The Umbrella Academy: How is Klaus Different in the TV Series Versus the Graphic Novels?

As with any adaptation from book to screen, there are going to be some differences. The Umbrella Academy is not different. While the show sticks pretty close to the story in Gabriel Ba’s and Gerard Way’s graphic novels, there are a few changes. 

Klaus Hargreeves, everyone’s favorite disaster, is a little different in the Netflix series. Let’s take a closer look at the character played by Robert Sheehan.

Robert Sheehan as Klaus Hargreeves leaning over the edge of a dumpster with a flask in his hand in a scene from 'The Umbrella Academy' Season 1.
Klaus Hargreeves | Netflix

Klaus’ powers are different in ‘The Umbrella Academy’ graphic novels

The biggest difference fans of the show might notice is that Klaus has a few more powers in The Umbrella Academy comics. In the TV series, Klaus can talk to the dead. After the Hargreeves siblings’ adoptive father dies, they ask Klaus to communicate with him to see how. Klaus refuses, but his backstory reveals why.

As a kid, Klaus was afraid of all the dead people he would see who tried to talk to him and his father wanted to make him overcome his fear by locking him in a mausoleum. When he got older, Klaus realized that when he was high or drunk, the dead couldn’t communicate with him, which is why he’s an addict when we meet him in The Umbrella Academy Season 1.

In the comics, Klaus can levitate, use airwaves to communicate, and is telekinetic. This is all on top of the fact that he can talk with the dead. However, the show has implied that viewers have only seen a little bit of what he can do. This means we could see more of his powers come around in upcoming seasons.

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Klaus is barefoot most of the time in the comics

This seems like a little thing, but comics-Klaus is almost always barefoot. Seems like it would be a little tough on the feet, but Klaus usually just levitates wherever he needs to go, so his feet rarely touch the ground. His powers don’t work when he’s wearing shoes, so he spends most of his time without wearing them. 

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He has a nickname in the graphic novels not used in the series

All of The Umbrella Academy members have nicknames in the graphic novels, but these aren’t really used in the series. Luther (Tom Hopper) is called “Spaceboy,” Diego (David Castañeda) goes by “The Kraken,” Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman) is “The Rumor,” Klaus is called “Séance.” Ben is “The Horror,” and Vanya is “The White Violin.” Reginald (Colm Feore) never gave the children names and only called them by their numbers. Five never got a nickname, but he’s referred to as “The Boy” because he’s stuck in a 13-year-old boy’s body. 

Séance is a reference to Klaus’ power of being able to speak to the dead. He also has the words “Hello” and “Goodbye” tattooed on his palms, just like you would see on a ouija board. The tattoos were kept in the show, but we never hear him called Séance for whatever reason. The only reference to the nicknames from the comics we get is when Allison’s daughter joyfully calls her Uncle Luther “Spaceboy.”

The Umbrella Academy recently finished filming the third season of the show. No specific release date is set yet, but fans hope to see more of the Hargreeves in 2022.