Chances are you have probably already binged your way through Netflix's latest dark superhero series The Umbrella Academy, and you probably also know that the show has a famous creator: My Chemical Romance's lead singer Gerard Way. But music fans were probably upset to find out that Way does not show up in his show... or does he? Actually, Gerard Way has a cameo in The Umbrella Academy, but it is so small that most viewers probably missed it.
Gerard Way became famous in the early and mid-2000s during the heyday of emo as one of the most prominent faces of the subculture. His band My Chemical Romance shot to success in the early 2000s as one of the most definitive emo rock bands of the era, but the group officially broke up after four studio albums in 2013. Although Way became famous for his music, many of his fans did not realize that he was also writing a series of comic books as well. The first issue of The Umbrella Academy (written by Way and illustrated by Gabriel Bá) was published in late 2007. Way and Bá followed that up with a second series the next year, and then finally released a third series in 2018. The duo is now working on a proposed fourth series.
The Umbrella Academy comics may not have totally broken into the mainstream, but the new Netflix adaptation of them sure has. The streaming service dropped the ten-episode first season of The Umbrella Academy on Feb. 15, telling the story of an adoptive family full of strange powers and abilities. And although Gerard Way does not physically show up in the show, he does make a tiny appearance in the first episode.
In the series premiere, Vanya Hargreeves (Ellen Page), who has always felt estranged from the rest of her family as the only child without a superpower, reflects on her past choices by staring at a copy of her tell-all autobiography. On the back of the book, viewers can just make out a review, attributed to none other than Gerard Way. So I guess Way does exist in the Umbrella Academy universe... as a book critic?
Gerard Way's short review gushes over Vanya's work:
An incredible read… A revealing portal into the amazing life of Vanya Hargreeves and the life she has lived. I couldn't put it down!
That's not all we get of Gerard Way in the show, either. Way also released a new song called "Hazy Shade of Winter" that plays at the very end of Season 1. The song reunites Way with My Chemical Romance guitarist Ray Toro.
As for any future possible cameos or winks in the show, fans will just have to wait to see if Netflix picks up a second season. It seems pretty promising that The Umbrella Academy Season 2 will get picked up, though, since the first season ends on a major cliffhanger that clearly sets up a future storyline, and the story is already all there in the comic books. Hopefully, fans will hear some Season 2 news from Netflix relatively soon.