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This article is about Luther Hargreeves from the Netflix series. You may be looking for Spaceboy from the Dark Horse comics.

"We’re different than everyone else. We’re special. And good or bad, that means we don’t get to live normal lives. Here or anywhere."
—Luther Hargreeves[src]

Luther Hargreeves, originally codenamed Number One, is one of the forty-three children who were all born on the 12th hour of the first day of October 1989 to mothers without any previous signs of pregnancy. Luther was one of the seven babies adopted by Sir Reginald Hargreeves with the intention of training them to save the world. Ranked by their individual usefulness, Luther was Hargreeves' Number One and the leader of The Umbrella Academy. He used to possess superhuman strength and durability.

Luther was the only member of the Academy who did not leave and who continued to loyally serve Sir Reginald, although he sank into a lonely depression without the others around. When sent on a solo mission to stop a biochemical threat, Luther is critically injured and Sir Reginald is forced to use a serum to save his life. The serum gave Luther an ape-like physiology, greatly increasing his muscle mass and strength. In an effort to give him focus, Sir Reginald sends him to the moon to supposedly watch out for extraterrestrial threats, and Luther lives alone in seclusion on the moon base for four years while sending regular reports back to his father.

Following Sir Reginald's death, Luther is summoned back to Earth and comes to believe their father was murdered. As events unfold, Luther finds out that Sir Reginald never read any of the reports he sent back, and subsequently believes that he was a failure and was sent away for not being a good enough Number One, which takes a massive toll on his self-confidence.

Having been caught up in Five's failed attempt at dodging Viktor's apocalypse, Luther finds himself in Dallas, 1962. It is here he works as a driver for the owner of a burlesque bar, and occasionally uses his super strength to win rigged fights in underground boxing rings.

Biography

Early life

Like the rest of the Umbrella Academy members, "Number One" was born on October 1, 1989, and adopted by the billionaire inventor Sir Reginald Hargreeves. Raised by their robot mother Grace, and run through brutal training by Reginald to be child superheroes, Luther wholeheartedly embraced their responsibilities and his role as leader of the team. Painfully loyal to their father figure, he was the only one who stayed behind after all of the others left and abandoned the Academy.

Reginald's secret

After Luther's inadvertent monstrous transformation to save his life, he was sent away to the moon by Reginald. During his four years alone on the moon, he wasted away in loneliness and depression and social isolation.

When Luther returned back to Earth upon his father's death, he was shocked to find that Reginald had been ignoring all of the reports that Luther had sent back to Earth; he realized that the mission was nothing more than busywork to keep him out of the way, and this dealt a crippling blow to his self-esteem as a proud superhero and former leader of the team.[12]

Relationship with Allison

Luther and Allison have always been best friends and extremely close since childhood; Viktor's memoir mentions them as children vanishing into a private world and communicating in their own secret language. It becomes visibly clear that there is a connection between them; neither of them can deny it and the rest of the Academy is aware of it, but the pair never acted on their feelings.

Luther and Allison dance before kissing.

After their father's death, however, their reunion brings them closer again. When Allison finds Luther distraught over his recent discovery surrounding his father and the pointlessness of his mission, she comforts him. The two later dance and in the midst of the moment, share a kiss. Allison invites Luther to catch the flight home to California with her to meet her daughter Claire, and he accepts.[12]

After this timeline is redone, however, Klaus finds Luther in his time of need instead of Allison, and so they never experienced this moment and Luther's descent into turmoil begins.[13]

The First Apocalypse

The Academy eventually learns that Viktor will be responsible for the impending apocalypse that Number Five time jumped back from the future to prevent. In an attempt to avert that disaster, Luther knocks out Viktor and places him in a sound isolation chamber while the Academy tries to decide what to do.

Unfortunately, unbeknownst to Luther, this isolation chamber is a particular trigger for Viktor. They fully become the White Violin, destroy the Hargreeves mansion, killing Pogo and Grace, and escapes. By not trusting Viktor, Luther inadvertently causes the exact apocalypse they were trying to stop, and the Academy barely escapes by jumping through time with Five's powers, which leaves them accidentally stranded in the 1960s.

Dallas and the second apocalypse

After Five fails to protect the Umbrella Academy from the apocalypse, Luther finds himself transported to Dallas, 1962, where he builds up a life working for the gangster Jack Ruby. He fights regularly for him in an underground boxing-ring, and takes to the man as a mentor and replacement father figure.

Luther quickly becomes dissatisfied with his life, however, when he bumps into Viktor and realizes that all of his family are not dead as he had initially believed. He apologizes to Viktor despite their amnesia, then asks Jack to find Allison for him, and he successfully does so. This doesn't end well for Luther, however, as when he visits Allison's house he meets Raymond Chestnut, Allison's husband, and learns all about the life she has built for herself without him.

Luther later bumps into Number Five, who tells him about the second apocalypse they have caused by encroaching on the timeline in which they do not belong — as a result, they need to find a way back home. Still deflated about his own status as a failed superhero and feeling cynical about the Academy, Luther is initially reluctant to go along with Five's plans to reunite the family.

Luther's mind is changed, however, when he bumps into Allison on the street and the two get talking about the lives they've built for themselves. Luther tells Allison about the apocalypse and the two agree that they must try and help Five restore the timeline.

After a while, Luther is able to reunite his family with Five's help, and the Umbrella Academy agree to return to their own time and restore the timeline. When he arrives back in 2019 with the rest of his family, however, he is faced with a shocking discovery: the Umbrella Academy no longer exists, having been replaced with the Sparrow Academy, and Luther is no longer "Number One".[10]

Personality

Luther is a loving, protective and righteous individual. He is shown to immediately throw himself in harm's way and act as a shield in dangerous situations and is shown to have a firm belief in right and wrong. He was the only one of his siblings to stay at the academy and continue his work as a superhero, trusting his father's commands implicitly. Luther is shown to define himself as the leader of the Umbrella Academy and as his father's "Number One", taking his role very seriously and devoting his life to his father's cause. As a result, he never left the Umbrella Academy or developed a life outside of it, becoming isolated and sheltered. He notably mentions that he never even had friends due to his dedication. As a result, he has a somewhat naive, almost childlike aspect to him. When he discovers his father has never read his reports from the moon, he is devastated and lost, feeling he wasted his life and causing him to spiral out of control and lash out by going to a rave, taking drugs and getting drunk.

Appearance

Luther is a tall Caucasian man, standing at 6'5". He generally keeps his dark blonde hair cut short, accompanied by a five-o-clock shadow.

After being administered an experimental serum to treat a life-threatening injury, Luther's body took on a more simian appearance. While his legs grew a thick coating of dark fur, the effects of the serum were most apparent on his upper body: his torso and arms became broader and bulkier, with leathery hairy skin akin to that of a gorilla. To hide his ape-like appearance, Luther would wear high-necked shirts and fingerless gloves.

In the reset timeline, Luther's body has been restored to its original state, being muscular but with more human proportions.[14]

Powers and Abilities

Luther currently does not have any powers after the reset of the universe.[14][15]

Powers

  • Superhuman Strength: Luther possessed immense strength, which was further amplified by his ape-like physiology. As a child, he could easily lift and throw a fully grown adult across a room and through a window. His strength was enough to raise a 1000lb farm truck off Diego's trapped leg. Upon returning back to life in the reset universe, Luther was shocked to find that not only was his body back to normal, but that he no longer possessed his super strength.
    • Enhanced Resilience: Luther possessed an extremely resilience body, which was further amplified by his ape-like physiology. He was able to shrug off most physical impacts during combat, and could even take the full weight of a falling chandelier without injury. Luther is not invulnerable, however, as Diego managed to cut him with a knife and draw blood, and he is shown to hide from bullets. In the alternate timeline in 1963 when everyone's abilities, his body is able to survive a direct blast from a missile/bazooka.

Abilities

  • Expert Leadership: Although he later suffers a crippling lack of self-confidence and gives up on his role as a leader, Luther does have expertise in strategy, tactics, and leadership. He's able to strategize the group's abilities, give orders to execute a mission, and often throws himself into danger to protect his teammates.
  • Expert Combatant: Although he’s not as skilled as Diego or Five, Luther has shown to have expertise in unarmed combat, throughout both seasons, and mostly uses his super strength to battle his opponents.

Relationships

See also: Diego and Luther and Luther and Allison

Family

Allies

  • Pogo - caretaker (original timeline)
  • Lila Pitts - attempted killer turned frenemy
  • U.S. Armed Forces (1963 apocalypse timeline)
  • Jack Ruby - former employer
  • Elliott Gussman
  • Dot
  • Herb

Enemies

  • Cha-Cha † - attempted killer
  • Hazel † - attempted killer (original timeline)
  • Soviet Armed Forces (1963 apocalypse timeline)
  • The Handler † - killer (Handler Victorious timeline)

Differences Between Comics

  • In the show, Luther has super strength (high-level superhuman strength) and enhanced resilience. In the comics, Luther has enhanced strength (low-level superhuman strength) and enhanced durability.
  • In the comics, Luther and Five are twin brothers. In the show, during Season Three, Luther and Five are confirmed to have different mothers, as revealed by the newspaper clippings regarding their mothers' deaths.
  • Luther's appearance quite differs from his comic book counterpart. Luther has light/dark blonde hair and blue eyes, while in the comics, he has white hair and often uses a space-gun.

Trivia

  • Luther's scars were caused by his attempts to remove his skin or to patch it with other skin, which didn't work.[16]
  • Luther once fell for a 419 scam email.[17]

Appearances

Gallery

References


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