After finishing the show, I turned to my library to read the graphic novels and was surprised by the differences I found. This is actually a case where I prefer the on-screen version, but there are things I like about the graphic novels as well. I’m going to do a character by character comparison and then at the end I’ll do a general comparison.

The Umbrella Academy netflix

The Umbrella Academy vol 1: Apocalypse Suite – eBook | Paperback

The Umbrella Academy vol 2: Dallas – eBook | Paperback

The Umbrella Academy vol 3: Hotel Oblivion (preorder) – eBook | Paperback

Luther/Spaceboy (Number 1)

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First, let’s all just agree that Luther is the worst. Like, actually the worst. He’s not quite as bad in the comics, but in the show he’s SO moody and self-righteous and escalated things in a terrible way. In the GN, he’s still a bit of a baby but he’s more tolerable. Maybe that’s just because we don’t see quite as much of him…

Diego/Kraken (Number 2)

Diego Umbrella Academy

In the GN, Diego is missing an eye for a reason that has not been explained. Obviously, they felt they didn’t need that in the show. Perhaps in a later season? In both the show and the GN, Diego has a lot to prove and feels that he should be the leader, not Luther. I feel like the GN makes that tension feel a little more angsty though. Netflix Diego is a lot more likable.

Allison/The Rumor (Number 3)

Allison Umbrella AcademyAllison is a pretty sympathetic character in the show, for me, even if I think she’s too easy on Luther. In the comic, Allison is super angry and we don’t get to see as much of her backstory with her husband or Claire. I think the way they’ve extrapolated Allison’s power for the show into helping her achieve fame, etc. is really interesting. Even though it’s not quite “canon”, I find her Netflix backstory very compelling.

Klaus/Seance (Number 4)

Klaus Umbrella Academy

In the GN, Klaus is a way more helpful character. In fact, he’s actually the one that stops the apocalypse…kind of. In the show, I wondered how helpful he would actually be in battles. His only power is to summon the dead and he’s scared to do it. So how does that help? In the GN, he’s not scared of summoning the dead and uses his communications with them to get information that is helpful for the rest of the team. Also, he has telekinesis. The Klaus in the GN is a more enjoyable character for me, but Netflix Klaus is more interesting.

Number 5

Number 5 Umbrella AcademyNumber 5 is CRAZY in the GN. Like, seriously unhinged. Netflix Number 5 appears to be more human and actually cares about his family, whereas I’m not convinced GN Number 5 does. (Actually, I’m not really convinced that any of them care about each other). Another interesting difference, GN Number 5’s power is to jump through time. He uses microjumps to make it appear like he’s moving from place to place. Netflix Number 5’s power is to teleport, essentially, and then he figures out how to travel forward through time as well as space.

Ben/The Horror (Number 6)

Ben Umbrella Academy

Similar to the show, the GN doesn’t say what happened to Ben. Unlike the show, the only time we see Ben in the GN is in the flashback scenes (and his statue in the courtyard). I liked that the show made Ben more of a character by having him hang around Klaus (because OF COURSE). I’m excited to learn more about him in both future volumes and episodes.

Vanya/The White Violin (Number 7)

Vanya Umbrella AcademyVanya is a lot more angry in the GN than she is in the beginning of the show. Her progression to becoming the White Violin is more subtle and measured in the show, where the GN it just kind of happens to her. Also, in the GN she and Diego seem to have had a thing in the past? Weird. Overall, she seems a lot less rational in the GN than the show (even though she has her moments in the show too).

Reginald Hargreeves (The Monocle) – In the show, it’s a little confusing who Hargreeves is, where he came from, or what he wants with the kids. The GN makes it clear right away that he’s an alien? And that his face is actually just a mask. Also, his monocle plays a much bigger role in the GN as it seems to have some kind of extra power–that doesn’t really play into the show at all.

Mom РShe seems to have a lot more awareness in the GN than in the show. I like the GN version a bit more, but I found her origin story on the show pretty interesting.

Cha-Cha and Hazel – Netflix has definitely humanized Cha-Cha and Hazel by 1,000,000%. In the GN, they are ruthless killers and we never see their faces. In the show, you actually have sympathy for them.

Pogo – Netflix Pogo seems nicer. That’s kind of my only take-away.

Show vs Graphic Novel

As I said before, I like the show a little better than the graphic novel because I feel like we get to know the characters on a deeper level. I thought the diversity that they included in the show seemed really genuine–it makes sense that these babies would be of different races. The medium of the show lends itself to taking more time with characters and plot points and I think that’s important with a story this complex. The GN is still enjoyable, but feels like it’s much faster paced because it is. The way that the Academy stops the apocalypse is quite different between the Netflix show and the GN, so I’ll be interested to see where season 2 takes it–whether they incorporate more things from volumes 2 and 3 of the GN or not.

Have you watched the show or read the graphic novels? What did you think? Who’s your favorite character?
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Aliens! The End of the World! | Zero Repeat Forever by G.S. Prendergast [ARC]

28945665Raven, her boyfriend, and her boyfriend’s identical twin brother got in some trouble. Instead of being sent to Juvie, they were given permission to work at a summer camp as camp counselors instead. That’s where they were when the Nahx arrived. The Nahx use their high-tech dart guns to kill any humans they encounter sparing no one. That is, until Raven. Not only did the Nahx she meet leave her alive, but he carried her to a place where her friends could safely find her. A Nahx has never showed a human mercy before, so why her?

First of all, I find the overall premise of this book kind of weird. I don’t know why I keep requesting sci-fi alien books, because I don’t actually like them very much. But anyway, I did like some things about this book. The emotions that I felt at times really took me by surprise. I was going along reading and then all of the sudden one of the scenes really hit me and I really began to empathize with Eighth. Like seriously, my heart just broke for him. Raven, on the other hand, I never really liked. I just didn’t really find her authentic as a character. She had all these mood swings. I mean, I understand that she’s currently witnessing the end of the world and that her boyfriend was killed and all that, but the context in which she has mood swings just didn’t really fit. So with that being said, her and Eighth’s relationship wasn’t my favorite. Eighth deserved better.

The writing in this book was kind of weird at times. It was very slow-moving to begin with, but then the flow wasn’t great or consistent. I mean, the book is almost 500 pages so it’ll take a little while to get through. It also deals with some HEAVY topics like abusive relationships, racism, grief, hope, identity. Just to name a few.

Overall, I thought this book was just okay. It didn’t blow me away, but I didn’t hate it either. Like I said earlier, I was surprised by the depth of the emotions I was feeling in the middle of the book, but I still didn’t particularly care for almost all of the characters. If you’re already into sci-fi, though, you might like this one.

Overall Rating: 3
Language: Moderate
Violence: Heavy
Smoking/Drinking: Moderate
Sexual Content: Mild

Note: I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

BLOG TOUR: Understanding the Stars by X. Culletto [GIVEAWAY]

Understanding the StarsUnderstanding the Stars
by X. Culletto
Release Date: January 1st, 2017
Genres: YA, Science Fiction
Goodreads|Amazon|iBooks

SYNOPSIS: Alexandra Blackwood is minding her own troubled life when she unknowingly gets caught up in an extraterrestrial conflict. Ronan, a human with his own alien-entangled past, has been keeping an eye on her and sets out to help her escape looming abduction, and maybe win her heart.


Understanding the Stars Blog Tour

Click on the banner above to be taken to the giveaway!



X CullettoABOUT THE AUTHOR:
¬†¬†Xela Culletto loves all genres, but especially loves to geek out to sci-fi and fantasy. She currently lives in Utah with one husband, three miniature chaos lords, and a very lazy Beta fish. She’s¬†an author of young adult books who also teaches secondary English. Add three kids to that and life gets pretty crazy!

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Chapter by Chapter blog tour

Note: I received this book free from the author/blog tour in exchange for an honest review.

The Cage by Megan Shepherd

One second Cora’s in the car with her brother driving to meet their parents at a ski resort. Next thing she knows, she’s waking up in a desert in someone else’s clothes.

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This book is CRAZY right from the beginning. I guess in the Goodreads summary, you find out right away that Cora and the others have been abducted by an alien race. I did not know that coming into this book. So when the aliens are introduced I was just like, “Umm….okay….well, I guess I’ll see how this plays out…” As you can tell by all of the ellipses, there was a lot of hesitation on my part, but I think it turned out pretty good. I’m not really a big Sci-Fi/Alien reader so I just wasn’t sure whether this would be my kind of thing.

Right off the bat, the reader and the characters are all really confused (maybe I would have been less confused if I’d read the summary more carefully, but I didn’t). The story is told from multiple perspectives so we’re privy to private information about the characters that the other characters don’t know yet. The voices of the characters were all pretty distinctive, so that was nice. I hate when you have multiple perspectives, but the voices are all the same so you can’t tell them apart.

The whole situation that these characters are in makes the reader pretty uneasy. I mean, these humans are basically being treated like animals and that can be a bit unnerving. It really made me think about how I would react in this situation. Would I be like Cora and try to escape? Or would I just accept my fate and play games all day?

Even though I enjoyed the book, I didn’t find any of the characters to be particularly likable. Nok and Rolf were both pretty annoying to me. We don’t see too much of Leon or Mali so I’m still up in the air about them. Lucky is okay but kind of weak as a person (which I find unappealing in a character). And then there’s Cora…she’s okay, but she does a lot of freaking out throughout the book. I just don’t know how I feel about her. Mostly I just need her to calm down and be a little more rational about things.

Overall, I did like this book. I know my review kind of sounds negative, but there were a lot of things to like. There’s a big plot twist at the end that I totally did NOT see coming. Like, it’s so big that I wanted to immediately reread the book with this new information in mind. The book was just kind of lacking in character development. As it is, even though the book itself is great, the characters just felt kind of flat to me.

Overall Rating: 4
Language: Mild
Violence: Moderate
Sexual Content: Heavy, but it’s mostly in a breeding context. No explicit scenes.
Smoking/Drinking: Moderate

Dangerous by Shannon Hale

Despite being born with one arm, it has always been Maisie’s dream to become an astronaut. She’s finally given her chance when she wins a cereal box sweepstakes to go to a summer space camp. There she meets the rest of her “fire team” and the confusing Wilder. When they are mistakenly gifted powers by extraterrestrials, each team member struggles with what kind of person they really are. Maisie isn’t scared though–her middle name is¬†Danger after all.
I thought this book was just alright. The kids seemed a little too immature to me and I felt like none of the adults were portrayed as being trustworthy or on the kids’ side. Maisie especially felt immature because of how obsessed she was with Wilder. I could have done without the frequent physical descriptions and the “Oh my gosh he could have any girl but I like him so much and I think he likes me back”. Annoying. I just really didn’t feel like I could relate to any of the characters. I would have made very different decisions had I been in their shoes.

In addition to slightly annoying characters, the pacing of the plot felt really off to me. First it was like BAM BAM BAM stuff is happening really fast (but just because it’s happening fast doesn’t mean it’s anything of consequence). Then it slowed down a bit until something kind of big happened and then it was just warp speed again. It was just strange. I felt like more time should have been spent on certain things and less time on others. Like the space camp. I wish more time had been spent on the evolution of the fire team and less time talking about Wilder’s hair.

Things I did like: Maisie had a unique weakness. I can’t remember any other female protagonist who has a physical disability and this one is kind of big. SHE’S MISSING A WHOLE ARM. So I enjoyed that. I alsoreally enjoyed reading about the fire team working together, but like I said before, not a lot of time was actually spent on that. I liked Luther pretty good and I thought that Maisie’s parents were very sweet if incredibly unrealistic and perhaps too trusting of their daughter. Not that she didn’t deserve their trust, but the whole situation was just very hard to believe.

Overall, just alright. I probably wouldn’t recommend it or read it again. But here’s a quote I liked as consolation.

“By examining what’s different from us, we understand ourselves better.”

– pg 34

Overall Rating: 2
Violence: Heavy. A lot of fighting but not too much gore.
Language: None
Sexual Content: Mild
Smoking/Drinking: None