When Netflix announced the cancellation of their Marvel shows, it clearly had a plan to move forward. New comic book adaptations that had nothing to do with Marvel or DC were part of that plan, and The Umbrella Academy has proven that the future might be bright.
Dark Horse Comics reports that the Netflix adaptation of its comic book was the "biggest digital show in the US" after its release. The company also reported that demand for The Umbrella Academy "grew exponentially" throughout its opening weekend.
The report comes from Parrot Analytics, a company that looks at "demand expressions" of shows. This includes desire, engagement and viewership. It also weighs streaming the show as greater demand than just liking it or commenting on it on social media, although that also weighs into the algorithm.
With that in mind, four of the top seven shows this week by demand were superhero series. Doom Patrol checked in at sixth from DC Universe, with its Titans series ranking fourth. On Netflix, Marvel's Daredevil was fifth while The Umbrella Academy ranked first.
The Umbrella Academy had an average demand expression of 30.77 million. At second place, Stranger Things had an average demand of 28.77 million. Interestingly, Titans and The Umbrella Academy were also the only two of the seven to rank below 80 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, but still held on strong when it came to fan interest.
Created by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba, The Umbrella Academy tells the story of seven children born with superpowers who were adopted by an eccentric man, tasked with becoming superheroes. As adults, the dysfunctional family reunites at the funeral of their father, a man most of them considered a monster. It is there that they discover that they need to put their grudges behind them and save the world from an apocalyptic event.
Part of the success of the show has been attributed to the diversity of the cast, as showrunner Steve Blackman revealed that he worked hand-in-hand with Way to change the characters' nationalities in order to make "improvements on the source material." He also admitted that Way wished, after the fact, he had made those changes in the original comics.
The first season of The Umbrella Academy ended with a major cliffhanger, so the success of the show on Netflix appears to guarantee that fans will get to see the next chapter for one of comic book television's most dysfunctional families.
Streaming now on Netflix, The Umbrella Academy Season 1 stars Ellen Page, Tom Hopper, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Robert Sheehan, David Castañeda, Aidan Gallagher, Cameron Britton, Mary J. Blige and Colm Feore.