The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite 1 (The Day The Eiffel Tower Went Berserk) is the first issue of The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite. Published on September 19, 2007, it was written by Gerard Way with art by Gabriel Bá.
Once, the Umbrella Academy was unstoppable. Under the tutelage of their guardian and mentor, Dr. Reginald Hargreeves, its members spent their childhoods fighting evil and honing their extraordinary gifts.
Until something went terribly wrong.
Now, nine years later, the estranged members of the Umbrella Academy are reunited by the death of the only parent they've ever known and the rise of a new and terrible threat. Will they be able to overcome their history for long enough to save the world-one more time?
Conceived and written by Gerard Way (of My Chemical Romance), Umbrella Academy features interior art by Eisner Award-nominated artist Gabriel Bá (De:Tales), colors by Eisner Award-winning colorist Dave Stewart, and covers by multiple-Eisner Award-winning painter James Jean (Fables).
At the same time that “Tusslin’ Tom” Gurney defeated the space-squid from Rigel X-9 with a flying atomic elbow in an exhibition wrestling match, forty-three children were spontaneously birthed around the world in a seemingly random occurrence, to women who’d previously shown no signs of pregnancy, most of them single. Most of the children that survived were subsequently abandoned or put up for adoption. Sir Reginald Hargreeves (also known by his codename, “The Monocle”), a renowned scientist, entrepreneur, Olympic fencer, Nobel laureate, and undercover extraterrestrial, rounded up as many of the children as he could track down, adopting seven of them. Hargreeves assigned the children codenames, 00.01 through 00.07, based on his estimation of each child’s power levels. When asked during a press conference why he had adopted the children, Hargreeves stated that he intended to save the world, although from what he would not say. Hargreeves then retreated from the public eye to raise the children, with no one laying an eye on them for years, until that fateful day the Eiffel Tower went berserk.
One morning in Paris ten years after the mysterious spontaneous birth of the children, things are proceeding normally until suddenly a body falls from the sky. While an inspector attempts to determine what has happened, another body falls to the ground, seemingly pushed from the top of the Eiffel Tower. Before the inspector can call for backup, the Umbrella Academy arrives—the children that Sir Reginald Hargreeves adopted ten years prior, now grown up and each in control of a unique power (save for Number Seven, who has still not shown any signs of any special abilities and so is kept on the sidelines). Number One tells the inspector that the Eiffel Tower has gone insane. The shocked inspector tells the children that they are insane if they think they can help. Number Three announces to the gathered crowd that she heard a rumor that a nearby museum is giving away its paintings, causing them to flee the scene in a demonstration of her power to alter reality by making statements.
Suddenly the Eiffel Tower shoots a beam of energy into the ground, nearly missing the children. Number One orders his siblings to spread out and attack, the children soaring into the air using their levitation belts. In Sir Hargreeves’ flying vessel the Minerva (powered by the mummified remains of King Amen-Kharej IV and piloted by Hargreeves’ bodyguard Abhijat), high above Paris, Number Seven watches her siblings battle the Eiffel Tower and asks Hargreeves why she can’t join them. Hargreeves coldly reminds her that she does not seem to have any special abilities, so she cannot join them. Number Seven asks Hargreeves where her brother Number Five has gone, as she can’t see him. Hargreeves tells her that he has probably jumped forward into the future to hide, as is his wont. Hargreeves suggests that Number Seven go practice her violin while he handles the situation at hand.
Down below, the top of the Eiffel Tower opens to reveal sinister looking machinery. Number Six clings to the top of the tower using the tentacles that extend from an interdimensional portal on his stomach, clutching his brother Number Four’s hand as he attempts to contact the spirit of a dead engineer who can help them, his levitation belt broken. Number Two tells them that the situation is dire and there’s no hope. Number One punches the Eiffel Tower with his considerable strength, knocking it to the ground. Number One leads the group to the control tower, where they find the zombie-robot Gustave Eiffel manning the controls. Without hesitation, Number Two throws a knife, hitting Gustave Eiffel in the eye and knocking him into the tower’s control panel, beginning the launch sequence. Number One orders his siblings to evacuate and the Eiffel Tower launches into space, as it was secretly a spaceship. Hargreeves lands and tells the children that even though they couldn’t prevent the loss of the Eiffel Tower they still saved the city, which means they get ice cream as a reward, as well as the key to the city. As the other children celebrate Hargreeves notices a longing look on Number One’s face. Hargreeves asks Number One what’s wrong; Number One tells him that he wants to go space too someday. Hargreeves tells him that he will.
Twenty years later, Number One stands on the surface of the moon, looking up at the Earth. Number One, thirty years old, now goes by the codename Spaceboy. His head has been grafted onto the body of a gorilla after a horrific accident on Mars left his body broken beyond repair. Spaceboy receives an alert from the Annihilation Control Center telling him that Dr. Pogo is on the line. Spaceboy tells the control center to hold the call while he heads back to base. Back at the control center, Spaceboy receives bad news from Dr. Pogo and arranges to head back to Earth for his father’s funeral.
In the City, Vanya Hargreeves (previously known as Number Seven) receives a phone call in the middle of the night. The caller tells her that her father Sir Reginald Hargreeves is dead. The caller tells Vanya that he’s not surprised by her lack of emotion, as she had written many unfavorable things about Hargreeves in her book about her time as the sole normal member of the Umbrella Academy. Vanya demands to know what the caller wants. He informs her that he is preparing to perform a suite and his chair for first violin has been vacated, and tells her that she can audition at noon the following day if she so wishes. The caller tells her that this will be an opportunity for her to get revenge on her family.
Outside the Umbrella Academy’s home, Spaceboy lands on the front lawn and walks towards the house, passing by the statue of their deceased brother Ben, also known as Number Six, also known as the Horror. Abhijat greets Spaceboy as he enters the house. There Spaceboy finds Dr. Pogo, a chimpanzee, whose entire species was elevated to human levels of intelligence by Sir Reginald Hargreeves as part of the work that earned him the Nobel Peace Prize. Dr. Pogo is accompanied by Number Five, who disappeared that fateful day the Umbrella Academy fought the Eiffel Tower. Number Five tells Spaceboy that the death of their father is only the beginning. Dr. Pogo informs Spaceboy that the rest of their surviving siblings will arrive tomorrow.
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