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Meet the Super Dysfunctional Family of Netflix’s ‘The Umbrella Academy’


Netflix’s latest superhero series is like nothing you’ve ever seen. In October 1989, 43 women across the world all suddenly gave birth to 43 babies at the same time, but they hadn’t been pregnant to begin with. Trust us, this is just the tip of the weird iceberg. Reginald Hargreeves, a billionaire industrialist adopts seven of these children, raising them as his own — naming them ‘The Umbrella Academy’. The majority of the team have unique abilities that stand out from the usual capes and tights crowd, which makes growing up into normal functioning adults a little difficult. They’re a dysfunctional family with some deep-rooted issues. But hey, when their butler is a walking, talking chimpanzee and there’s an apocalyptic prophecy hanging over their heads — there’s no wonder they have a different outlook on life.


The mysterious benefactor behind ‘The Umbrella Academy’ is a billionaire industrialist who is seemingly aware of otherworldly forces at work across the planet. He quickly manages to adopt seven of the children and bringing them to his mansion where he lived with his wife, Grace. He’s a Nobel prize winning inventor, who enhanced the brain capacity of a chimpanzee. And then made that Chimpanzee into his butler, Doctor Pogo. Did we mention the part where he numbered in the children in how useful they are to him? Safe to say the team didn’t have the most compassionate father figure. He’s an eccentric man regardless, but there might be more to him than meets the eye. It’s Sir Reginald’s death that brings the family back together after they splintered several years before.


The de-facto leader of ‘The Umbrella Academy’ is gifted with super-strength and since being a child he’s always had an overwhelming desire to go explore space. He’s closest to Allison (A.K.A. Number Three) and the pair constantly flirts with the idea of a relationship. In the comics, Luther is involved in an accident and Sir Reginald transplanted his head onto the body of a Martian Ape. Because yes, those exist. And it’s his shame of not having a human body that gets in the way of not trying to make a relationship with Allison work. While it’s not quite clear from the trailers whether the series is adapting this too, Tom Hopper has really bulked up for the role – so it is possible. Although he won’t be the hulking giant that Luther is on the page, he still looks pretty beefy. Excuse us, while we just head to the gym out of shame.


What if Batman had a knife obsession and could hold his breath indefinitely? Meet Diego Hargreeves. After the family all split up he continues a crime-fighting career, choosing to be a brooding hero rather than try and find some kind of personal life. It’s this that sets him apart from his siblings, as he resents them for not using their powers in the same way that he does. When the death of Sir Reginald brings them all back together he really doesn’t understand why the family hasn’t been doing more to stop all the wrongdoings in the world. But like the rest of the Hargreeves’, he’s not particularly grateful to Sir Reginald for making them into superheroes, but it’s something Diego’s had to accept as his place in the world.


Allison’s superpower is one of the most unique superpowers around, and it’s something that every teenager wishes they had; the ability to change reality by lying about it. She simply has to lie about what she wants to happen, and then voilá! Although it does beg the question, why doesn’t Allison lie about fixing what’s wrong with the family and all the problems they come across? She could easily lie about being happy in a relationship with Luther, and it would come true… After ‘The Umbrella Academy’ split up, she carved a nice life for herself, becoming a celebrity, adored by millions. Even though they hadn’t seen each other in thirteen years, Allison and Vanya remain on good terms, sisters have to stick together after all.


Klaus is a drug addict who loves to live on the wilder side of life thanks to being able to talk to the dead. Standard coping mechanism on that one, he’s definitely seen some bizarre stuff – although that may just be the drink and drugs. He’s also telekinetic, which is useful in helping the team fly in missions when they were younger. Klaus’ personality is morbid but in a fun way. Robert Sheehan, from Misfits and Mortal Instruments, is bringing the crazed Hargreeves brother to life, and he looks like he’s having the time of his life. He’s clearly not too bothered about the end of the world, after all – he could still talk to everyone if they died. Luckily his siblings all rally together and he’s convinced by the cause.


The Boy is definitely one of the weirder members of the team alongside Klaus. To begin with, he’s permanently stuck as a teenager. So while his siblings all keep growing older, he’s stuck as the young brother – that’s not going to stop him from doing what he likes though. The upside is that The Boy can time travel… The downside? He accidentally travels to the end of the world. It’s him that brings the apocalyptic prophecy to his family and asks for their help in preventing it. He might be one of the most cynical members of the team, but if it wasn’t for him, they probably would never even think about repairing their familial relationships.


It was unknown for a while whether Ben Hargreeves was going to be included in ‘The Umbrella Academy’, but there IS an actor (Ethan Hwang) portraying him so we’re definitely going to find out how he died. It’s his untimely death that actually tore the family apart, so audiences might want to strap themselves in for that one. Did we mention that his power is having monsters from another dimension trapped inside his body and he can use their abilities as well as their tentacles? Yeah, it’s a bit gross. Poor Ben.


Ellen Page has another incredibly interesting role in the Hargreeves family, she’s playing Vanya. Unfortunately for Vanya, she’s known as Number Seven because she was the least useful to Sir Reginald… She has no superpowers whatsoever. Instead, he just gave her a violin and told her to go practice. Ouch, he was all heart, wasn’t he? And although there might be more to her as her character develops, she’s had a rough time trying to fit in with her own family because of her lack of abilities. Luckily, Vanya found new relationships outside of ‘The Umbrella Academy’, but she always felt like she was missing out. We know she’ll try and rekindle her friendship with Allison, so hopefully, she’ll find that family connection again. But if she has no superpowers, what does she have to do with the end of the world? You’ll just have to watch ‘The Umbrella Academy’ to find out.

‘The Umbrella Academy’ drops on Netflix February 15.

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