We heard somewhere that parents should never play favorites, but if your whole shtick is adopting seven superpowered children to groom them for some kind of social study on how to save the world while repping school uniforms, you probably don’t care if you give them a complex. At least, that’s what we’re left to assume after watching The Umbrella Academy’s first season, which sees a family of powerful siblings reuniting to solve the mystery behind their father’s death and save the world from an impending apocalypse.
Reginald Hargreeves drastically lowered the fatherhood bar with his child-rearing methods on the Netflix series, training a group of children like you would a Navy SEAL and preparing them for a life of crime-fighting antics that could — and in one case definitely would — prove deadly. He even ranked them by their usefulness, refusing to give them names other than their qualifying numbers. So yeah, he’s not winning any “Dad of the Year” awards anytime soon.
But even worse than an elderly white man cultivating competitive relationships between his adopted children and traumatizing them by withholding love and affection during their formative years is the fact that Reginald Hargreeves got his whole ranking system wrong. If you’re going to assign value to a human being based on their supernatural abilities, have the damn decency to do it properly, man.
Luckily, we’ve fixed things. Here’s where the Hargreeves children should land on that Power Ranking scale.
1. Vanya (Number Seven)
None of the Hargreeves kids had a better glow-up in terms of supernatural abilities than Vanya. Over the course of the show’s first season, she transformed from an extra-ordinary groupie of this school-boy-band of superheroes to its most powerful member. So powerful, in fact, that she left Reginald Hargreeves, the deranged mastermind behind this whole outfit, shaking in his oversized monocle. Vanya’s abilities include the power to harness and weaponize energy by manipulating soundwaves to move objects with her mind, affect the weather, project bursts of force, and amplify her hearing. Sure, she abuses it as a child, killing off nannies left and right, but who could blame her after glimpsing the oatmeal they were trying to shove down her throat for breakfast? And that whole “chipped off part of the moon and accidentally caused an apocalypse” bit? That was totally Luther’s fault. Point is, Vanya deserved more respect and love from her family and if she’d gotten it, she might have been ranked higher with Dad, and you know, not destroyed the planet.
2. Number Five
Who wouldn’t like to have the ability to time travel? Maybe everyone, if we ended up stuck in an apocalypse like Number Five did for 60 years with only a charred mannequin for company. Five is arguably the most intelligent and capable member of The Umbrella Academy squad, displaying a natural talent for harnessing his abilities. He can travel through space, popping up in multiple spots in the same timeline, but it’s non-linear journeys that give him a bit of trouble, most notably when he decided to pay a visit to the future and couldn’t figure out how to return to his own time. He’s gotten a better grip on it by the end of the show’s first season, but that first bout of time travel really warped his mind — you try being a 60-something-year-old man trapped in a 13-year-old’s body — and he’s got an alarming co-dependence on an inanimate object that makes him a bit vulnerable and thus relegated to the number two spot.
3. Klaus (Number Four)
Klaus quickly became a fan-favorite character in the show’s first season thanks to his sarcastic wit, enviable style, and his inability to take anything — even the impending doomsday — seriously. He suffered more than any of his siblings in his childhood, locked away in mausoleums, and forced to commune with the dead by his cruel father-figure but despite this, and his exhausting drug addiction, he was one of the better adjusted Hargreeves when we met the family in their adulthood. In fact, if it hadn’t been for the pot brownies and white lines and copious amounts of alcohol, Klaus would’ve ranked higher on this list because his powers are ridiculously cool. Like “speaking with ghosts and manifesting spirits in the real world to do his bidding” cool. That, coupled with the ominous promise from dear old Reggie that he hasn’t even scratched the surface of his potential as a superhero and, well, you get why we think so highly of this doped-up basket case.
4. Allison (Number Three)
Another Hargreeves with a particularly killer superpower, Allison spends most of season one refusing to use her gifts, which include being able to manipulate people into carrying out her will by simply suggesting an action with the phrase “I heard a rumor..” She had a good reason: a recent divorce and nasty custody battle exposed how she’d been abusing her powers for decades in order to advance her career and get what she wanted in her personal life. But still, watching a young Allison convince bank robbers to shoot each other was more than enough to convince us she has the potential to be a deadly player in this f*cked up game. If she ever starts whispering sh*t into the bad guys’ ears, they better run.
5. Ben (Number Six)
Ben Hargreeves died, terribly, on a mission sometime before the events of season one but thanks to his brother’s medium-like abilities, he’s still a member of the team, even in incorporeal form. Ben has the ability to open a portal within himself and summon eldritch tentacles. In other words, a giant monster pops out of his stomach and devours his enemies on command. It’s a rather useful trick, especially when Klaus is able to physically manifest Ben and use it to eliminate trained assassins from The Commission. Honestly, if Ben weren’t dead, he’d be ranked higher than his wildly irresponsible sibling but because he relies on his brother to interact with his family and utilize his powers, he’ll have to live with the fact that Klaus will always be ranked higher. Sorry, Ben.
6. Luther (Number One)
Luther’s not a bad guy. He’s not even a bad number one, though he does f*ck up plenty in the show’s first season out of some twisted sense of duty instilled in him by his controlling, egomaniac of a father. He’s sheltered and thus hopelessly naïve, choosing to remain behind to do Reginald’s bidding while his sibling high-tailed it out of the mansion as soon as they could. He’s also fixated on earning his assumed leadership status, insisting on steering the group’s choices, making calls without input from his family members, and often mucking things up thanks to his pride and inability to compromise. All of this would be reason enough to rank him near the bottom of this crooked totem pole but he also has the most basic-white-girl ability of all time — he’s really strong, you guys. Oh, and his proportions are off. Do you think he knows?
7. Diego (Number Two)
Diego Hargreeves is a cautionary tale. An insecure boy trapped in a grown man’s body, making impulsive decisions that put others in jeopardy based on his own inability to manage his volatile emotions. He wasn’t loved as a child, which means he’s grown up searching for validation in the worst places. His inferiority complex fuels an irrational competitive relationship with Luther and an unhealthy obsession with proving himself a hero. Oh, and he can bend the trajectory of knives. He throws knives, you guys. That’s it.
Netflix’s ‘The Umbrella Academy’ streams on July 31.