The 3 ‘Umbrella Academy’ Characters With the Coolest Powers

Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy – the superhero original based on Gerard Way’s Dark Horse comics – takes an absurdist approach to the hero’s journey. Presenting viewers with a disbanded group of siblings, previously all adopted by the same billionaire industrialist, the series follows the Hargreeves siblings as they attempt to prevent an impending apocalypse…after their father mysteriously dies.

'The Umbrella Academy' Cast
‘The Umbrella Academy’ Cast | Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Netflix

With action sequences choreographed to the tune of “Don’t Stop Me Now” and elaborate dance scenes carried out to “I Think We’re Alone Now,” the show eschews familiar superhero tropes, in favor of something darkly comedic, family-focused (but not necessarily family friendly), and still successfully thriving within the fantasy realm.

While several characters in the show boast rather impressive gifts, this list will attempt to narrow down the field, choosing the three Hargreeves children with the “coolest” powers. Cool – for the sake of this article – will imply unique, effective, and well-employed with regards to the show’s narrative. Meaning, while the potency of the power will be considered, it is not the most important factor at play.

*spoilers ahead*

3) Allison Hargreeves AKA Rumor (Emmy Raver-Lampman)

Allison Hargreeves, just by opening her mouth, retains the ability to bend the world at her will. This power, unlike super strength or super speed, is different from the gamut of superhuman abilities that viewers have grown accustomed to. Thus, when it comes to the ingenuity factor, Allison Hargreeves gains a few points here.

Allison Hargreeves’ power is also the result of her downfall; using it to manipulate her daughter, she has since lost custody. She has been forced to reevaluate her life, as well as all the times she used her power for personal gain. Thus, her ability is the source of her internal conflict and character development.

Allison’s power is also a contributing factor in Vayna’s delusion, as she was ordered to make Vanya believe she was ordinary when they were just children. From the power’s uniqueness to its vital role in the formation of Allison’s character and the narrative structure, Allison wins a spot on the list for “coolest” power. However, the power – effective when she can speak – disappears when her vocal cords are damaged, which is why she’s not higher up on this list (as her gift can be quickly taken from her).

2) Number Five (Aidan Gallagher)

In terms of importance to the story’s narrative, without Number Five, the story would not exist. There would be no one to come back and warn the other Hargreeves siblings. So, on a scale of 1-10 for this factor, Number Five earns a whopping ten.

Number Five is not higher up on this list because his power – traveling through space and time – is not all that unique. The Flash even proved an ability to travel through time at one point in the DC comic books. While Number Five disappears and reappears in a cinematically pleasing manner (in terms of visual aesthetics), his power is still a bit overdone.

While a bit cliche, Number Five wields his power very successfully throughout the season, which cannot be said for everyone (yes, we’re looking at you Klaus Hargreeves), which is why, between narrative importance and effective usage, he earns the number two spot.

1) Vanya Hargreeves AKA The White Violin (Ellen Page)

Vanya Hargreeves manipulates the energy around her with her emotions. When playing the violin at the end of season one, the sounds vibrate through the air causing massive destruction. Gerard Way clearly saved the most exciting power for his dark horse (no pun intended). It’s also extremely potent, which as mentioned above, does matter, but would be less vital if she was merely super strong.

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dare you to tell her she's ordinary.

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Vanya also suppresses her powers by taking pills she believes to be for her anxiety. So, when all these pieces come together for the viewer, and the character alike, it becomes evident that her powers were seamlessly interwoven with her season one narrative arc.

Vanya coming into her own causes the apocalypse. Her powers are unique and, without her, there would be no world to save. She is also extremely powerful. What more can you ask for?