Following a quirky, thrilling first season, Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy is back. And this time, the dark dramedy based on the comic book by My Chemical Romance lead singer Gerard Way, is badder, bloodier, and more hilarious than ever. After barely escaping the apocalypse, Sir Reginald Hargreeves’ adopted children—Luther, Diego, Allison, Klaus, Number Five, Ben, and Vanya—have traveled back in time and are now stuck in 1963, where they’ve taken quite nicely to the decade’s grooviness. But they can’t escape their dysfunctional “family” dynamics and must use their powers to save the world once again, all while battling discrimination, facing low self-esteem, and yearning for acceptance.
Luckily, The Umbrella Academy is up to the task. To celebrate the series’ second season, which is streaming now on Netflix, we tapped seven top comic book artists from around the world to draw each character in their own unique styles. Inspired by the current season’s 1960s ambience, illustrators ranging from Khary Randolph to Bex Glendining captured the members of the Academy in all their antiheroic glory. Watch the season two trailer here, then scroll through to see new takes on Luther’s superhuman strength, Diego’s knife throwing skills, Allison’s way with words, Klaus’s telekinetic necromancy, Number Five’s teleportation abilities, and even Vanya’s sonic blasts.
Welcome back to The Umbrella Academy. Things are about to get interesting.
Luther Hargreeves AKA Number One by Khary Randolph
Boston to Brooklyn transplant Khary Randolph is an illustrator and cartoonist who's worked for DC Comics, ESPN, and 20th Century Fox, creating art for world-famous franchises like Spider-Man, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and The Boondocks. In the midst of his recent work for DC on Teen Titans, Khary took time away to reinterpret The Umbrella Academy's conflicted leader Luther Hargreeves and to describe why he finds the character so intriguing.
Khary on What He Appreciates About Luther:
“I really appreciate the fact that Luther tries his best to be a leader, even though his demeanor is kind of quiet and poised. I'd like to think that's a lot like myself.”
Khary on How Luther Might Save the World:
“Well, you definitely can't punch the apocalypse in the face. I guess the best thing he could do is use his leadership skills to build a coalition of heroes who could get it done.”
Khary on His Relating to Luther:
“His family is dysfunctional, but he loves them and would do anything for them. I relate to that.”
Diego Hargreeves AKA Number Two by Ant Piper
A Chicago native who now lives in Los Angeles, Ant Piper is a writer and illustrator at Marvel Comics, as well as an animator and designer who's drawn album covers for Cypher Clique and Rockboy K9. He also created Trill League, his own comic that now boasts a global cult following. As an Umbrella Academy aficionado, Ant chose to reinterpret Diego Hargreeves. Using his own sophisticated technique, Ant captured the series’ knife-slinging antihero in all his splendor.
Ant on What Part of Diego He Relates to Most:
“I’d have to say I relate to his snideness. Granted, his personality comes with a side of coolness and suavity that I don’t possess—but then again, I don’t have the ability to throw knives without looking.”
Ant on Why Diego Speaks to Him:
“I personally connect with his rebellious nature and the need to prove himself as a leader. Nothing against Luther, but it seems Diego is more suited to lead the team. He’s a bit of a hot-head, but that’s just the passion talking. I definitely relate to having clashed with people who are in leadership positions, when I feel my way is the better position.”
Ant on What Superpower He’d Want:
“Easy. I’d want telepathy. I don’t think there’s much you couldn’t do, or wouldn’t be able to solve, with the ability to read peoples’ minds. Of course for good though…”
Allison Hargreeves AKA Number Three by Joelle Murray
San Jose artist Joelle Murray is a rising illustrator and character designer with an affinity for Umbrella Academy's Allison Hargreeves. That's why we asked her to take a moment away from her main gig drawing for the Khan Academy Kids' app to illustrate her version of Allison in all her 1960s glory, while also giving us a couple words on why she thinks the character is so cool.
Joelle on Why She Relates to Allison:
“There are times when [Allison] seems a bit unsure of herself in regards to her powers, and how they affect her life and others around her. But then there are also moments where she is confident and just does what needs to be done, powers aside, because she knows she's right. I sometimes teeter back and forth between those states as well.”
Joelle on Her Favorite Non-Super Thing About Allison:
“Her sense of style! Allison's leather peplum coat is iconic and I would wear many of the ’60s styles she rocks in season two.”
Joelle on What Superpower She’d Want:
“I have always thought it would be cool to manipulate time. Freeze it, rewind it. I feel like I could get so much done. And I'd probably rewind a lot to avoid cringey, embarrassing moments.”
Klaus Hargreeves AKA Number Four by Ark Revner
Ark Revner (they/them) is an emerging illustrator and artist with a knack for character and environment design, storyboarding, and comics. As a fan of Umbrella Academy, Ark redesigned Klaus Hargreeves in their own distinctive style, while telling us a bit about why they relate to his personality and superpowers.
Ark on Relating to Klaus’s Personality:
“Klaus really cares about people and often shows a higher level of empathy than his siblings. I think it’s his softness that I relate to the most.”
Ark on Their Connection With Klaus:
“I connect with his perseverance despite often feeling weak or incapable. Klaus always manages to find a way or contribute despite not always believing in his ability to do so.”
Ark on What Superpower They’d Want:
“The ability to manipulate, stop, and restart the flow of time is a concept that really speaks to me. However, if I had to choose something unrelated to The Numbers’ abilities, I would probably gravitate towards being able to create any object at will or the ability to heal any wound or physical or mental illness.”
Number Five AKA Five by Sanford Greene
In addition to co-creating and illustrating the Eisner-nominated comic Bitter Root for Image Comics, Sanford Greene has drawn world-renowned art for DC Comics, Dark Horse Comics, and Marvel, where he's done covers for Luke Cage and Black Panther. He's also collaborated with Umbrella Academy creator Gerard Way, which is why we had to invite him to contribute to this project too. Sanford kindly used his talents to reimagine his version of series enigma Number Five, while also sharing his thoughts on this remarkable character.
Sanford on His Favorite Thing About Number Five:
“He’s an old man inside a teenager’s body. They are sometimes the same thing!”
Sanford on His Connection With Number Five:
“I can connect with how he always speaks and acts frankly.”
Sanford on What Superpower He’d Want:
“I’d want the power of multiplying myself so I can really get all my work done!”
Ben Hargreeves AKA Number Six by Bex Glendining
Bex Glendining (they/them) is a UK-based comic artist, illustrator, and colorist who's worked for DC Comics, BOOM! Comics, Simon & Schuster, and Penguin Random House, where their drawings have graced a number of covers. A master of depicting light and an Umbrella Academy fan, Bex redrew Ben Hargreeves for this story, capturing his personality and hinting at his powers.
Bex on Depicting Ben’s Powers:
“We’ve only had a glimpse at Ben’s powers, but I wanted to show them anyway. They usually come from his stomach, but I wanted to show them behind him like a shadow, like his powers are always there even when we can’t see them or he's not using them.”
Bex on What They Like About Ben:
“I love his sense of humor and sarcasm and that he cares about his family in his own way.”
Bex on Their Connection With Ben:
“He’s a bit introverted and sensitive but sarcastic at the same time. I can relate to that.”
Vanya Hargreeves AKA Number Seven by Steffi Walthall
Steffi Walthall grew up in Virginia, honing her artistic chops to become a sought-after illustrator, comics artist, and designer. With her work for clients like HarperCollins Publishers and The New York Times piquing our interest, we reached out to Steffi to ask her to render Vanya Hargreeves in her signature style and to explain her ideas on The Umbrella Academy character who once seemed to lack superpowers.
Steffi on What Superpower She’d Want:
“I would most definitely have Vanya's power. I'm partial to her and I'm not sorry about it. She can move things by just focusing on sound and that feels so useful. Also, I feel like she has more levels hidden up her sleeve that we just don't know about, so I am one-hundred percent along for that ride.”
Steffi on Drawing Vanya’s Superpowers:
“Her powers are so cool. I love that her eyes get super weird and ghostly. And she glows and floats? But I love how much destruction she can cause and I was trying to channel that in this piece.”
Steffi on Her Connection With Vanya:
“Vanya has this really earnest nature that I connect with. She's so eager to help and support her siblings and I think that's really important and it makes her feel real. Like, it comes off as such a vulnerability but it's so integral to her character.”