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The Umbrella Academy Member With The Least Amount Of Power

Superpowers are great, but not all power is equal.

Netflix's The Umbrella Academy – based on the Dark Horse comics by Gerard Way (yes, that Gerard Way) — introduced audiences to one seriously dysfunctional family of superheroes. In total, there are seven Umbrella Academy members, each with their own unique abilities, all born on the exact same day, and adopted by a billionaire named Sir Reginald Hargreeves. While some members have enormous power, others, well, don't. And sorry to say it, but the team's leader, Luther, got the short end of the power stick.

We're not here to say that Luther's powers — or power — is terrible. It's nice that Sir Reginald named Luther "Number One" and personally found him the most useful, but it's also really ironic: in relation to the rest of his family, Luther's super strength just can't compete with energy manipulation, necromancy, and time travel. What's worse is that part of Luther's incredible strength comes courtesy of a serum that had the unfortunate side effect of altering his genetic makeup to closely resemble that of an ape's.

But let's back up. Luther was actually born with incredible strength. Like his adoptive siblings, he came into the world on October 1, 1989 as a remarkable child. Sir Reginald put him in charge of his super-powered siblings in the Umbrella Academy, and he was a pretty great leader throughout the team's early exploits. He's also been shown to be incredibly devoted to his siblings, as well as to his father in particular. It's this extreme level of devotion that made him Sir Reginald's apparent favorite child.

When the Umbrella Academy split up, Luther was the only sibling who continued to work for their father. And it was during a solo mission to the Moon that he was wounded to the point of needing the ape serum that would permanently transform his body. Now a half-man, half-ape, Luther still has super strength, but he's also incredibly durable — it's how he was able to survive that chandelier crash in the Umbrella Academy episode "Extra Ordinary."

But that's it. Luther is super strong and super durable — and yeah, he can throw guys through walls and survive some pretty insane battle damage — but that kind of power will only get someone so far. Luther's abilities depend on his close proximity to another person in a fight. If he's battling someone who doesn't have to rely on hand-to-hand combat to win (like his adoptive sister, Vanya, for example), then he isn't going to get very far. 

In the Umbrella Academy comics, Luther is less sympathetic toward those around him. He's described as ruthless by his father, and maybe that ruthlessness adds something to his abilities — if he doesn't have much of a conscience, then it's easier to take his opponents out. But as far as the show's portrayal of the character goes, Luther is incredibly emotional. In fact, he's sort of driven by his emotions — both his love for his father and his need to be accepted by him, as well as his romantic feelings toward his adoptive sister, Allison. He's incredibly gentle as seen on Netflix's Umbrella Academy, which is in stark contrast to his ape-ish body.

There's another thing about the comic version of Luther that could have an effect on his ability, and it may or may not play out on the small screen. In the comics, Luther's body belongs to a "Martian gorilla." Since it isn't Earth-bound, there's really no telling what kind of power Luther's body could hold. And while the Netflix series differs from the comic in that Luther's body is an enhanced version of his own (as opposed to a literal space ape's to which his head has been attached), it's still unclear what exactly was in that serum. As far as we know, it could still be made from a Martian gorilla. And if that's the case, Luther may have a level of power that he hasn't tapped into yet.

As of right now, though, he's still just a really strong guy with a really strong body. In terms of the rest of the Umbrella Academy members, Luther makes for some decent brawn, but he isn't the kind of guy who's going to be first choice in a supernatural fight.