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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

Luther Hargreeves, formerly known as Number One, is one of the main protagnists of the comic book series The Umbrella Academy and it's TV Series. He is one of 43 Children who were born of unnatural pregnancy. He got adopted by Sir. Reginald Hargreeves alongside his adoptive siblings, Diego, Allison, Klaus, Number Five, Ben, and Vanya Hargreeves.

In the TV series, he was portrayed by Tom Hopper.

Biography

Comics

The child that would become Luther Hargreeves was born at the same time as forty-two other extraordinary children. As a baby, he was adopted by the world-famous scientist and entrepreneur Sir Reginald Hargreeves with the express intention of training them to save the world. Luther lived at the special academy set up by Hargreeves to train the children. Designated as Number One by Hargreeves, Luther displayed enhanced physical strength and resilience. His dedication to succeed led him to excel at anything he put his mind to, particularly flying and shooting. Possessed of a ruthless leadership style, Luther became Sir Reginald's favorite among the children and the leader of The Umbrella Academy team.

The Umbrella Academy

Ten years after their adoption, the Umbrella Academy made their public debut to counter the threat posed by the Zombie-Robot Gustave Eiffel and the rampaging Eiffel Tower in Paris. Luther led the team into battle which ended with the death of Eiffel and the launching of the Eiffel Tower into space. After the mission, while having celebratory ice cream, Luther expressed his desire to go into space. Sir Reginald promised him that it would happen.

Luther became the first boy in space, aided by his co-pilot Phinneus Pogo. His achievement led to him becoming known as "Spaceboy." During a further mission to the planet Mars, Spaceboy was critically injured. Sir Reginald was forced to perform emergency experimental surgery to save his life by transplanting his head onto the body of a Martian Gorilla. Shortly after the death of Ben Hargreeves, the Umbrella Academy disbanded and Spaceboy left Earth to take up residence on the Moon.

The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite

Alongside his robot assistant, Ben, Spaceboy kept watch for intergalactic threats from Annihilation Control. Twenty years after the first public appearance of the Umbrella Academy, a phone call from Pogo recalled Luther from the Moon due to the death of Sir Reginald. Returning to the Academy, Luther found that Number Five had returned from the future.

TV Series

Season 1

Like the rest of the Umbrella Academy members, "Number One" was born on October 1st, 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. 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 realizes that the mission was nothing more than busywork to keep him out of the way, and this deals a crippling blow to his self-esteem as a proud superhero and former leader of the team. Luther and Allison have always been best friends and extremely close since childhood; Vanya'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. 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.

The Academy eventually learns that Vanya will be responsible for the impending apocalypse, which Number Five timejumped back from the future to prevent. In an attempt to avert that disaster, Luther knocks out Vanya and places her 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 Vanya. She fully becomes the White Violin, destroys the Hargreeves mansion, kills Pogo and Grace, and escapes. By not trusting her, Luther inadvertently causes the exact apocalypse they were trying to stop, and the Academy barely escape by jumping through time with Five's powers, which leaves them accidentally stranded in the 1960s.

Season 2

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 Vanya and realizes that all of his family are not dead as he had initially believed. He apologizes to Vanya despite her 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".

Personality

Luther followed his father's orders unquestioningly and stubbornly believed that everything Reginald did was for a good reason. However, it becomes clear that it's just his way of coping with the abuse he endured along with his siblings, as well as the genetic mutation that he didn't consent to. When he finds his letters to his father unopened, Luther realizes that his four year mission to the moon was just a wild goose chase. The knowledge that everything he did for his father's sake was completely meaningless causes him to have a breakdown.

In general, Luther is actually good-natured, polite and gentle but he's not above resorting to using violence on occasion, especially on his family members.

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.

Appearance

Before being administered the experimental serum, he was already tall (6'5"), with a slim but muscular body. After the serum, he's become much broader and bulkier, with a massive hulking upper body, and leathery hairy skin. He constantly wears high-necked shirts and fingerless gloves in order to hide his ape-like appearance.

Trivia

  • Fans may agree that Luther's powers and appearance makes him somewhat a combination of Superman in DC comics and Captain America in Marvel comics:
    • Like Captain America, both of them are born leaders who always try to do the right thing; were exposed to serums that changed their lives in huge ways; and both have blond hair. However, Luther makes some terrible mistakes while trying to be a leader; and Steve was transformed from a scrawny young man to a dashing supersoldier, while Luther went from a good-looking superhero to a monstrous ape-man.
    • Like Superman, they're both very physically strong; and both were the early ideal leaders, but neither cared to keep that role after time passed.

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