WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for The Umbrella Academy Season 1, streaming now on Netflix.
Netflix's The Umbrella Academy makes quite a few changes from the source material, the acclaimed Dark Horse comic series by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba, in its depiction of a dysfunctional family of superheroes reunited by the death of their father, and by the impending apocalypse. The Season 1 finale, in particular, features a major departure, as the Hargreeves children fail to avert the end of the world, and instead escape at the last second back through time, in hopes of getting another chance.
It's a bittersweet cliffhanger that opens the doors to plenty of developments in Season 2 that don't necessarily borrow from the comic books. But while there are plenty of possibilities for where the story can go, there are some developments we definitely want to see:
Ben Hargreeves' Past
Although the late Ben Hargreeves, aka Number Six, is only glimpsed in flashbacks in 2007's The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite and its 2008 sequel Dallas, on the Netflix adaptation, he remains part of the action -- at least in spirit form. Played by Justin H. Min, he haunts his brother Klaus (Robert Sheehan), years after his mysterious death, serving as his conscious and sounding board. Although we see Ben in action as a child in Season 1, we still don't know how he died.
Ben proves invaluable later in the season, first by saving his brother Luther (Tom Hopper) and then, when summoned by Klaus, helping to fend off swarming temporal assassins. He's more than just another Hargreeves family secret on the Netflix series, so it's important that viewers learn about the circumstances surrounding Ben's demise, and which sibling (if any) truly is responsible.
The 'Woke' Academy
Throughout the first season, we're granted looks into the childhood of the Umbrella Academy, as they were treated as little more than laboratory experiments by their adoptive father, Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore), who couldn't even be bothered to give them names. Instead, they were assigned numbers, and honed as weapons. What little affection they received was from their robotic caretaker, Mom.
Although estranged as adults, by the end of the season the Hargreeves children have more or less come to terms with each other, and with the shared traumas of their youth. (Some better than others, of course, as Vanya manifests her powers in a murderous, world-destroying rage.) As they escape through time in the final moments, the members of the Umbrella Academy revert to their 12-year-old forms. It would be great to see them making up for their shortchanged adolescence by being aware enough to repeat the mistakes of their past -- or their future.
Meeting Daddy Dearest
If they're going to the past in hopes of "curing" Vanya (Ellen Page), and thereby saving the world, it's only fitting they meet up with Sir Reginald for some moments of reckoning.
Let's be real, an episode that's effectively an hour-long therapy session would make for great television, with the Hargreeves siblings unloading on their adoptive father for years of neglect and abuse. After all, their problems as adults stem from their formative years.
The Return of the Handler
We need more of Kate Walsh's The Handler, whose bubbly disposition and quirky attire belies a darkness beneath surface, which is why the Commission -- essentially, the time police -- for which she works has placed her in charge of all corrections to the timeline.
Considering she survived the explosion of a hand grenade, we have to wonder whether The Handler can be killed, which makes it likely the Umbrella Academy will run afoul of her in the past as they attempt to avert the apocalypse that she's tasked with assuring.
Throughout the season, Klaus veers between trying desperately to get high to dull with powers and struggling to stay sober so he can communicate with the afterlife. He manages to connect with the spirit of Sir Reginald, and even God herself, but it's when he summons Ben and the eldritch monsters that come with him in the finale that it's obvious Klaus has only scratched the surface of his abilities.
Reginald's ghost did say that Klaus possesses the most potential out of the group, so it would be amazing to see Klaus unlock all of his strengths, and conjure armies of ghosts as he does in the comics and -- and even manifest impressive telekinetic abilities.
Arriving Friday on Netflix, The Umbrella Academy Season 1 stars Ellen Page, Mary J. Blige, Tom Hopper, Cameron Britton, Robert Sheehan, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Adam Godley, Aidan Gallagher, David Castañeda, John Magaro, Ashley Madekwe and Colm Feore.