Now that Netflix has released the first season of Umbrella Academy, adapted from comic books by My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way and artist Gabriel Bá, some things have become very clear. First and foremost, executive producer Steve Blackman has taken some very large swings away from the comic’s canon to create a show that is very similar, but can also stand on its own. More importantly, though, Season 1 ends on a massive cliffhanger that practically demands Netflix renew the series immediately. If you have yet to watch all of umbrella Academy Season 1, stop reading now, because we’re going to talk spoilers.
The season ends with the end of the world, in one particularly surprising twist. Though Season 1 is based largely on the Apocalypse Suite graphic novel, it ends pretty differently. They don’t stop the end of the world, Vanya (Ellen Page) isn’t shot in the head after going full-on White Violin, and they all jump back in time to some point that has yet to be revealed.
This all sets up some very interesting possibilities for Season 2, as the team–one can only assume–tries to stop the world from ending (again). Of course, that’s all going to depend on what time period they end up in.
Why make such a drastic change to the Apocalypse Suite ending, though? As Blackman told GameSpot, it’s all about setting up a story that’s still to come. “From a purely TV point of view, I wanted to leave you with a cliffhanger that you would have to come back to see what happens; you have to know what happens to this family,” he said. “You’ve seen [Episode] 10, so they zap out just before the apocalypse with no idea where they are or what’s happened to them. So that was a big part of it.”
Just as important as the Umbrella Academy recruits hopefully saving the world, though, is what they’re going to do with their sister. Vanya is far more powerful than any of them could dream of being. And after she embraced that power and unleashed it on the world, becoming the White Violin, her journey from here becomes an interesting one because it’s new territory.
In the comics, this is essentially where Vanya’s story ends. She was left paralyzed after Apocalypse Suite and didn’t play a major role in the stories that followed. Blackman, though, chose to keep her in play by instead having the gun simply fired next to her head, with the sound knocking her unconscious. “I wanted to see her make it to the very end and then see what happens to her after into hopefully Season 2,” he explained.
As for what Page sees her character doing in potential future episodes, she’s excited by both possibilities for Vanya–good and evil. “I’m really excited for whatever. I’ve loved both,” she said of the two sides of the character’s personality. “I’m not quite sure the certain ideas of what’s going to happen, if there’s potential for another season and whatnot. But I just really love the character. So I’m happy with whatever that turns into. But it was fun just walking around and blowing up s***.”
And while the end of Season 1 may have veered far away from the comics, that doesn’t mean it’s going to disregard the rest of the show’s canon. As Way explained of the three graphic novels thus far, “Those exist for Steve to have material to draw from and kind of do what he wants to do with them.”
For Blackman, those stories that have already been told, like Apocalypse Suite in Season 1, are a good launching pad for what they want the TV show to become. “I mean, that’s a lot of material around to use,” he admitted. “It’s great because it just adds to the color of the show. It’s fun to take their stuff and springboard off of it to translate to TV.”
What do you want from Umbrella Academy Season 2? Sound off in the comments!