An Extended Family
Season 2 ended with the Hargreeves siblings having successfully stopped nuclear war from breaking out in 1963 and time traveling back to 2019. Unfortunately their time in the past seems to have significantly affected the future.
Though in Season 1 their adoptive father Sir Reginald Hargreeves had killed himself in 2019 in a bid to reunite the Umbrella Academy in the hopes that they would prevent the end of the world, apparently in this timeline he’s still alive and found a new group of superpowered kids to turn into a superhero team. Also, it seems he’s a pretty horrible father in both timelines.
At the end of Season 2, when the Hargreeves siblings return from 1963 to their home in 2019, they discover it’s now the base of the Sparrow Academy, a group led by their dead sibling Ben (Justin H. Min), who also apparently didn’t die in this new timeline. Posing behind him, with their faces obscured so that the actors and characters could be revealed later, are the members of this entirely different squad. Presumably they’re made up of members of the strange group of 43 children who were born on the same day in 1989, just like the Umbrella Academy gang.
The Sparrow Academy in the Comics
The Sparrow Academy does feature significantly in the third collection of the comics, Hotel Oblivion. Vanya is left seriously injured by her fight with the rest of the Umbrella Academy and spends much of the time after that incident trying to recover physically and mentally. In Hotel Oblivion, her robotic mother, who didn’t die in the comics as she did in the show’s first season, takes her to meet a friend named Deever who once worked with Reginald Hargreeves. It’s likely that he was involved in the same project to locate and train the 43 children.
After Deever grills Vanya for 20 minutes, her mother (called Grace in the show but just Mom in the comics) takes her to Paris where she meets a woman wearing a red jacket with a sparrow pin similar to the umbrella logo members of the Umbrella Academy sport. The woman tells Vanya that she’s “coming home” and leads her to a remote facility in Norway where she says Vanya will find family. Later, seven members of the Sparrows bail out the Umbrella Academy during a big fight. Their Number One greets Luther as a brother, further reinforcing the idea that they’re all from the same group of children.
That’s the very last scene in Hotel Oblivion, but more is coming. Gerard Way is currently working on a spinoff prequel centering on fan favorite character Klaus, but he’s announced that Volume 4 of the main series will be called Sparrow Academy and likely center on this new group. There’s no announced date for the comic, so it’s possible that the show will start answering these questions even before the comics.
Who’s in the Sparrow Academy?
One big departure in the show is that Ben is alive and part of the Sparrow Academy. But beyond him, the comics don’t provide a ton of info about the Sparrows beyond a hint as to their powers. Vanya is in a wheelchair when she first meets a member of the Sparrow Academy and insists that she can’t walk. When the woman says “I don’t believe you,” Vanya discovers to her surprise that she can actually walk. When she asks how that’s possible, the woman responds “I said so.” That strongly hints that she might have the sort of extremely powerful mind controlling and reality warping powers of Allison Hargreeves, who can make something true just by saying “I heard a rumor…”
All of the members of the Sparrow Academy seem to be able to fly, though it’s unclear if they each individually have that power, if one character gives the others the power, or if they’re using technology. The powers demonstrated by the members of the Sparrow Academy in the comics are:
- Dark energy eye blasts
- Transforming into a flock of birds
- A human voodoo doll who can hurt themselves to damage enemies
- Super strength
- The ability to make Vanya walk again
The Umbrella Academy Season 3: The Sparrow Academy Cast
Netflix has revealed what to expect from the Sparrows in the show. They will include:
- Marcus, a.k.a. Sparrow No. 1, will be played by Justin Cornwell and is apparently the group’s leader. “Graceful but lethal, calculated but compassionate, he is as smart as he is strong,” says Netflix.
- Justin H. Min returns as Ben, Sparrow No. 2. This alternate Ben is described as “a Machiavellian tactician, wrapped up in a pretty boy body with a rumbling inner-squid.” He’s “vicious, pragmatic, and hyper-vigilant” and wants to become the leader of the group.
- Fei, Sparrow No. 3, will be played by Britne Oldford. She “sees the world in a special way” and “comes across as a misanthrope who would rather be alone than spend even a second with you.”
- Alphonso, Sparrow No. 4, is played by Jake Epstein as a person whose face and body are scarred with “countless visual reminders of his battles” from his years of crime-fighting.
- Sloane, Sparrow No. 5, is played by Genesis Rodriguez and is described as “a romantic and a dreamer who feels a higher cosmic calling leaving her eager to see the world and experience a life beyond her upbringing.”
- Jayme, Sparrow No. 6, is played by Cazzie David and is “a loner hidden under a hoodie.”
- Christopher, Sparrow No. 7, is “a telekinetic cube of unknown origin,” per Netflix. “He can turn the room freezing cold and induce paralyzing fear. He acts as the Sparrows’ consulted oracle who hands out incredible advice and serves as the family mediator.”
Lots of New Enemies
With the Handler dead, the Temps Commission in friendly hands, and Vanya rehabilitated, the Umbrella Academy is going to need a new villain. It’s possible that the season’s main antagonist will be Reginald, especially since last season revealed that he’s an alien in disguise — something shown in the comic’s first issue. But Hotel Oblivion also offers plenty of other options.
The titular location in Hotel Oblivion is a pocket dimension where Hargreeves sent all the supervillains that the Umbrella Academy defeated over the years, kind of like a more disturbing version of the Phantom Zone. Much of the story follows the Murder Magician, who doesn’t really live up to his name, having only “killed the physical manifestation of a lie in human form” which was apparently a version of Allison created through her powers.
He’s been in Hotel Oblivion for some time after a fight with the Umbrella Academy that killed his assistant. He has a baby with another prisoner, a mentally unstable shapeshifter who carries around a broken Magic 8-Ball. Trying to protect the baby from her, he hatches an escape plan with Obscura, a much more wicked gangster with a camera attached to his head. As weird as the Netflix adaptation is, the comics are much, much weirder.
The escapees arrive in the basement of the Perseus Corporation, a powerful company that has somehow acquired the teleportation device Reginald used to access his prison. John Perseus’ father, John Perseus the Ninth, was a supervillain defeated by the Umbrella Academy and condemned to Hotel Oblivion. When Perseus the Tenth realizes what he’s got, he goes to Hotel Oblivion to bust him out but finds that his father has committed suicide. He decides to take on his mantle with the help of Medusa, a floating robotic head. Then he releases all the still-living prisoners and causes absolute havoc.
Umbrella Academy Season 2: 30 Images
Some of the former inmates include the Scientific Man, an extremely powerful villain with the ability to disintegrate people, who often kills other prisoners. He seems to be modeled after Doctor Manhattan. Doctor Terminal is seemingly based on Galactus and can absorb anything into his stomach to grow more powerful. The Peppermint Scarves is a gang inspired by a band that Gerard Way made up for Christmas cards. And there are a bunch of other very strange bad guys like the Sequin Skull, a giant eyeball on a human body that shoots lasers, and someone in a suit with a black widow spider for a head.
Any of these characters are up for grabs in Season 3, though it’s also possible that the show’s writers will just create new foes for the gang to face (as they did with Lila in Season 2).
When Luther and Diego go to Hotel Oblivion, the sky rips open and reveals a squidlike monstrosity that reaches down a tentacle to touch Luther on the forehead and give him a sequence of strange visions. It then shrieks and flees. Doctor Zoo, a friend of Reginald, realizes that the hotel was designed to be a cosmic trap for that entity, with the prisoners serving as bait.
Later in the comic, Klaus is suffering from a drug overdose where he is confronted by Ben’s ghost, who appears with a hole in his stomach. Ben’s ability was to summon eldritch tentacles from his abdomen and it’s never really explained how he died. His headstone reads “May the darkness within you find peace in the light,” which could imply he suffered from mental illness or that his own strange power killed him.
Ben gives Klaus the cryptic message “It’s coming. You better be ready.” That could be a further reference to the strange entity Hotel Oblivion was meant to trap. Reginald is seen escaping a dying planet for Earth in Season 1, so it’s possible that this cosmic threat was to blame for his previous home’s destruction and that it’s caught up with him. With Ben alive again in the show, we could learn more about how his powers work and how they’re connected to this threat.Whatever material from the comics the new season does integrate, we’re just hoping that it maintains the show’s zany humor mixed with some good family drama. If you have any theories or characters you’d like to see, let us know in the comments!