The following contains spoilers for The Umbrella Academy Season 1 and The Umbrella Academy comic series.
Before you read about The Umbrella Academy Season 2, come process the ending of season 1 with us.
No one knows where…or when, The Umbrella Academy kids/Hargreeves family is headed. No, not even the actors.
“With this show that’s a huge question cause we could go in so many different directions,” Spaceboy, himself, Tom Hopper told us. “And yeah, the time travel element is gonna be a huge one. Where we are and then what we do in that time period remains to be seen. “
Hazel actor Cameron Britton added, “There are so many questions of what happens next but (showrunner) Steve Blackman’s being horrible and won’t tell me about it.”
But the nice thing about TV shows based on existing comics is that they’re based on existing comic! The Umbrella Academy Season 1 is heavily based on volume one of the comic, “Apocalypse Suite,” with a little bit of volume two, “Dallas,” thrown in. That leaves The Umbrella Academy with the entirety of “Dallas” and the recently released “Hotel Oblivion” to draw from.
Based on those titles, here is what you might be able to expect from The Umbrella Academy Season 2 (which has yet to be announced).
For starters, there is actually a quite a bit of “Dallas’s” DNA in The Umbrella Academy Season 1, even thought that’s chiefly adapting Volume 1: Apocalypse Suite. Hazel and Cha-Cha, the time agency they work for, Klaus’s brief trips into death and the past, and the destruction of planet Earth are all plot points directly from “Dallas.” Still the main spine of “Dallas’s” story remains out there, ready to be adapted.
As it turns out, The Umbrella Academy exists in an alternate universe where John F. Kennedy was never assassinated. JFK enlists the help of The Umbrella Academy kids to stop the Lincoln monument, which has gone rogue (these comic books rule). After the kids defeat Lincoln, JFK rewards Reginald Hargreeves with a suitcase full of nukes. Later on, time-traveling assassins Hazel and Cha-Cha are hopped up on Girl Scout Cookies (that’s not a euphemism for a street drug, they’re literally just having a sugar rush) and decide to steal the suitcase of nukes and detonate them to destroy the world for fun.
Thankfully Number Five and Allison have been sent back to November 22, 1963 to assassinate Kennedy to stop this chain of events from happening. Despite the best efforts of Luther, Diego, and Klaus to save the President, Allison says she hears a rumor that the back of JFK’s head is about to explode and the world is saved.
PHEW! So as you now know, the word has already blown up in the continuity of The Umbrella Academy TV show and it wasn’t Hazel and Cha-Cha’s fault for a change. Going back to assassinate John F. Kennedy in theory wouldn’t have much of an effect on anything, since it’s Vanya’s errant violin missile that causes the apocalypse. Still, as clearly evidenced by that loving description of the truly batshit “Dallas,” you could see how the show could somehow still make that work.
Even Umbrella Academy creator Gerard Way, thinks there’s some room for “Dallas” in Umbrella Academy Season 2, telling us: “I think right now there’s only been a couple things used from Dallas (in season 1). If there’s a potential season 2, I would think you would see some things potentially from ‘Dallas.’”
Despite how much it kills me to disagree with Gerard Way, I kind of doubt the show will fully go the “Dallas” route in its second season, for a few reasons. For one, the death of JFK somehow preventing the apocalypse may be too big of a logical jump for the continuity that the show establishes. Secondly, the show already depicted Klaus’s time in the Vietnam War and that’s a really big part of “Dallas” that can’t really be done over again. In “Dallas,” Luther, Diego, and Klaus all try to take one of the Temps Aeternalis’s Time Agency’s suitcases back to 1963 to prevent the assassination, but time travel is imprecise and they end up three years earlier than intended and are enlisted in the Vietnam War. The Umbrella Academy TV show has been there, done that. Thirdly, and most importantly: does Netflix really want its heroes complicit in the assassination of a U.S. President? Probably not.
A better candidate for The Umbrella Academy Season 2 to adapt is the comic’s third volume, “Hotel Oblivion.” “Hotel Oblivion” is still in production, having released its fifth issue this month and with two more scheduled to come. So far the story has followed the Umbrella kids (all mostly scattered to the wind again) confronting their father’s most monstrous creation: the Hotel Oblivion. The Hotel is where Hargreeves sent all the villains that his young charges defeated rather than a traditional prison. Not unlike Arkham Asylum, the Hotel undoubtedly violates the Geneva conventions. The prisoners (or “guests” as it were) are all completely isolated with nothing other than faceless bellhops for company who also from time to time serve them roaches for dinner.
Luther and Diego embark on a space-faring mission into “After Space” where they intend to find the Hotel, while Number Five and Allison happen upon it when investigating a super villain’s son, John Perseus. Vanya remains in recovery from her gunshot wound and Klaus is on a drug bender in the desert.
The Umbrella Academy Season 2 likely wouldn’t be a close adaptation of “Hotel Oblivion” as the siblings almost certainly do have to travel around in time a bit before they can travel through space. The Umbrella Academy finale promised time travel and we’d better get that, gosh darn it. But don’t be surprised if a potential season 2 decides to either wrap up the time travel angle quickly or use it as a tool to further explore space alien Reginald Hargreeves’ casual cruelty.
The show is clearly more invested in Sir Reginald as a character than the books currently are, and that’s understandable given what a titanic figure he is in these damaged adults’ lives. If The Umbrella Academy wants to further delve into the enigmatic man we know as “The Monocle,” then a mix of 50% Hotel Oblivion, 30% Dallas, and 20% original content.
Or perhaps the show will simply follow Diego actor David Castañeda’s theory for where he thinks The Umbrella Academy Season 2 will go.
“Disco,” he said.