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Why Luther's Powers Have The Umbrella Academy Fans Scratching Their Heads

"The Umbrella Academy" has earned itself quite a following since debuting on Netflix in 2019.  According to the streamer, the first season of the show (based on the comic series by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá) was watched by approximately 45 million homes in its first month of release (via The Hollywood Reporter). Since that explosive debut, the show aired a Season 2 in 2020, and now fans are awaiting the Season 3 debut on June 22. 

The show provides plenty for fans to discuss and debate, as it's a take on the superhero genre that finds a unique way to look at what the world thinks they expect from a team of superheroes. The series follows a handful of characters born with special abilities who were adopted by Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore). Over time, most of the team — each with their own struggles — are brought back together by the death of their once mentor and father figure. 

One detail that fans debate endlessly is the character of Luther Hargreeves (Tom Hopper), the one member of the team who sticks by Reginald's side, only to be cast to the side with a busywork mission on the moon for years. Born with superhuman strength, Luther is a tortured, though formidable character, but his powers have left many fans scratching their heads. 

Luther's powers are not always consistent

Fans have noted that Luther's super strength is not always that super. Sure, he can help foil a bank robbery and throw a grown man through a window as a teenager, but as the man we are presented in the show, he seems to be invincible at some times, and at others, the weakest member of the bunch. In one Reddit thread, for instance, fans wondered how Luther could be taken down by assassin Hazel (Cameron Britton) in a hand-to-hand fight in Season 1. 

"I have the theory that his powers are tied to his confidence. Every time Luther lost his confidence he gets weaker," Reddit user Fexster said in a thread discussion about Luther's powers. Numerous fans agree with the theory, according to the thread, though some piled on the character for it. "He's a Self-Esteem Hulk?" user R_V_Z posted. 

Another theory that has been floated by fans is that Luther's physiology has changed over time, with him developing a gorilla-like body after being injected with a life-saving serum by Reginald. 

"There's a theory out that Luther used to be really strong (like Superman levels of super strength) but when he got injected with the serum it gave him normal gorilla levels of strength so he's still stronger than a normal human being but he's weaker than he used to be," Reddit user the pirateguidelines posted in yet another thread on Luther's strength.

Why Luther might be weaker than he used to be

Some fans have grown frustrated with the character of Luther and have asked for more from him, considering the potential of a man with super strength who has arms that could wrestle a wild animal. 

"The Umbrella Academy goes from least to most powerful, Luther, No. 1 being the weakest," a fan going by @shrimpfriedrhys posted on Twitter in 2019. Some fans the very next year had the same complaint. "Can we talk about how USELESS Luther from Umbrella Academy is? Super strength yet the weakest link? Make it make sense," @Ehisllozobhie tweeted in 2020. 

The truth is there may be multiple explanations for Luther's struggles, as fans have theorized. On top of his body changing (potentially giving him less control), Luther also spent four years on the moon at the request of Reginald, and that much time isolated at zero gravity could also have affected his powers and body greatly. 

"Reginald was starving him on the moon. Plus he barely had room to walk around his little moon trailer much less the space he would need to practice hand-to-hand combat," Reddit user lastseason wrote in a 2021 thread on Luther. It's a theory that's been pushed by others too, including it being a top answer on a separate thread posing the question on Quora

Whatever the explanation, there's no doubt lots more to learn about Luther when he returns on Season 3 of "The Umbrella Academy," and hopefully he gets a better showing this time around.