The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite was 6-issue mini-series published by Dark Horse Comics in 2007. It was followed by another mini-series, The Umbrella Academy: Dallas, in 2008. Since then things have been pretty quite at the Academy.
I was initially drawn to the series because it was written by the lead singer of My Chemical Romance, Gerard Way (I’m a fan). I really enjoyed his writing on the series so I was disappointed that he didn’t produce any other comic work for a long time. It wasn’t until 2013’s “The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys” that we got another Way penned series. More recently he wrote a Spider-Man one-shot for Marvel.
Umbrella Academy was about a group of 7 super powered individuals who were raised together as adopted siblings. Some went on to becomes heroes, others became villains, and one of them was dead before we even got there. I remember I enjoyed both series’ and I lent them out to friends a fair bit back when they first came out. However, its been quite a few years since I’ve read them myself so I confess the details of the stories are a bit fuzzy in my mind; perhaps I’ll give them another read soon.
As good as the writing was I think it was primarily Gabriel Ba’s art that made the book feel special. If a more traditional styled comic book artist had drawn the series I don’t think I would hold it in nearly as high regard. Gabriel’s art (and Dave Stewarts’s colors) were captured beautifully in a set of 6 PVC figures released by Dark Horse in 2009 (the dead sibling wasn’t included). The figures came in a clear umbrella-topped dome which was a pretty neat piece on its own. I have previously reviewed 2 figures from the set; the White Violin, and my favorite UA character, Space Boy. Today I’m taking a look at The Seance.
The Seance was the most goth emo character in a world full of goth emo characters. He had his hair swept down over one side of his face, he wore a black trench coat, he chain smoked cigarettes, he had a ghostly white complexion, and he was always moody. He also had the words “Hello” and “Good-bye” tattooed on the palms of his hands; I can’t recall if there was any significance to that. His super powers were the ability to levitate and talk to the dead so long as he didn’t have shoes on.
The Seance was not one of my favorite characters from the series however this figure is a very nice rendition of him. The sculpting, and even more so the paint work on these UA figures really make them look like they just stepped off of the page. I’ve seen lots of bad shadowing painted on figures but the shadowing on these toys is brilliant. My over saturated camera shots don’t do the paint apps justice.
I really like the pose chosen for this figure. He’s standing with his shoulders back, a cigarette in hand, and his jacket flowing behind him. It shows off all the good design elements of this character. Unfortunately it also draws attention to what I would consider a major design flaw, that big white diaper he’s wearing. I know it’s standard practice for super heroes to wear their underwear over their tights but these shorts are too big and too white for the Seance to pull this look off. Superman he is not.