Netflix Season 2 Umbrella Academy returns the six Hargreeves siblings to an unknown time and place: Dallas, Texas in the 1960s. While this choice of setting may seem random to viewers of the show, fans of the graphic novel series will know that the second volume is captioned “Dallas”.
But as with the first season, Umbrella Academy is not a direct translation of Gerard Way’s comic. The setting – and the Kennedy assassination – is perhaps all that the show’s second season shares with the graphic novel’s second volume.
Showrunner Steve Blackman tells Polygon that the idea of directly adapting the graphic novel was ruled out early in production, but working closely with writer Way allowed him to play with characters and concepts freely. to fit the television in a way that retains the spirit of the book, if not the exact delivery.
“Very early on, we realized that there was a graphic novel story, then a television story, and that everything would not be the same. But what is beautiful about Gerard [Way] is it very collaborative. I use the source material as a springboard and want to be very respectful to the fans, ”Blackman explained on a phone call ahead of Season 2’s release.“ I love finding moments and stories that reflect this novel. graphic. But television 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 kind of have to focus on one or more specific pieces that I like.
In Season 2, Blackman prioritized the iconic visuals of the graphic novel over its beat-for-beat adaptation. Commission chief AJ Carmichael’s conception of a fish in a tank propelling a human body was precisely something he wanted to nail down.
Because the graphic novel and the series are coming out at the same time and in parallel, it’s not just the Netflix series from the graphic novel. Blackman says working with Way has become a two-way street.
“We are now at a point where the elements that we put in the television series sometimes inspire the graphic novel. Gerard is like Oh, that’s really cool. I’ll make it part of the story. The two universes come together, which is wonderful, ”he explained.
He specifically pointed out how the TV show uses Ben, the sixth brother who died before the events of the graphic novel and the Netflix series.
“Gerard loved the way we continued Ben’s story with him being Klaus’ enemy,” Blackman said. “The irony being [Ben is the] most intuitive character, but he has the worst translator of Klaus. Gerard really likes it and I think he’s working it out in the graphic novel.
[[[[Ed. Note: The rest of this article contains huge spoilers for the end of the second season of Umbrella Academy]
Regarding a potential third season, Blackman says that the big cliffhanger of the second season handled over a year ago with Way. In the dying moments of season two, the Hargreeves manage to return to 2019 – only to realize that somewhere along the way they’ve changed the timeline, leaving them in a version of 2019 where their brother Ben is still alive. , Reginald Hargreeves has never met them before, and the Umbrella Academy is called the Sparrow Academy. Blackman says it was a real synergy moment, where ideas the two had separately collided in an exciting way.
“This is something I told Gerard over a year ago. This is where I know he’s going, ”Blackman said. “It already started in volume three of the graphic novel, which came out. We talked about it in the future. I had a similar idea. When I found out he was doing the Sparrows, I was really excited. I knew I really wanted to go somewhere with it.
The third volume of the graphic novel doesn’t have the same setup as the final moments of Season 2, but a fourth volume – subtitled Sparrow Academy – is in the works. The series and the comic are potentially working toward the same idea – but without a confirmed date for the next installments of either, it’s very possible that the TV series will defeat the comics, a conundrum anyone has uttered ” the anime is ahead of the manga ‘well knows. Except, of course, Way and Blackman seem to be content with bouncing ideas around and seeing their respective properties not as adaptations but as interpretations of each other.
Umbrella Academy Season 2 is currently streaming on Netflix.