22 biggest differences between The Umbrella Academy TV show and the comics

15 August 2020, 18:38

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Katie Louise Smith

By Katie Louise Smith

Hate to break it to you but... Diego and Vanya kind of have a thing in the comics.

We don't know about you but one of the most exciting things about The Umbrella Academy is reading the comics and trying to guess what storylines and characters will end up in the TV show.

Fans will already know that the Netflix series only uses the comics as a guideline. Season 1 saw the show mix storylines from Apocalypse Suite and Dallas (Vol. 1 and 2 of the comics), while season 2 borrowed parts of the narrative from Dallas, as well as a slightly altered version of the Hotel Oblivion (Vol 3) ending.

READ MORE: Klaus' storyline in The Umbrella Academy comics has a plot twist that isn't in the show

But if you're curious as to just how much the show differs from, or is similar to, its source material, then it's your lucky day because we've done some of the work for ya.

Here are some of the biggest differences between Gerard Way's original comic book series and the Netflix TV show...

WARNING: Spoilers ahead for both The Umbrella Academy series and comic books. Read ahead at your own risk!

Umbrella Academy: TV show vs. comics differences
Umbrella Academy: TV show vs. comics differences. Picture: Netflix

1) The Hargreeves siblings' powers are slightly different in the comics.

As well as precision knife throwing, Diego has the ability to hold his breath underwater indefinitely. Klaus can also levitate and communicate via airwaves. Allison's powers go even further in the comics by warping reality. Vanya's powers in the show, however, are more powerful. She's able to use any sound wave while comic Vanya uses her violin.

A lot of the reasoning behind this is due to the fact that the show creators wanted the siblings to feel more "human".

2) Luther's body origin story is much wilder in the comics.

On the show, Luther's size is due to Sir Reginald Hargreeves injecting him with ape serum. In the comics, his head gets attached to the body of a Martian gorilla, which gives him the physical abilities of one.

3) Comic Allison has purple hair and loses an arm as a child.

In the comics, Allison only has one arm but is usually seen on the page with two. It's yet to be revealed where her second arm came from.

4) Comic Diego only has one eye.

In the comics, Diego is missing his right eye and it's never really explained. In the show, Diego has a scar on the side of his head, but obviously, no missing eye.

5) Klaus and Vanya are not LGBTQ+ characters in the comics.

Robert Sheehan explained to Digital Spy that "[Klaus] wasn’t even gay when we began. Or he didn’t have gay tendencies when we began. But that sort of developed as we developed the character."

Show-runner Steve Blackman gave Vanya a completely original story in season 2. Speaking to CinemaBlend, he said: "We really wanted to tell an interesting love story between Vanya and Sissy, and what it would be like to be gay or queer in 1963 and how much risk there was."

6) In the comics, Diego has a thing for Vanya.

Yep, Allison and Luther aren't the only ones. Thankfully, this relationship didn't spill over into the Netflix show.

7) Ben isn't as big of a character in the comics as he is in the show.

Instead of being linked to Klaus as a ghost, Ben appears as his own statue as well as other images of himself. The Ben and Klaus double-act doesn't exist the comics either. A travesty!

Ben and Klaus' friendship isn't as prominent in the Umbrella Academy comics
Ben and Klaus' friendship isn't as prominent in the Umbrella Academy comics. Picture: Netflix

8) Hazel and Cha-Cha aren't even in the first volume of the comics.

While the two assassins feature heavily in the first season, much of that storyline is borrowed from Volume 2 of the comics. And instead of being killed in the apocalypse, they're killed by Klaus.

9) The Vietnam storyline in season 1 is completely different in the comics.

For a start, it's not just Klaus that ends up in Vietnam... Diego and Luther also travel back in time with him and end up getting stuck there. This also another storyline that is borrowed from Dallas for season 1 of the show.

They end up in 1960's Vietnam after attempting to travel to 1963’s Dallas to stop Five and Allison from killing JFK. Diego becomes a sergeant in the army and Luther ends up fighting too. Klaus ends up owning a nightclub.

10) Dave doesn't even exist.

As previously mentioned, Klaus' sexuality isn't as fluid in the comics as it is in the show. Dave, the guy that Klaus meets in Vietnam and later falls in love with, is not a character in the comics and was purely a show invention.

11) Klaus has a baby.

While in Vietnam, Comic Klaus can be seen carrying around a baby. When Luther asks if it's his baby, he says yes.

12) In the comics, Klaus never starts a cult either.

Yep, Klaus' trip back to the sixties in the comics doesn't end up with him scamming a whole group of people and quoting '90s song lyrics to them.

13) Baby Pogo is in the comics, but not quite in the same way.

In Dallas, a young Pogo can be seen helping Klaus build a Televator in Vietnam. In the show, it's revealed that Pogo is brought to Hargreeves in the 1960s as a baby, and is trained and then sent up to space before returning after a failed mission.

A younger version of Pogo exists in the comics – and he helps Klaus
A younger version of Pogo exists in the comics – and he helps Klaus. Picture: Netflix

14) Five shoots Vanya in the head at the end of Apocalypse Suite.

In the finale of Volume 1, which kind of mirrors the season 1 finale, Five stops Vanya and her powers from causing catastrophic damage by pulling the trigger. We see Allison attempt to do it in the show, only to shoot close to her ear instead.

15) In the comics, Vanya ends up paralysed.

Most of Dallas sees Vanya trying to recover from being shot. While she’s not paralysed in the show, her amnesia is a storyline that’s carried over from the comics.

16) Vanya's powers are not coaxed out by Leonard, but by a character called The Conductor.

A human version of The Conductor is featured in the show, but it's Leonard who pushes Vanya realise her true powers. Leonard is a character created specifically for the show. In the comics, Vanya is persuaded to join an orchestra by The Conductor, wants to destroy the world.

17) Allison is the one who kills JFK in the comics.

Uhhh, yeah! In the Dallas comic, Allison ends up getting dragged into to a blackmail scheme by Temps Aeternalis (The Commission) who threaten to kill Five’s birth mother. They give her her powers back, and she ends up rumouring him to death. In the show, the Majestic 12 are the ones who plot JFK's assassination.

18) Five and Luther are actually twins.

It's revealed in Dallas that Five and Luther were born to the same mother on October 1st 1989. It's not been addressed in the TV show just yet but... you never know.

Five and Luther are twins in The Umbrella Academy comics
Five and Luther are twins in The Umbrella Academy comics. Picture: Netflix

19) The Sparrow Academy aren’t introduced as school kids.

The Sparrow Academy pop up right at the end of Hotel Oblivion (Vol. 3) as grown superheroes, unlike in the show where they're shown to be the new teenage academy members.

20) The Swedes don't exist in the comics.

The Swedes are purely a show invention and were introduced as an on-screen replacement for Hazel and Cha-Cha in season 2.

21) Neither do Lila, Sissy and Raymond.

Lila is also another show invention. And instead of following Allison and Vanya's comic storylines, the writers gave them more meaningful arcs.

Speaking to CinemaBlend, Steve Blackman said: "It was very important to me, if we were going to tell a story in 1963 Dallas, that we didn't shy away from the real issues of the day. Even though we're a fantasy world, with the racial issues, we didn't want to ignore them or glaze over them, or the issue about what it meant to be gay or queer in 1963. So we did an incredible amount of research on both, and we really wanted to ground it in a real way that felt emotional and could be understood as relatable."

22) The Handler is not actually in the comics either.

In the comics, the head of The Commission (a.k.a. Temps Aeternalis) is Carmichael, who we meet in season 2 of the show. Carmichael is still very much a man with a fish as a head in the comics, and not a sassy, flawlessly dressed Queen who looks like Kate Walsh.

Kate Walsh as The Handler in The Umbrella Academy season 2
Kate Walsh as The Handler in The Umbrella Academy season 2. Picture: Netflix