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Here's How Umbrella Academy's Klaus Is Different From The Comic

Contains spoilers for The Umbrella Academy season 1

Netflix's alt-superhero saga The Umbrella Academy made more than a splash when it hit the streaming platform in the early days of 2019. The vividly stylized series not only became on of the streaming giant's most-viewed originals, it also re-shaped the very concept of what a superhero story could be. Adapted from an award-winning series of graphic novels, the Netflix series features a fractured family of emotionally-scarred super humans who are all but incapable of working together to save humanity. 

In the series' stunning season 1 finale, the team ultimately fails to prevent the apocalypse, and barely escapes the carnage with their own lives. Fans of the graphic novels no doubt recognize this shocking turn of events as a dramatic departure from The Umbrella Academy's source material, in which the titular team actually bands together to save humanity just in the nick of time. Though the finale's major plot subversion was easily the biggest twist on The Umbrella Academy's inaugural season, it was hardly the only change fans of the comic noticed. 

Fans of the show's source material might even argue that season 1 of the streaming series is almost unrecognizable as Umbrella Academy. The TV writers saved the bare bones of the concept — and the characters' names are all the same — but there have been some major diversions that clearly signal even more changes ahead for the show's upcoming second season. These departures are perhaps the most glaring in the character of Klaus, who's portrayed on the series in all his affable mania by the talented Robert Sheehan

The fan-favorite character spent much of season 1 in a drug-fueled stupor before sobering up and fully embracing his powers. This change came in the wake of a heartbreaking, time-traveling love affair that ended in a most tragic fashion. It was the most important character beat in Klaus' season 1 arc, and a plot point that feels pretty well built into the DNA of the series. There's just one hangup – that love story never happened in the pages of The Umbrella Academy

Klaus' Vietnam narrative was dramatically re-shaped for Netflix's The Umbrella Academy

If you're in need of a refresher, Klaus is kidnapped and tortured by time-traveling assassins Hazel (Cameron Britton) and Cha-Cha (Mary J. Blige) midway through The Umbrella Academy's first season. He eventually uses their time-traveling device to make his escape. Klaus then wakes up in the '60s — in the middle of the Vietnam War. There, he falls for a fellow soldier named Dave (Cody Ray Thompson), and the ensuing love affair lasts until Dave is tragically killed in combat. When Klaus returns home, he realizes that the only way he'll ever see Dave again is if he sobers up and masters his ability to commune with the dead.

It's a beautiful moment of dramatic tension, one that deftly matches The Umbrella Academy's boundary-pushing approach to narrative, while also adding intriguing new emotional layers to the series' most compelling character. But again, none of it happened in the pages of the source material. First and foremost, Klaus' Vietnam trip didn't actually happen during "The Apocalypse Suite" storyline (the comic arc on which season 1 is loosely based). When it did happen in the comics, Klaus was accompanied on the journey by both Luther and Diego. The trio actually get stuck in Vietnam for a few years, during which Klaus is not in the army, but instead running a local night club.

As for his relationship with Dave? In the books, it seems Klaus never entered into a queer relationship at all, and apparently even fathered a child with a local Vietnamese woman. Still, as written for the Netflix adaptation, Klaus' relationship with Dave, and the trauma left in the wake of Dave's death, doesn't just ring true — it becomes a gloriously re-defining moment for a character who really needed to be seen.