The Umbrella Academy's second season was a huge hit for Netflix, offering up a twisted take on one of the most popular new genres in television right now: the superhero team-up show made up of mostly young-ish reluctant superheroes who have to use their powers to stop some sort of apocalypse. (It's a real genre!) Based on the graphic novel series by Gerard Way, The Umbrella Academy follows seven orphans who were adopted by an eccentric billionaire to form a superhero team, only to be separated for years and learn that their adoptive father has passed away and the end of the world is imminent. Did I mention that one of the heroes is half-ape, another is a time-traveler, and another is a ghost? The Umbrella Academy is weird, y'all.
But if you've plowed through both seasons and have turned your attention to the Sparrow Academy, you're going to have to wait until Season 3 for more Umbrella Academy. In the meantime, why not get your fix from some other shows that share some of the same traits? We've assembled a list that fans of The Umbrella Academy will love, and spoiler alert, a lot of them feature young people with special powers.
Another comic book adaptation about troubled young people with special powers, Deadly Class is based on a series by Rick Remender (who also created the show) and Wesley Craig and follows a street punk named Marcus (Benjamin Wadsworth) as he enrolls at King's Dominion, an elite boarding school for the children of the world's top crime families. It's steeped in '80s nostalgia and has a slick sheen to its darkness and violence. It features To All the Boys I've Loved Before's Lana Condor in a very different type of role as Saya Kuroki, a sword-slinging, heavily tattooed yakuza scion. The girl's got range. Unfortunately, the show was canceled after one season, but that one season packs a lot into it. -Liam Mathews [Watch on Peacock]
Misfits should be one of your first stops if you're looking for something to watch that is similar to The Umbrella Academy, because not only does the five-season British dramedy also follow a number of young adults with different and surprising powers, but the show also stars Robert Sheehan. The set up is this: A group of young adults (Sheehan, Antonia Thomas, Iwan Rheon, Lauren Socha, and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) who have been sentenced to community service for various offenses gain special abilities that mirror who they are after being caught in a freak electrical storm on their first day. Afterwards, they become friends through their many secrets and shared experiences, and they even manage to save the day (and each other) every once in a while. There was a lot of cast turnover beginning with the third season, but Joseph Gilgun (Preacher, Brassic) really made the final three seasons memorable. -Kaitlin Thomas [Watch on Hulu]
For a show about young adults with special powers who go to an actual academy to hone their skills, wave your magic wand (remote control) and make The Magicians appear out of thin air (turn on Netflix). The Syfy series, based on the book series some describe as "Harry Potter for adults" and adapted for television by You's Sera Gamble, is set in a world where magic is real and those with an aptitude for it are invited to attend the mystical college Brakebill's University for Magical Pedagogy. But don't expect these kids to pull never-ending handkerchiefs out of their sleeves or turn your ears into change dispensers. These students get involved in some really dark, apocalyptic arts, and the series features one of the most shocking deaths in television in the last several years. [Watch on Netflix]
Unlike most other superhero team-ups, The Umbrella Academy bathes in a real sense of connection between its characters. Maybe it's because they were all adopted by the same father figure or because they've formed a dysfunctional family with the common thread being their powers... or maybe it's something more ethereal. The idea of a unique connection between people with special abilities is at the heart of Sense8, a Netflix series from Lana and Lilly Wachowski, the creators of The Matrix, when a small group of people from all over the world discover that they're specifically in tune with one another. They don't have traditional superpowers, but they can share a consciousness, which also mean that they share any abilities they know. Thankfully, one of them is a pretty damn good kickboxer. There's even a fan-favorite dance and singalong by all the main characters even when they're far apart, just like Umbrella Academy did a few times. [Watch on Netflix]
There are a number of shows featuring young adults with special powers -- this list is obvious proof of that -- but Marvel's Runaways is almost certainly the only show that features a young adult with a telepathic connection to a genetically engineered dinosaur, and that's more than enough reason to watch. But if you need to know more about the show, the Hulu series, which ran for three seasons, follows a group of teens from different backgrounds who band together to face off against Pride, an evil organization that includes all of their parents. It's a fun twist on the superhero genre, and even though not all the characters themselves have what you'd call "superpowers," they all have unique abilities in their own right, making them key members of the team. -Kaitlin Thomas [Watch on Hulu, Disney+]
Just because The Umbrella Academy doubles as a coming-of-age story for its many young characters, it doesn't mean it's meant for young viewers. The show is as beloved for its absurd, over-the-top violence as it is for its dysfunctional heroes, and while most of the shows on this list keep it fairly mellow when it comes to putting bad guys down, Titans has no such filter. The series, originally an exclusive on the DC Universe streaming service before moving to HBO Max for its second season, is based on the Teen Titans comics and follows youthful superheroes Robin, Starfire, Wonder Girl and more as they seek to form their own identities. Part of that process involves stabbing baddies in the face and setting them on fire, apparently. [Watch on HBO Max]
You've made it to the end of the list and you're getting one more show about young people with superpowers. Sorry! It's been a hot trend! But it's one that was used surprisingly well in this Fox series that ran for two seasons from 2017 to 2019. It's also the only show on this list that is officially connected to the X-Men universe, so you know what the story's going to be: Young mutants, shunned by society, go on the run from a government that wants mutants put in cages, which is the plot of every X-Men thing ever. But with the angle of parents protecting their superpowered kids, who include young versions of Blink, Thunderbird, and Blink, it has a slightly unique spin on it and a connection to The Umbrella Academy. [Watch on Hulu]