‘The Umbrella Academy’: Biggest Differences Between the Netflix Series and the Comics

The Umbrella Academy is a Netflix series based on a series of comic books by the same name created by My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way and illustrator Gabriel Bá.

As with any work of fiction, the Netflix adaptation varies slightly from the source material. These are some of the most significant differences between The Umbrella Academy Netflix series and the comic books.  

'The Umbrella Academy'
Aidan Gallagher | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Netflix

Vanya’s transformation to the ‘White Violin’ 

Thanks to Leonard Peabody (John Magaro), Vanya (Ellen Page) discoveres she can harness the power she didn’t know she had. That ultimately ends up causing the end of the world, but hey — at least Vanya figured out she wasn’t totally useless.

In the Netflix adaptation, Vanya maintains her human form, glowing white whenever she uses her powers. 

RELATED: ‘The Umbrella Academy’: Number Five Abandoning JFK’s Assassination Could Have a Big Impact on Season 2

However, in the comic books, Vanya transforms into a milky white figure that resembles a walking, talking violin.

Showrunners did pay homage to the way Vanya appears in the comics. In a scene shortly after Vanya slices Allison’s (Allison’s Emmy Raver-Lampman) throat, she cleans herself up in a bath. Three distinct trails of blood are visible running down Vanya’s neck. As a Reddit user pointed out, this is a callback to the comic books. 

The end of the world never happens in the comic books 

At the conclusion of The Umbrella Academy Season 1, Vanya brings on the world’s end with her newly discovered powers. When the Hargreeves siblings discover they can’t stop it, Number Five (Aidan Gallagher) transports his family back in time. As fans now well know, season 2 will pick up in a 1963 Dallas where they, once again, will have to try to save the world. 

The end of the world never happened in the comic books. Instead, Klaus (Robert Sheehan) uses his telekinetic abilities to stop meteors from destroying planet Earth (via Looper).

Hazel and Cha-Cha aren’t in the comics

Some fans who haven’t read the comic books don’t realize that famed hitmen Hazel (Cameron Britton) and Cha-Cha (Mary J. Blige) aren’t even in The Apocalypse Suite storyline.

In the Netflix series, these two play a prominent role in ensuring the end the world goes as planned by the Commission. In the original comics, this dynamic duo isn’t introduced until the Dallas storyline of the narrative.

RELATED: ‘The Umbrella Academy’: Why Didn’t Anyone Ask Klaus to Communicate With Ben Hargreeves?

And since there’s no Hazel in The Apocalypse Suite version of the comics, there’s no love story between him and Agnes (Sheila McCarthy).

Vanya is a lot luckier in the Netflix version of ‘The Umbrella Academy’

Season 1 of The Umbrella Academy came to a brutal, heartwrenching end. After working together to figure out what happened to their father, the Hargreeves siblings discover that their sister is the real threat. Still, they don’t want to leave her behind or kill her, so they must again work together to ensure that can remain a unit.

In the comic books, however, Vanya had a very different experience. Unlike in the Netflix series, where Allison fires a gun next to Vanya’s ear to disrupt the use of her powers, Five shoots Vanya in the head in the comics. This leaves her paralyzed and without a memory in later issues of The Umbrella Academy comics. 

Fans are excited for the release of The Umbrella Academy Season 2 on July 31 so that they can continue to trace the similarities and differences between the series and the comics.