Season 2 of Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy tosses the six Hargreeves siblings again to an unfamiliar time and place: Dallas, Texas within the 1960s. While that alternative of setting may seem random to viewers of the present, followers of the graphic novel sequence will know that the second quantity is subtitled “Dallas.”
But like with the primary season, The Umbrella Academy isn’t a direct translation of Gerard Way’s comedian. The setting — and the Kennedy assassination — is probably all of the second season of the present shares with the second quantity of the graphic novel.
Showrunner Steve Blackman tells Polygon that the thought of immediately adapting the graphic novel was discarded early in manufacturing, however that working intently with author Way has allowed him to play with the characters and ideas freely to adapt for tv in a method that retains the spirit of the e-book, if not the precise supply.
“Early on, we realized there’s a graphic novel story and then there’s a television story and not all of it will be the same. But what’s lovely about Gerard [Way] is he’s very collaborative. I use the source material as a springboard and I want to be very respectful to the fans,” defined Blackman in a cellphone name forward of season 2’s launch. “I love finding moments and stories that reflect that graphic novel. But TV is a different beast and I have 10 hours to tell a story. And in a season of our show it’s 10 days, so I can’t do everything the graphic novel does. I have to sort of zero in on a particular piece or parts that I love.”
In season 2, Blackman prioritized the enduring visuals of the graphic novel over adapting it beat for beat. The design of the Commission chief AJ Carmichael, a fish in a tank propelling a human physique, was particularly one thing he needed to nail.
Because each the graphic novel and the present are popping out on the identical time and parallel with each other, it’s not simply the Netflix sequence pulling from the graphic novel. Blackman says that the collaboration with Way has grow to be a two-way road.
“We’re at some extent now, the place typically issues we put within the TV present encourage the graphic novel. Gerard’s like Oh, that’s actually cool. I’m gonna work it into the story. The two universes are coming collectively, which is fantastic,” he defined.
He pointed particularly to the way in which that the TV present makes use of Ben, the sixth sibling who died earlier than the occasions of each the graphic novel and the Netflix sequence.
“Gerard loved how we kept the Ben story going with him being Klaus’ nemesis,” mentioned Blackman. “The irony being [Ben is the] most intuitive character, but he has the worst translator in Klaus. Gerard really loves that and I think he’s working that into the graphic novel.”
[Ed. notice: The remainder of this text incorporates big spoilers for the top of the second season of The Umbrella Academy]
When it involves a possible third season, Blackman says that the large cliffhanger of the second season gestated over a yr in the past with Way. In the final moments of season two, the Hargreeves handle to get again to 2019 — solely to appreciate that someplace alongside the way in which, they altered the timeline, leaving them in a model of 2019 the place their brother Ben continues to be alive, Reginald Hargreeves has by no means met them earlier than, and the Umbrella Academy is known as the Sparrow Academy. Blackman says it was a real second of synergy, the place concepts that the 2 of them had individually collided in an thrilling method.
“It’s something I talked to Gerard about over a year ago. It’s the place I know he’s going to,” mentioned Blackman. “He’s already started in volume three of the graphic novel, which is out. We talked about it going forward. I had a similar idea. When I found out he was doing the Sparrows, I got really excited. I knew I really wanted to go somewhere with it.”
The third quantity of the graphic novel doesn’t have the identical setup because the final moments of season 2, however a fourth quantity — subtitled Sparrow Academy — is within the works. Both the present and the comedian are doubtlessly working towards the identical concept — however with no confirmed date for the subsequent installments of both, it’s very attainable that the TV sequence could beat the comics, a conundrum anybody who’s uttered “the anime is ahead of the manga” is aware of properly. Except, in fact, Way and Blackman appear content material to bounce concepts off one another and see their respective properties not as diversifications however interpretations of each other.
The Umbrella Academy season 2 is at present streaming on Netflix.