After three seasons of scrambling to save the world, The Umbrella Academy has the opportunity to reinvent itself in season 4 by giving its characters new and different powers. Based on the Dark Horse Comics of the same name, Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy season 4 is set to solve some of its biggest mysteries and give the characters another shot at mending their dysfunctional relationships. However, season 4’s setup will make the superheroes of the academy squirm a little differently than before.
The Umbrella Academy season 3 ends with another apocalypse avoided and all current members of the academy alive. In fact, there is one more Umbrella alive at the end of season 3 than was alive at the end of season 2. The catch, though, is that all of them have lost their powers. Completely ordinary, the Umbrellas can now go on to live normal lives, or, they can all be given different powers (or each other’s temporarily) and go on another world-saving adventure as the Umbrella Academy 2.0, the remix.
The members of the Umbrella Academy all have unique superpowers, and it is explained in the show as having to do with their biological mothers’ immaculate conceptions and births on the same day at the same time. Lila, who was not raised in the Academy, is also one of the 43 children born on that same day who possess powers. It may seem that spontaneous pregnancy and synchronized birth are prerequisites to having innate superpowers, but one detail in The Umbrella Academy season 2 refutes that theory. In season 2, episode 4, “The Majestic 12”, Viktor revives Harlan from drowning in a lake, and in doing so Viktor transfers his powers to young Harlan. Harlan then reappears in season 3, now an old man, and he still has the powers that Viktor gave him in his childhood, thus proving that superpowers are transferrable.
Now that the Umbrella Academy has saved the world from three separate apocalypses in three seasons, the “end-of-the-world” trope has been sufficiently exhausted, and without a new concept, The Umbrella Academy may risk overplaying the superhero narrative and boring its audience. Since the Umbrellas are now given a post-apocalypse reset and have no superpowers to differentiate them from the average human being, remixing the characters and their superpowers in season 4 would allow the show to have a fresh start, and having them figure out how to deal with their newfound powers would be in line with the chaotic tone of the show.
The Hargreeves siblings and their superpowers, in numerical order, are Luther (superstrength), Diego (weapon trajectory), Allison (mind control), Klaus (immortality and communicating with ghosts), Five (time travel and teleportation), Ben (tentacles), and Viktor (sonic manipulation). Additionally, Lila has the power of mimicry, though unlike X-men‘s Rogue, her absorption of others people’s powers does not kill them. If the Umbrellas were to take on each other’s powers, all permutations would be viable, but the most interesting one would set up season 4 to further explore the relationships and traumatic histories between the siblings.
Luther and Diego are practically polar opposites in The Umbrella Academy. Luther, with super-strength and an intimidating build, is actually a gentle giant with a sweetheart personality and a penchant for romance; Diego, on the other hand, has a slight build but an attitude tough enough to cut diamonds. What they share in common is the need for love and affection as well as the fault of impulsiveness. Having them trade powers would set up the perfect comedic pair straight out of a buddy-cop film.
Allison likes to take initiative and assume leadership, and her power of the “rumor whisper” complements her personality. She is used to being in control and having the feeling of control, and she feels the most vulnerable and scared when she cannot predict or control her circumstances. Hence, giving Allison Klaus’s powers of immortality and communicating with ghosts would amplify the flaws that made Allison a villain in season 3. Unable to control when ghosts appear to her whilst simultaneously being invincible, having Klaus’s powers would both terrify Allison and give her license to be as reckless as she wants. Klaus on the other hand, with his penchant for complete chaos and his history as a cult leader, would have a ball with Allison’s power to control minds.
As hard as it is to picture anyone else capable of mastering Viktor’s power of sonic wave manipulation, giving it to Ben would satisfy his desire to be the most powerful of all the Umbrellas and Sparrows, and like Allison with Klaus’s immortality, Ben would likely let all inhibitions loose in his search for validation. Since Viktor’s power of manipulating energy in sound waves is closely linked to emotion, giving it to Ben would force him to get in touch with his feelings and gain some personal growth. As for Five and Viktor, being two of the most rational and consistent characters in the show, adopting any other character’s powers would likely be a small inconvenience that they’ll work through for the sake of the bigger picture.
With season 3 introducing the Sparrow Academy and its 6 additional super-powered members, season 4 may do the same and introduce more of the 43 super-powered kids born on the same day. As more pieces of the puzzle fall into place, the show will hopefully answer the question of what Reginald Hargreeves’s intentions are with them. With new superpowers in the mix, the possibilities of gaining, transferring, and trading powers are endless in the upcoming season 4 of The Umbrella Academy.
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