The Umbrella Academy is a hit Netflix series about a family of superheroes attempting to stop an impending apocalypse, yet are somehow making things worse. The show has great writing, character development, and plot throughout its first two seasons, and it is looking to get more interesting in season 3.
What some people might not realize about the series is that it is based on a comic book by the same name, written by Gerard Way and illustrated by Gabriel Bá. The plot of the show and the comic are loosely related, with there being a lot of notable differences in some of the characteristics of The Umbrella Academy comic characters and how they look.
When it comes to The Umbrella Academy comic characters and their Netflix counterparts, The Handler does not exist in the books. She is an original character in the Netflix series, The Handler is Kate Walsh. She dressed in stylish clothes, but is as ruthless as they come when she deals with her charges. She is almost like the show’s version of Cruela De Vil.
However, in the comics, The Handler does not exist and only her superior, Carmichael is there to run the show. He is the goldfish who lives in a bowl on a body, delivering his own specific orders and demands. Carmichael is in the comics, and fans might be interested in knowing that he looks almost the exact same in both, all the way to the little bowler hat on his head.
Someone who played an extremely important role in a small amount of screen time was Grace – the mother to the Hargreeves kids. In the flashback scenes, she was based on a real woman that Reginald fell in love with. However, in the present day, she was a robot, created to serve as the mother.
She looked like a real woman in the show, and that made her reveal as a robot all the more surprising when it happened. However, in the comics, she looked like a robot, with plastic skin and a look inside at her “organs” giving her a very mannequin-like appearance. Not only did she look more human on Netflix, but she had a much bigger role in the story.
This intelligent chimpanzee is the assistant to Reginald Hargreeves. He often functions as an advisor for the Hargreeves children but suffers an untimely death to Vanya after she goes mad with power.
Pogo’s appearance in the Netflix show is pretty much the same as his Umbrella Academy comic character counterpart. Both are chimpanzees who wear glasses and suits.
Hazel and Cha-Cha primarily appear in season one where they are assassins for The Commission hired to ensure that the apocalypse happens. Both start off as sadistic killers, but Hazel defects from the agency to start a new life, while Cha-Cha continues to be a ruthless killer until her death.
Both comic Hazel and Cha-Cha are very similar to their Netflix counterparts. The big difference with The Umbrella Academy comic characters is that Hazel and Cha-Cha keep their bear and dog masks on in the comics, while the show depicts them taking them off during leisure time.
The wealthy adoptive father of The Umbrella Academy children is not often present in the series as he is dead at the start of the show. However, his presence still lingers on in the minds of his children as most of them are scarred by the abuse they suffered from him growing up.
The show’s Reginald looks fairly similar to his Umbrella Academy comic character version. Both are old men who wear monocles and suits. Some notable differences are that the comic version has brown hair, does not sport a beard, and doesn’t often wear a top hat.
Ben is one of the more interesting members of the group, as he is dead at the start of the show with the only way he can interact with the living is through talking to Klaus. He has the power to release eldritch tentacles from his stomach.
In the comics, Ben appears as a withered pale man with void-like hole in his chest. He looks much older, and wears a superhero costume consisting of a cowl, cape, and has an emblem of an eye within a diamond on his chest. Additionally, some of the tentacles that appear from his stomach have faces. Ben also showed up in Umbrella Academy season 3 alive, and he looked the same.
Allison is one of the strongest members of The Umbrella Academy. With her power, she is capable of bending reality by uttering the words “I heard a rumor…” and then stating her desire.
While in the comics, Allison is a white woman with semi-short purple hair, the Netflix series portrays her as a Black woman with long hair of varying hairstyles. Her identity as a Black woman plays a significant part in her character arc within season 2, as she is protesting for racial equality during her time living in the 1960s. This is not depicted at all in the comics but was a great addition to the show.
Often working as a vigilante, Diego continues to fight crime even after The Umbrella Academy was disassembled. Diego has the power on Umbrella Academy to alter the trajectory of anything he throws.
In the comics, Diego is a white man with semi-long blonde hair, while in the Netflix version he is a Hispanic man with dark black hair and facial hair. The comic version of Diego is typically wearing a modest superhero costume consisting of an eye mask and a black and gray horizontally striped shirt with a cross and bones emblem on his chest.
Often a reluctant hero within The Umbrella Academy, Klaus functions as a comedic relief within the show. He has the ability to communicate with the dead but does not necessarily utilize his powers as often as some of the other characters do.
In the comics, Klaus has pale white skin, short black hair, and is scrawny, while the Klaus from the show is a white man with long curly black hair and some facial hair. The comic version of Klaus also often wears black sunglasses and a tan jacket.
Being left out of The Umbrella Academy due to believing she didn’t have powers, Vanya often feels like an outcast in her family. However, she actually has the strong power of being able to sound waves and nearly causes the apocalypse.
Initially, this Umbrella Academy comic character looks fairly similar to her Netflix version. They both were white women with black hair, with the only notable difference being that comic Vanya had short hair. However, when Vanya activates her powers in the comics her whole body becomes a pure white color including her hair and clothing. Vanya eventually transitioned into Viktor in the later seasons of Umbrella Academy.
The former leader of The Umbrella Academy has found himself in an identity crisis throughout these past two seasons. As the only family member who followed his dad’s orders, he grew cynical after realizing his father didn’t really care about him. This made him a slightly unlikable Umbrella Academy character.
Luther has some notable differences from the show’s version as an Umbrella Academy comic character. For starters, the ape DNA injected into Luther is much more apparent in his comic version with his whole body beneath his head being that of a gorilla. Additionally, he has white hair in the comics and his attire consists of an eye mask and a spacesuit. Also, at a certain point in the comics, he packs on a significant amount of weight.
Five disappeared as a child, only to return to The Umbrella Academy after Reginald Hargreeves’ funeral. He has the ability to teleport and can even travel through time. He is also the only character who actually seems to be focused on stopping the apocalypse.
The Netflix version is pretty similar to this Umbrella Academy comic character. Five is a bit paler, looks younger, and has a different hairstyle in the comics. Comic Five also occasionally sports a monocle.
Next: 10 Umbrella Academy Characters As Marvel Comics Characters