WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for The Umbrella Academy Season 1, streaming now on Netflix.
As with any comic book adaptation, Netflix's The Umbrella Academy, while it's been condensed for TV, holds Easter eggs, nods and references to the Dark Horse Comics it was influenced by. We've seen this time and time again on both the big and small screens for materials tied to Marvel, DC and comics in general.
And as expected, Steve Blackman's 10-episode take on the story from Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba isn't any different. With that in mind, here's a look at some of the subtle ones that may have slipped by even those diehard fans of the source material.
THE EIFFEL TOWER
In Episode 1, "We Only See Each Other at Weddings and Funerals," Allison finds Klaus rummaging through his dead dad's (Sir Reginald Hargreeves) desk for things he can sell to buy drugs. On the mantle behind the desk we see a framed newspaper clipping. It mentions a disaster the team averted at the Eiffel Tower. It comes up again in Episode 8, "I Heard A Rumor," where Allison's daughter Claire asks for a bedtime story on this adventure.
While we never find out what happened in the incident, both are references to the comic's first issue in The Apocalypse Suite titled "The Day The Eiffel Tower Went Beserk," where we see a young Umbrella Academy stopping an attack in Paris, only to discover the Eiffel Tower is a spaceship, with Gustave Eiffel himself being nothing more than a terrorist.
DR. TERMINAL STRIKES
When we dive into the past of the villain who was spurned by Reginald as a kid, Harold, we see he was a fanboy of the Academy who grew bitter towards them. These flashbacks to Harold's tragic childhood has him referencing the evil Dr. Terminal, who he believes is the cause of all evil, and it's why he wants to fight for justice with the Academy.
It doesn't turn out that way, with a vengeful Harold ending up corrupting Vanya and turning her into the White Violin. It's notable that he actually becomes Dr. Terminal here in the process, because Dr. Terminal was actually the big villain in The Apocalypse Suite, and the one who indirectly causes Vanya to become the White Violin, which led to her trying to destroy her siblings.
GERARD HAS HIS WAY
This is a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment in Episode 1, where Vanya picks up a copy of the book she wrote that details the tormented life she endured growing up in a superhero family that considered her an outsider. As she glosses over it, she wonders aloud to her simian caretaker, Pogo, if Reginald ever bothered to even open it.
He didn't, but if you freeze the frame and check out the blurb praising the book at the back, the comic's writer Gerard Way did. It's a totally meta moment, as Way, who served as an executive producer, is apparently a critic in the series' fictional universe who gives the author a glowing review: "An incredible read… A revealing look into the amazing life of Vanya Hargreeves and the life she has lived. I couldn't put it down!"