Ben Hargreeves (#00.06/The Horror)

We’re finished with the characters appearing in the trailer, and we can now take a look at the (few) other characters from the comics popping up in The Umbrella Academy tv series. First of all, of course, the last member of the Umbrella Academy: Ben Hargreeves, aka Number Six. We meet Ben as a kid, portrayed by Ethan Hwang, in the flashback at the beginning of We Only See Each Other at Weddings and Funerals, the very first episode, and he keeps appearing throughout the whole series as a ghost in his adult form, portrayed by Justin H. Min. Number Six is definitely the one we know the least about in the comics, and the fact that he never appears, not even as a ghost, and we only see him in brief flashbacks, doesn’t make things easier. As usual, we’ll try: let’s see what we’ve got.

Ben Hargreeves was one of the forty-three kids who were born at the same moment, all around the world, from women who weren’t pregnant prior to the delivery; he was also one of the seven among them that Sir Reginald Hargreeves, a world famous scientist and inventor, found and adopted. As a newborn, he was brought to The City, in Hargreeves’ mansion, and there he began since his childhood a harsh training that was meant to make him and his siblings be ready to face the upcoming end of the world. Just like his brothers and sisters, Ben had superhuman powers, in his case he was a living portal for Lovecraftian monsters from another dimension; Sir Reginald found his skills incredibly fascinating, but he ended up branding him only Number Six because of how disgusting he found him. Ben, on his side, never complained about his position or on how his father treated him: he was in desperate need of attention, and he let himself be easily manipulated by the cold-hearted Hargreeves under the illusion of family affection. When the time came, Number Six was presented to the world as an integral part of the Umbrella Academy, the superhero team Sir Reginald had been working on for ten years, and he debuted along with the others in Paris, where the Eiffel Tower had started to kill people. Number Six’s powers proved to be quite useful in keeping the rogue monument at bay, while Number One and Number Two took care of the one that was maneuvering it, Zombie Robot Gustave Eiffel; he even saved Number Four‘s life, as he had been trapped by the Tower’s gears. At the end of a successful mission, Number Six was awarded with an ice cream by Sir Reginald: his life as a superhero had just begun.

After his first mission, Number Six received a battle name like his siblings, but since his powers scared even the people he aimed to save, he was called The Horror… nothing he was too proud of. He participated to many other missions with his siblings as a kid, and he even fought yet another monument: President John F. Kennedy, in fact, called for the Umbrella Academy when the statue of Abraham Lincoln from the Lincoln Memorial came alive and started wreaking a havoc, a mission that was successfully accomplished thanks to The Rumor. Years later, when The Rumor found her own body sawed in half in an alley (actually, the body of a copy of herself she had created with her powers), Ben followed his brothers in a battle against the Murder Magician, the culprit, but the team found the villain prepared. During a talk show, the Murder Magician unleashed his powerful Murderbot, a giant killing robot, and The Horror attacked it in full force along with Spaceboy and The Séance. The combined powers of the three brothers destroyed the mechanical abomination, and peace was restored once again. There’s still one mission we know of, that took place when the Umbrella Academy heroes were young adults: John Perseus IX, a rich businessman, began a murderous tantrum aboard a weird car, controlled by some sort of mechanical being in the form of a creepy steel mask. The Horror pursued the car, flying after it with Spaceboy, while The Kraken managed to jump on its hood. When the car finally was led to crash, The Horror saved Kraken by grabbing him in midair and preventing him from becoming a red spot on the wall in front of him, but instead of thanking him his brother remarked that he would have been fine even without his help. After this, something tragic happened, and during an unspecified mission The Horror lost his life, according to most due to an error in Spaceboy’s leadership. Lately, however, some words from The Séance, immediately after he came back from the dead, shed some doubts on The Horror’s real condition, and the possibility that he survived whatever accident caused his death became not so unlikely…

Ben Hargreeves is a gentle and meek man, in constant need of a place to belong to and of a family… and this makes him far too easy manipulable by someone as The Monocle. As The Horror, he is a living portal for terrifying monsters from another dimension, that usually manifest as tentacles sprouting from his torso; he’s also able to fly. The most mysterious member of the Umbrella Academy yet, The Horror is a constant fuel for the team’s sense of guilt and inadequacy, and his death is the proverbial last straw that led the team to disband… but the word “end” may not have been pronounced yet for the shy and powerful hero.

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Hazel & Cha-Cha

The Umbrella Academy is undoubtedly funny, and part of the reason is the pair of baddies hunting for our heroes: Hazel and Cha-Cha, the duo of temporal agents we spotted in the trailer. Armed to the teeth and wearing creepy kids’ masks, the two are portrayed by Cameron Britton and Mary J. Blige, respectively, and they’ve been changed quite a bit from the comics, where they’re not so differentiated, even in character: they originally never take off their masks, they’re both men, and they’re both equally addicted to sugar. Also, of course, they’re both terribly blood-thirsty. Let’s take a look.

Temps Aeternalis employed a number of more or less stable sociopaths and psychopaths to act as assassins throughout the entire timeline, and among them Number Five was without a doubt the best… but not far behind there were Hazel and Cha-Cha, a duo that at least deserved the award for the bloodiest, fiercest and most brutal killers at the service of the time agency. Unlike their colleagues, who changed cloths, hairstyle and equipment to match the one of the year they had been sent to, Hazel and Cha-Cha always wore masks of cartoon characters, a pink dog with long black ears for Hazel, and a blue bear with a sailor hat for Cha-Cha. The thing that distinguished them the most from all the other assassins of Temps Aeternalis was the way they enjoyed what they did: the loved killing almost as they loved sugar and sweets, and they made sure to accomplish their mission in such a disturbing and bloody way that nobody could forget it. Even if they were total psychos, though, they did their job, and Temps Aeternalis kept employing them, relying on their undoubted efficiency. It was no surprise that, when Number Five went rogue, killed some fellow agents and escaped in the timeline, the leader of Temps Aeternalis Carmichael enlisted Hazel and Cha-Cha to find him and execute him. The first part wasn’t too hard: an entire team of agents had been brutally murdered in a diner in The City, in 1977, and the M.O. pointed at Number Five as the culprit. The first thing to do, of course, was to go there and question whoever they found inside.

Being the sugar-addicts they were, of course, Hazel and Cha-Cha first ordered something to eat, and they were dazzled by the best pie they had ever eaten. They asked the waitress, Agnes, about the recipe, but she said that only the chef knew it, and the chef confirmed he had a secret ingredient he wouldn’t have revealed even if they chop his arms and legs off… but he shouldn’t have been so graphic at the presence of the two psychopaths with weird masks. Hazel and Cha-Cha tied up both waitress and chef in the back of the diner, and brutally tortured them, literally sawing off the chef’s limbs. Unfortunately, they had forgotten the real reason why they were doing it, and they killed the chef before realizing they wanted to inquire on Number Five’s whereabouts rather than the secret ingredient of the pie. They were luckier with the next stop, as they managed to kidnap a known associate of Number Five, his brother Klaus, who they found completely drunk, trying to contact the spirit of his dead friend Pogo. The duo brought Klaus in their temporary hideout, along with the dead chef and the traumatized Agnes, and repeated the same routine, torturing the guy to get the information they wanted… but not before putting shoes on the hostage’s feet, as they knew The Séance could access his powers only while barefooted. Spaceboy came to the rescue, but Cha-Cha knocked him out with a surprise attack from behind: with also his brother’s life in peril, Klaus finally talked, but instead of revealing Number Five’s location he spilled the beans on some nuclear bombs in possession of Sir Reginald Hargreeves at the moment of his death. This wasn’t exactly the goal of the mission, but a free Armageddon was something nevertheless: Hazel shot The Séance in the head, killing him, and then proceeded to retrieve the nukes with Cha-Cha. That would have definitely been a mission to be remembered…

Hazel and Cha-Cha are two murderous psychopaths with a common passion for murder and sweets, constantly high on sugar and enthusiastic about everything (maiming and torture included, of course). As assassins from the Temps Aeternalis, they are terribly proficient in their job, and they can use literally any known weapon, from Roman gladius to chainsaw to machine-guns, from every epoch and every nation; they’re also skilled in a variety of martial arts, and they’re skilled trackers (albeit their low attention span often makes them forget what they were looking for). Just as efficient as they are deranged, Hazel and Cha-Cha are among the best assassins working for the most powerful secret organization the world has ever known: quite a dangerous combo, especially when they are low on sugar.

Phinneus Pogo

The Umbrella Academy has been released, and we can now take a look at the secondary characters from the show… starting from the ones we already saw in the trailer. Let’s start with Dr. Phinneus Pogo, who’s very recognizable: he’s the only chimpanzee with a suit, eyeglasses and an umbrella seen around. Voiced by Adam Godley, Pogo is the smart and loving mentor of the kids from the Umbrella Academy, providing all the care and the attention Sir Reginald Hargreeves never bothered to give them. In the comics, his role is pretty much the same: let’s see together.

Phinneus Pogo was born as a regular chimpanzee, whose life was similar to far too many of his kind. Captured as a young ape, he was subjected to a number of cruel and painful experiments, with his body constantly torn apart and stitched back together for some unspecified research. His life, as well as the one of all the other chimps in the world, was changed when the acclaimed genius scientist Sir Reginald Hargreeves found a way to drastically increase chimpanzees’ intelligence, making them sentient and forcing them to reach the level of human evolution. Pogo was the first one Sir Reginald improved (it may as well been him the one who performed all those gruesome experiments on him), and who received the legal status of “person”. While this work earned Sir Reginald a Nobel Prize, Pogo remained to Hargreeves’ side for all his life, becoming intelligent and cultured enough to be his associate. A scientist as well, Pogo helped Hargreeves locate all the “special children” born the same night from women who weren’t pregnant at the moment of the delivery, and they managed to get seven of them. Sir Reginald adopted them and started to train them since their very childhood to be superheroes, but Pogo served another function, as he became their teacher and tutor, mentoring them and trying to be also emotionally close to them, something that Sir Reginald was clearly avoiding to do. He refused to call them by numbers, and only used her names, forming a particularly close bond with Luther, who considered Pogo his best friend, and with Vanya, who he kept encouraging despite Hargreeves’ psychological abuses, insisting on the fact that she was special as well, and even better than her siblings, being not as destructive as them.

At a certain point during his youth, Pogo was called to Vietnam by time-displaced versions of Spaceboy, The Séance and The Kraken, in the middle of a mission to prevent President Kennedy‘s assassination. The three “boys” were adult versions from the future, but despite Spaceboy tried many times to warn him about something, Pogo refused to learn anything of what awaited him, as he knew how dangerous time paradoxes could be. He helped the trio build a Televator to reach Dallas, and then came back to The City, resuming his usual work. In the following years, Pogo helped the kids grow up, and he even became the copilot of Spaceboy, helping him to fulfill his dream and go to space like his idol Saint Zero, and accompanying him in his first space-adventures. Then, under his very eyes, the family started to fall apart: first Number Five got lost in time, then Vanya ran away from home, then The Horror died. Finally, after being humiliated by the public opinion and the press for a false alarm on an impending apocalypse, the Umbrella Academy disbanded, and all its members tried to start a new life somewhere else. Pogo stayed with Hargreeves in his manor, and kept him company until the day he died, ten years later. The very next day, the long-lost Number Five appeared again, much older albeit it looked like he hadn’t aged a day. In order to celebrate Hargreeves’ funeral, Pogo called all the members of the Academy back home, even Spaceboy who was stationed on the Moon, and reunited the family for the first time in years. The old tensions and rivalries immediately resurfaced, but as usual Pogo did his best to keep peace and act as a mediator between them. This time, however, it would have taken much more than the usual kindness to keep together a family that was about to face its gravest challenge yet…

Phinneus Pogo is a central figure in the Umbrella Academy’s life, a kind and gentle chimpanzee who provides them with all the care and the affection their human (actually alien) adoptive father doesn’t. As Hargreeves’ assistant, he’s terribly smart, with incredible proficiency in engineering in particular. Albeit being an ape, Dr. Pogo is much more humane to the kids than any human in the manor, and takes care of them like only Mother besides him can do. In a world of humans who despise them, an ape and an android are the only sources of true love for the seven orphans.

Vanya Hargreeves (#00.07/The White Violin)

Just in time, as The Umbrella Academy is going to be released today on Netflix, we see the last (living) member of the dysfunctional superhero family: Number Seven, portrayed by Ellen Page. Just as in the comics, Seven is the only member of the Umbrella Academy (apparently) without powers, a trait that didn’t help her in adapting in such a harsh environment such as The Monocle‘s house. Unlike the comics, though, she seems to have a much bigger role in the show, and apparently her story is going to develop in a different direction. Waiting to see what will come of her, let’s take a look at the original one.

The girl who would have become Vanya Hargreeves was one of the forty-three babies born at the same moment, all around the world, from women who weren’t pregnant before giving birth to them. She was also one of the very few ones that Sir Reginald Hargreeves, an eccentric but brilliant inventor, found and adopted. Hargreeves was sure that the kids would have developed extraordinary abilities growing up, and he had collected them with the precise intention of training them to save the world, in a not so distant future. His first prediction proved to be right, as all the babies developed some special powers… all but Vanya, who was branded Number Seven, the last in order of potential and usefulness. Her adoptive father never lost an occasion to remark on how “utterly useless” she was, and she was even ostracized by her super-powered siblings. Her only talent was music, but even her way to play her violin didn’t satisfied Sir Reginald, who belittled her even in that. When the Umbrella Academy made their public debut in Paris, taking care of a murderous Eiffel Tower, Number Seven stayed behind with The Monocle, aboard The Minerva, watching her siblings fighting the monument. She asked to reach them, but her father stated that there was nothing she could possibly do. Vanya’s frustration only grew with time, as The Monocle performed on her a variety of experiments to force her powers to manifest, always failing. This, summed to her constant sense of isolation, brought her near to an emotional breakdown when she was still a kid. As a teenager, though, she found some relief in a rebellious streak, and in the friendship that she created with Diego, one of her older brothers, who shared her same resentment towards their father.

Together with Diego and with a chimp friend, Body, Vanya founded the Prime8s, a punk band. She played the guitar, and she enjoyed her talent with music for the very first time in her life… but of course, Sir Reginald didn’t approve of it, and he insisted that she went to Paris to learn “true music” (classical one, of course). Vanya didn’t want to go, and it was Diego who came up with a solution: the Prime8s would have played one last gig, and with the money earned they would have escaped from The City, touring with their band. Vanya agreed, and that night she waited with Body for Diego… who never came. The band lost the gig, and it inevitably disbanded. Looking at the news, Vanya realized that Diego had preferred to join the Umbrella Academy for a mission, rather thankeeping his promise to her: he had made his choice, and she couldn’t do anything else but leave, directed anywhere but there. In the following years, she kept practicing with her violin, but she reached true fame with her autobiographical book: Extra-Ordinary: My Life as Number Seven, a tell-all book that exposed all the dark secrets of The Monocle and the Umbrella Academy, and that contributed to the disbandment of the team. This wouldn’t have been the gravest damage she inflicted on her adoptive family: the day Sir Reginald died, she was contacted a mysterious man interested in making her join his orchestra. Once she went to the Icarus Theatre for the audition, she found out the man was the supervillain The Conductor, who wanted her as the first violin in his death-worshiping Orchestra Verdammten. Not only that, The Conductor revealed a secret to her: she was actually the most powerful member of the Umbrella Academy, and all the experiments The Monocle had performed on her weren’t meant to develop her powers, but to suppress them, as even Hargreeves feared her. The Conductor used his machines to truly unleash her potential, transforming Vanya into the White Violin: as a cosmic irony, Vanya realized she was the end of the world his siblings had been trained to stop since their childhood…

Vanya Hargreeves is a young woman who’s been psychologically abused for all her life: belittled, humiliated and verbally assaulted by her adoptive father every day during her childhood and adolescence, it’s only normal she developed a resentful and bitter personality, as well as a crippling depression. As the White Violin, she’s able to manipulate the music she creates with her violin into extremely powerful sound waves, whose effects can vary depending on the intensity: she used them to slit Number Three‘s throat, to blow Pogo‘s head up, and even to bring meteorites, satellites and a chunk of the Moon on The City. Just as powerful as she is damaged, the White Violin spent her life believing that she was a worthless and useless nobody: now that she found out she’s the harbinger of the apocalypse, she can’t wait to show the world what she’s really capable of.

#00.05/The Boy

Almost at the end of the main characters from The Umbrella Academy we find Number Five, the only young boy we see in the trailer… and one who’s not as young as he looks, actually. The only one not to be named among his siblings, mostly referred to simply as The Boy, he’s the one who sets everything in motion by visiting an apocalyptic future and coming back to the past to warn his brothers and sisters and try and prevent it from ever happening. Portrayed by Aidan Gallagher, Number Five has by far the most complex biography, considering that it includes a number of time travels and paradoxes. We’re going to see everything together as usual, but be warned of mild spoilers ahead.

Number Five was born the same moment as forty-two other kids all around the world, all having in common a mother who didn’t show signs of pregnancy prior to their birth. Along with his twin brother, who would have become Number One, Number Five was legally adopted by Sir Reginald Hargreeves, a world-famous scientist who believed that these special kids held the key to saving the world from an impending (but never specified) apocalypse. Along with two sisters and four brothers, Number Five was trained by Sir Reginald since his infancy to be the superhero the world needed, and he was assigned his number when his super powers first manifested: he was able to travel in time to the future, but this skill didn’t impress Hargreeves the least, quite the opposite, it barely annoyed him. As Sir Reginald didn’t even spend much time training Number Five, he explored his abilities mostly on his own, and the only things The Monocle (as Hargreeves wanted to be called) ever said to him were that it was impossible to travel to the past, and that he should have never jumped to far away in the future, else he would have been lost. Predictably, Number Five disobeyed, and he jumped twenty years in the future… finding nothing at all. The world as he knew it was over, and all that was around him was a deserted wasteland, fiery debris and destruction everywhere. For some time he enjoyed being the only living human in the world, and he used this apocalyptic future as a luna park, where he could do anything he liked without anyone telling him not to… but then he grew lonely, and he tried to come back to his time. Only, he couldn’t.

Number Five spent fifty years in complete isolation, studying every book he could find and becoming an expert of theoretical physics just to find a way to go back in time. Feeling terribly lonely, he eventually “married” a mannequin, and ironically “she” was the one that, during a hallucination, revealed the solution to the equation the elder Number Five was trying to solve. As he was going back to his time, though, Number Five got captured by the Temps Aeternalis, a time enforcement group that prevented paradoxes and operated on the entire timeline, “fixing” it to avoid catastrophes. Under the supervision of Carmichael, a sentient goldfish in a robotic body, Number Five was experimented on and transformed into the organization’s top assassin: his DNA was merged with that of history’s greatest killers and murderers, his body was engineered, and he was even taught to perform “micro jumps” in time to mimic super speed. Number Five spent years working for Temps Aeternalis, raising his efficiency to an impressive 100% kill rate… until he realized what kind of monster he had become, seeing that he had been directly or indirectly responsible for all the major assassinations of the XX Century (and not only those). During a crucial assignment, sent to kill President John Fitzgerald Kennedy in Dallas in 1963, Number Five rebelled to Temps Aeternalis, killed the other agents and escaped, saving Kennedy’s life and hiding his traces in time. He aimed to come back to the day he had disappeared in the first place, but he miscalculated, and he arrived just three days prior to the coming of the apocalypse he had seen the results of in the future, the day after Sir Reginald Hargreeves died. Because of a time paradox, he was also trapped into his ten-years old body, with the appearance he had before vanishing in time. He went to the manor outside The City, and met his old friend Dr. Pogo, the chimp who had raised him and the others. He explained the situation of emergency, and Pogo agreed to call back all the other members of the now disbanded Umbrella Academy, with the pretext of their (loathed) adoptive father’s death. Temps Aeternalis was still on Number Five’s trails, but maybe he would have least been able to prevent the end of the world from happening.

Number Five used to be a pesky and curious kid, enthusiastic about everything and always willing to play and have fun, but now, as a sixty years old man trapped in a ten years old body, he’s much colder and thoughtful, often cynical, made harsher and even brutal by all the experiences he went through. As The Boy, he can travel through time both to the future and the past, albeit the latter requires a great effort, and in combat he performs micro-jumps in the future that make it look like he’s moving at super-speed; his body is stronger, more durable and faster than a regular human being’s, he doesn’t get tired and his senses and accuracy are engineered to reach perfection; he’s a master in several martial arts and in the use of different weapons, and he’s deadly whether he’s armed or unarmed. Despite his juvenile looks, Number Five is an infallible killing machine, an old man who’s seen the end of the world and who killed more people than he can count. There’s almost nothing, now, that can amuse a man who’s literally seen everything… or at least there wasn’t up to the point when he rejoined his unique family.

Klaus Hargreeves (#00.04/The Séance)

Moving on with the main characters from The Umbrella Academy we find Number Four, who’ll be portrayed by Robert Sheehan. True name Klaus Hargreeves, but better known as The Séance (French word for “session”, in this case a session of spiritism), he’s most definitely the most undisciplined and problematic member of the team, as well as one of the most powerful. He’s described as a psychic with the ability of telekinesis and of communicating with the dead, but as time goes on in the comics his abilities tend to grow quite a lot. Let’s take a look.

Klaus Hargreeves was born the same moment as forty-two other babies all around the world, all having in common a mother who was not pregnant before delivering. He was identified and found by Sir Reginald Hargreeves, a known scientist and entrepreneur, who legally adopted him and gave him his name… as well as a number, depending on how much he trusted the special powers the boy developed as he grew up. Branded Number Four more because of his morbid and fragile character than for the extent of his abilities, Klaus spent more time with the dead than with the living, as his psychic powers allowed him to communicate with the afterlife. Sir Reginald, who wanted to be called The Monocle, believed that the boy’s attitude prevented him to develop his full potential, so he experimented quite a lot on the kid, pushing his abilities to the limit and putting an enormous pressure on both his mind and body. When, ten years after the adoption, the Umbrella Academy made its public debut, Number Four was ready as all the others to fight a rogue Eiffel Tower, and he gave quite a contribution by speaking with a deceased engineer and getting advises on how to stop the murderous monument (that turned out to be a disguised spaceship, maneuvered by a cybernetic and undead Gustave Eiffel). Despite the loss of the tower, lost in space, the mission was a success, and Number Four enjoyed an ice cream as a reward along with his siblings. The following years were quite hard for Klaus, however: The Monocle didn’t stop with his experiments, and he pushed him so much that he eventually broke the boy’s psyche. He became harsher than he used to be, and somewhat crueler, but mostly sadder, in love with death and more and more out of place in the land of the living. It was no surprise when he joined the goth movement as a teenager, and it was even less when he started abusing drugs during the same time period.

The death of Number Six marked the end of the Umbrella Academy, that disbanded after a disastrous mission aimed to avert an end of the world that wasn’t coming in the first place. This was an occasion for everybody to look for a normal, better life… for everyone but for Klaus. His addiction to drugs and alcohol had reached worrying levels, and his sanity was breaking down at a rapid rate. While his siblings tried to adapt to the regular world (and failed, mostly), he was locked in Shinyview, a psychiatric hospital. His condition didn’t improve a lot, actually, mainly because he kept talking with the spirits he met at the asylum, and there wasn’t much a dead madman could do to help someone else get better. He got out only years after, when he was reached by the news that Sir Reginald Hargreeves had died. He thanked everybody and signed out, reaching the old mansion in the outskirts of The City, where his siblings (minus Number Seven) were gathered to pay a last homage to The Monocle. Much to his surprise, also the long-lost Number Five was there, as he had just come back from the future he had been trapped in for decades. The Monocle’s funeral wasn’t something memorable, as nobody there truly loved the old man… and for The Séance in particular being dead wasn’t much different from being alive, as he could speak with both without difficulty. What Number Five said, however, was more troubling, as he was sure that the world was about to end in a matter of a few days. As much as the group was skeptic, they had to change their mind, as shortly after their reunion a group of murderous Terminauts attacked a nearby amusement park. This emergency was far from being a world-ending threat, but as The Séance and the others came back home victorious, they found the mansion destroyed, and Dr. Pogo dead. The end of the world was indeed coming, and it had a much more familiar face than some random killer robots…

Klaus Hargreeves is a fragile and sensitive man, made more detached and cynical by the cruel experiments he’s been subjected to as a kid. As The Séance, he’s a powerful psychic, capable of speaking with the spirits of the dead, and also of “channeling them”, letting himself be possessed for a limited time (with Number Five’s machine, he’s also capable of doing the opposite, possessing the dead in their past lives); he’s also capable of possessing other people, and he can use telepathy to communicate with other living beings, and even telekinesis, powerful enough to stop in mid-air a chunk of the Moon; he’s been killed by Hazel once, but since neither God nor the Devil like him much, he’s been rejected by both Heaven and Hell and came back to life, and this makes him possibly immortal (this is the only power in his possession he doesn’t need to be bare-footed to use). In a family of weird superheroes, The Séance is definitely the weirdest, a damaged, alcoholic and drug-addict goth who has even more problems than his siblings to adapt to a “normal” world… and this says quite a lot.

Allison Hargreeves (#00.03/The Rumor)

As you have guessed already, the next character from The Umbrella Academy is obviously Number Three, the beautiful woman portrayed by Emmy Raver-Lampman. Her ability is possibly the potentially more powerful around, even if The Monocle isn’t of the same advice, as she can manipulate reality itself, simply by lying about it. It remains to be seen how this will factor in the series, that seems to have taken some liberties from the original story, but it’ll be most certainly fun. Now, let’s take a look at this other member of the most dysfunctional superhero family around.

The child who would have been named Allison Hargreeves was one of the forty-three children inexplicably born from women who were not pregnant prior to giving birth. Recognized as gifted with special abilities, she was adopted by world-famous scientist Sir Reginald Hargreeves along with other six special babies. Sir Reginald’s move wasn’t exactly a philanthropic one, as he aimed to build a team of young superheroes, the Umbrella Academy, that he presented to the world ten years later, when his adopted children were just little kids. Ranked by a number that depended on the usefulness and the potential or their abilities, Allison was Number Three: her reality-bending powers were certainly amazing, but Hargreeves considered her an “insufferable narcissistic creature”, and this judgment took some points from her. During the mission in Paris that made the Umbrella Academy famous, Number Three gave a demonstration of her powers by convincing all people still around the murderous Eiffel Tower to clear the area, telling that the Musée d’Orsay was giving away all its paintings for free… immediately making it so (this would have become quite a problem later, as The Monocle had to convince all the people that the paintings they had taken had to be given back to the museum…). Because of her powers, Number Three became known as The Rumor (or Rumour), one of the most popular members of the team… and one of the most targeted. She even got kidnapped by Doctor Terminal, a matter-consuming villain who devoured her left arm while holding her hostage; the girl got saved by her older brother Number One, and she got a replacement cybernetic arm by The Monocle. From that moment, she grew closer to Number One, who developed a desperate crush for her, something that she cherished onto.

Life in the family wasn’t easy at all, even without all the superhero stuff, and Allison was among the ones who learnt it the hard way: as a teenager, the girl had a secret boyfriend, a Polynesian juggler, but she lied to her adoptive father about him. Everytime she had to meet him, she told she was going to the library, and by doing so she created a duplicate of herself that actually went there. Things got seriously weird when Allison found her own body (her duplicate’s one) in an alley, sawed in half. The Umbrella Academy as a whole investigated on the murder, and all evidence pointed at the deranged Murder Magician. They battled the criminal, and during the fight The Rumor killed The Assistant, by saying that the catwalk she was using to escape was unstable, thus making it crash and letting her fall to her death. Only at that point The Monocle appeared, revealing that he was the one who told the Murder Magician where he could find The Rumor, knowing that he would have brutally murdered the duplicate: all this to teach his rebellious daughter “a lesson”. Obviously, The Monocle didn’t give his daughters many reasons to stay: when the group disbanded following a public failure and the death of Number Six, The Rumor eloped with her boyfriend, Patrick, and they got married soon after. In the following years, Allison had a daughter, Claire, and tried her best to lead a normal life, as different as possible from the one she left behind. Something didn’t turn out as she wanted, though, and her relationship with her husband deteriorated. They got divorced, and Patrick obtained full custody of Claire. Just as she was trying to put her life back together, Allison was reached by the news that Sir Reginald was dead: she came back to the old mansion she had grown up with her siblings, and she met all of them around her father’s grave. The old tensions immediately came up, as Number Two plainly despised her for trying a normal life, while Number One was evidently still in love with her, albeit with his new ape body he didn’t even dare to come near her. Soon, however, the family would have had to face a much more serious problem than old rivalries and childhood memories: the end of the world.

Allison Hargreeves used to be a vain and self-loving girl, but she grew up into a damaged woman who’s desperately trying to find her own dimension and her place in the world (and in her family). As The Rumor, she possesses the unique ability to manipulate reality by lying about it: as she says “I heard a rumor that…”, whatever she says becomes true, with no apparent limits to what she can achieve (she even went as far as making President Kennedy‘s head explode with her words); she used to have a cybernetic arm, but it’s been replaced by a new, organic one by the Temps Aeternalis. One the most powerful members of the Umbrella Academy, The Rumor is also one of the most fragile, but the strength that she’s fighting to find within herself is like a flame under ashes, ready to become a raging fire.