Who (or what) are the Umbrella Academy?

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Credit: Gabriel Bá and Dave Stewart (Dark Horse Comics); from The Umbrella Academy: The Apocalypse Suite

Klaus Hargreeves, a.k.a. The Séance , a.k.a. Number Four

Do you notice how every superhero group has one person who’s the comic relief? Often times, they also have these really weird quirks and behaviors which make them even odder. Well, Klaus Hargreeves definitely looks and acts. He’s skinny, pale, flamboyant, has the words “Hello” and “Goodbye” tattooed on the palms of his hands, and is, perhaps, more than a little crazy.

However, as befitting the tropes of a superhero group’s comic relief, The Séance is far more powerful than even he’s aware of. Among his abilities are telepathy, telekinesis, levitation, and–as his codename implies– communing with and channeling the dead. Thing is, his powers only work so long as he’s barefoot. Also, one of the reasons he’s so powerful is because Sir Hargreeves experimented on him the most. Little wonder then he grows up into a drug addict and checked himself into a psychiatric hospital.

Seems with the excellent casting of Robert Sheehan, the creators are amping up Kluas’ eccentricities to eleven, which includes dressing in women’s attire. Perhaps this is meant to visually convey how, as a psychic medium, Klaus could channel female spirits. Supposedly, the show will also establish that Klaus, after leaving the team, has become a thief. If so, he’s likely pursued this path to fuel his drug habit, as shown in the recent issues of The Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion.

Credit: Gabriel Bá and Dave Stewart (Dark Horse Comics); from The Umbrella Academy: The Apocalypse Suite

The Boy, a.k.a. Number Five

Having run away before the Umbrella Academy’s first mission, the boy known only as Number Five was never given a proper name or superhero moniker. Only he didn’t just run away–he went twenty years into the future. That’s because Number Five can travel through time. Yet when Number Five arrived, he saw that the world is destroyed three days (eight days in the show) after Sir Hargreeves death. As his powers only allowed him to travel into the future, Number Five spent the next fifty years figuring out how to return home.

However, instead returning moments before he left, Number Five returned on the day of Sir Hargreeves’ death. Even more curious, he’s somehow stopped aging. As the result, Number Five is literally a sixty-year-old man trapped in the body of a ten-year-old and virtually immortal. Also, Number Five can give himself super speed my making less-than-a-second “microjumps” into the future. Also, as technically the oldest member of the team who survived years in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, Number Five is as bitterly sarcastic as he is ruthless.

As one might expect, Number Five plays a vital role in both The Apocalypse Suite and Dallas, both of which the NetFlix series has clearly adapted for its first season. He also has ties, as is the case with the comics, the sugar-craving, time-traveling assassins Hazel and Cha-Cha (played by Cameron Britton and Mary J. Bilge respectively). The main difference, however, is that Number Five will look more adolescent and prepubescent since Aidan Gallagher, the actor who plays him, is fifteen years old in real life. Another change is that he’ll actually be part of the team before running away into the future.