There were several mysteries that were introduced throughout the first season of Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy, but while many of them were left unanswered (damn those finale cliffhangers!), fans did get a little more insight into each of the siblings’ backstories to help further demonstrate how they ultimately became the adults they are today. This included finally learning what happened to Umbrella Academy member Luther to make his regular human body take on such an ape-like transformation. Turns out, he had dear old dad to thank for that, however, life plays out a little differently for Luther in the Umbrella Academy comics on which the series is based.
Is Luther's Form Permanent?
In the show, Hargreeves orders Number One to go on a solo mission that almost kills him. Believing it to be the only way to save his life, Hargreeves injects Luther with a special serum that cures him, but it comes at a cost. The serum morphs Luther’s genetic makeup by giving him the body of an ape, thereby making him much hairier and muscular than ever before. This also seems to help to further enhance his super-strength powers.
Of course, it feels a little strange to think that Hargreeves just happened to have that special concoction lying around the house for safekeeping. Was it produced from Pogo’s DNA? Did he always intend to give it to Luther at some point or was it a preventative measure to make sure that what happened to Ben would never happen to any of the other children? It’s hard to say why this serum was created in the first place, but it definitely seems to be a permanent side effect that will be apart of Luther’s anatomy for the rest of his life.
What Happened To Luther In The Comics?
Fans of the comics may have found this storyline a little surprising, though, since it doesn’t align with what happens in the source material. In the comics, Luther’s mission takes place on Mars and instead of injecting him with a serum, Hargreeves saves his life by transplanting Luther’s head onto the actual body of a Martian gorilla. (As someone who’s watched 15 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy, I'd like to think that I’ve seen a lot of wild medical procedures, but this one takes the cake.)
Luther Also Looks Very Different In The Comics
Additionally, Luther spends all of his time in a spacesuit in the graphic novel, which was something showrunner Steve Blackman wanted to avoid in the series — hence why Luther’s storyline was altered so much. “I worried that [a spacesuit] would distract from people understanding the character, and people who knew nothing about the graphic novel would say, ‘This character isn't serious,’” Blackman told The Hollywood Reporter during a recent interview. “So I put him in clothing in a way that still allowed us to tell this tragic backstory about how he became what he became, but it allowed him to function in a little bit more of a grounded way in the world.”
Hopefully the series will dive further into what exactly this serum is and how it came to be in Season 2.