The Umbrella Academy isn’t just the weirdest superhero show on Netflix, it’s the weirdest superhero show ever. There are time-traveling assassins, varying degrees of monkey men, and legit ghosts strewn throughout the show - and all of it’s set to one of the best soundtracks. The series is an adaptation of the comic book written by Gerard Way from My Chemical Romance, and as you might imagine, there are a few changes in this adaptation.
Some of the differences between Umbrella Academy and the comic are major. A few characters have different powers and backstories, and there are a couple of characters who are especially made just for the series. Rather than taking the comic and ripping things out wholesale, the Netflix version of Umbrella Academy is essentially digging deeper into the comics. This makes for a complicated series that focuses more on the aspects of family and the loss of a parent than it does the way out wacky world that readers find in the graphic novels.
One of the coolest aspects of the series is the way Klaus uses his powers to speak directly to Ben, otherwise known as the Horror. In both the comics and the Netflix series, it’s unclear how Ben met his end - but the one thing that’s for sure is Klaus doesn’t hang out with his ghost brother on a constant basis.
This change is super cool, and it adds a fun aspect to the series while allowing the audience to get a more nuanced look at the relationship between these two characters. Hopefully we get to see more of what Ben can do is Season 2.
In both the comics and the series, the Hargreeves family are chaperoned by Grace Hargreeves, a robot parent figure who goes by “Mom.” In the comics, Mom is a kind of collection of human parts run by a robot brain - but that’s not even a great description. She’s kind of a Frankenstein’s Monster, but with more obvious joints.
Her Netflix counterpart is more fleshed out, no pun intended. If you saw the character on the street you wouldn’t even know she was a robot. This change may seem minor, but it’s an interesting take on a side character.
The season finale of Umbrella Academy takes the finale from The Apocalypse Suite and turns it on its head, adding a little more heart and setting up what’s sure to be an absolutely bonkers Season 2. In the comics, Allison meets her end in the theater while Klaus distracts Vanya and Number 5 shoots her in the head, giving her permanent brain damage.
On top of that, shards from the moon fall towards Earth and Klaus is able to stop them with his mind. In the Netflix series, Allison shoots a gun next to Vanya’s head and she goes deaf. The shards falling from the moon hit the Earth and jumpstart the apocalypse, and the entire team travels back in time to stop the end of the world as teenagers.
There’s a lot of weirdness in The Umbrella Academy, but one of the strangest characters is that of Luther - the member of the team who has the body of an ape. On the show he’s injected with a super serum to save him after a solo mission goes wrong. However, that’s not how things shake out in the comics.
In the comic, Luther goes on a mission to Mars and everything goes wrong. In order to save Luther’s life Hargreeves transplants the muscle man’s head onto that of a live gorilla, giving him the body of a giant ape and not just a body that’s similar to that of an ape.