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What you don't know about the Umbrella Academy spin-off

When it was that announced Gerard Way, singer and guitarist for My Chemical Romance, was going to make a limited run comic book series for Dark Horse, fans weren't sure what to expect. Fortunately, Way isn't just a talented musician, but he's also got a way with the written word. 

Way, along with illustrator Gabriel Bá, came out with a six-issue, limited-edition run of a series called The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite. It proved to be a massive success, even winning an Eisner Award for Best Finite Series/Limited Series. The basic premise follows 43 children born on the same day with superpowers. Seven of those children were adopted by Sir Reginald Hargreeves, and he turns the kids into a superhero collective known as the Umbrella Academy. As they grow older, the kids fall out of touch until they receive news of their adoptive father's death. At that point, they reunite and discover they'll have to work together to stop the apocalypse. 

Other limited-edition runs and short stories following the characters have been released since Apocalypse Suite. But fans of the Netflix series of the same name would  probably be extremely interested to hear of the recent Klaus-focused spin-off series that came out back in September 2020, as it could very well prove as inspiration for another future batch of episodes. 

What's Klaus's spin-off story about?

The character Klaus, played by Robert Sheehan, is a fan-favorite in the Netflix series. He's the drug addict with a penchant for the theatrical and the supernatural ability to speak and interact with the dead. It's clear from the moment we first see him in the show that he's gone through some troubled times. But now, fans can finally see what he was up to before Reginald's passing in You Look Like Death: Tales From The Umbrella Academy

The new comic book series, which had its first issue drop in September of 2020, shows what Klaus was up to 10 years prior to the events in Apocalypse Suite. Creator Gerard Way told Forbes, "Of all of the siblings, Klaus was always the first one I wanted to explore, because I had a lot of ideas about what happened to him in the ten years before 'Apocalypse Suite.'"

The book follows an 18-year-old Klaus after he's kicked out of Reginald's mansion. With nowhere else to go, he travels to where every bright-eyed, bushy-tailed youngster with big dreams heads: Hollywood. While there, he has to deal with magical illicit substances as well as a vampiric drug lord. Way goes on to say how Hollywood was the perfect setting for the character because, "Los Angeles is a place where you can very easily lose sight of who you are, and that is what is happening to Klaus in this series."

Way goes on to explain, "We see [Klaus] develop stronger habits and explore more extreme things than he had before. Los Angeles is also a place with a strong dark side, as well as this undercurrent of the occult. It is also a place where somewhat nefarious people transplanted here can more easily thrive and spread out roots, so there's a good chance Klaus runs the risk of getting chewed up and spit out." The Umbrella Academy is no stranger to exploring dark themes, and it sounds like those more sinister ideas will be alive and well for fans to read in future issues. 

Watch the trailer for yourself to see if this comic book series is something up your alley. 

Could we see other spin-off stories following the other Hargreeves children?

Ten years is a long time, and Klaus certainly isn't the only Hargreeves child who got into trouble during that period. Later in his interview with Forbes, Way mentions that while Klaus was always meant to get the first spin-off, he's been ruminating on ideas of what the other adoptees have been up to during that time. 

But while You Look Like Death may just be one part of the puzzle, fans shouldn't expect similar spin-offs any time soon. After all, fans of the comic book series are still waiting for Volume 4, titled Sparrow Academy, to get an official release date. Way announced back in September of 2019 on Instagram he's working on a new series that will follow other superpowered individuals who were born on the same day as the Hargreeves children. 

Luckily, Way goes on to mention that working on other spin-offs is definitely a possibility, "There are other ideas for sure as far as Umbrella Academy siblings getting their own series, all of them very different from each other — and there are other writers and creators I want to work with on those — but I wanted to bring the focus back to the main Umbrella Academy story arc."

Could You Look Like Death come to Netflix?

Netflix clearly isn't afraid to dip its toes into spin-off territory. The streaming service has announced it will release a spin-off series to the massively popular Witcher series titled The Witcher: Blood Origin. Seeing how The Umbrella Academy has already been renewed for season 3, it's not out of the question for Netflix to move forward with another spin-off, especially seeing as how the source material is already there. Plus, they have a star lined up, too.

At New York Comic Con 2020, Robert Sheehan was asked if he'd be open to a Netflix spin-off focusing on Klaus, and his answer is a resounding, "Yeah, why not? Yeah, absolutely." Sheehan goes on to discuss the spin-off comic books and how they detail Klaus's life before he reunited with his siblings. It also sounds like Sheehan got the inside scoop from Gerard Way himself about where the series is going to go in the future, explaining, "Some of the stuff [Way's] told me about — that's gonna be in it is just so incredibly dark and f***** up, so uh... Yeah, I'm well up for that, absolutely!"

Even if Netflix doesn't move forward with a full-fledged spin-off series, it's always possible we could see elements of Klaus's origin in a future episode of the main series. As long as we get to keep seeing Robert Sheehan stealing every scene on The Umbrella Academy, consider us on board.

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