Umbrella Academy & the Seven Deadly Sins
The Umbrella Academy is hands down my new favourite series. Did you know that all the Hargreeves siblings are a deadly sin? But they're also a virtue.
I heard a rumour you'll like this post...
I avoid writing posts with too many spoilers but frankly, I love this series so much and I really wanted to talk about it. PLEASE TURN BACK NOW if you haven't watched the series yet. It's one worth watching unspoiled, I promise.
My absolute favourite of the series and I think most would agree. Klaus, the manic, alcoholic, drug addict has the ability to summon and speak to the dead.
Perhaps the most obvious, Klaus is a lustful character. A lot of people associate the word exclusively with sex but actually, the real definition is "a psychological force producing intense wanting or longing for an object, or circumstance fulfilling the emotion." This is different from gluttony or greed.
By the end of the series, after Klaus loves and loses Dave, we begin to see him overcoming his sin. Whether or not that maintains itself into series two remains to be seen.
The ability to speak to the dead is, perhaps, the crummiest power on this list. And it's pretty well warped Klaus's mind from day one. However, we begin to see the strength behind this gift. Klaus's job is to listen to the dead - it's a gift which is more in service to others than it is to himself.
We also see his apparent attitude of being carefree and laid back being shown up for the persona that it is. He cares deeply for Dave. He argues against Vanya's treatment in the last episode. And when Luther has his crisis of confidence, it's Klaus of all people running around trying to look after him.
Allison is the Umbrella Academy's Purple Man, able to supernaturally manipulate anyone into doing what she wants by saying 'I heard a rumour', adding the action she wants her victim to do. In fact, if you want to read more about Allison's mind control abilities, there's a post for that too!
There is a selfishness to gluttony that you don't see with lust. Gluttony means "placing concern with one's own impulses or interests above the well-being or interests of others."
A woman who has used her powers to get people to fall in love with her, become a star and even to manipulate her child to go sleep is placing her own desires above all others. In a really clever bit of writing, Allison is shown to overcome this sin by the end of the series as her voice is literally taken away from her.
Allison is shown as the bridge builder for the group who are all incredibly high strung characters, she greets every situation with a calmness the others lack and accepts everyone despite their faults. We're first introduced to her welcome Vanya home despite her perceived betrayal and immediately after, accepts Klaus for Klaus. She also comforts Luther after finding out about his new body.
Diego has some classic superhero powers. He's a master knife-thrower, able to hit any target. He also has the power curve his knives in midair. He's also hands down the best dancer of the Hargreeves siblings. Just saying.
The driving force of Greed is "is an inordinate or insatiable longing for material gain." Diego wants power - he wants to be the leader of the family and we see him time and again bang heads with Luther. Diego, like Klaus, overcomes this sin by the end of the series.
However, this puts me in a tough spot because I also believe that Diego embodies Charity. Of all the Hargreeves siblings, Diego is using his powers to help people. He's a vigilante. We're first introduced to saving a family from robbers. And from what we learn from Detective Patch, he spends a lot of time on the streets stopping crime and saving people.
Another key aspect of charity is the quality of sacrifice; Diego sacrifices his mother Grace who he adores and gives up his revenge on Cha-Cha in honour of Patch's memory. If I'm right, it would make Diego one of the most conflicted characters of the series.
Ben is dead. He hangs around with Klaus a lot. When he was alive, he had the ability to "summon and control eldritch tentacle creatures from a portal in his stomach." Nice.
Perhaps unfairly, but being dead kinda means that Ben is not a particularly active character. When we're first introduced to him, he's receded, quiet, barely there. Through the series we see him overcome this sin to become a far more substantial part of the action.
Ben acts as Klaus's Jiminy Cricket in many ways - the angel on his shoulder. Temperance is defined as moderation and we see this when Ben was alive. Of all the Hargreeves siblings he is shown to be the most reluctance to use his powers. Perhaps this is an indication of sloth but given the power we see him wield in the series finally, this should also be viewed as Temperance.
Five is the most powerful and most intelligent of all the Hargreeves. Interestingly, he's also the only sibling who doesn't have a name. He has the ability to teleport through time and space.
Self explanatory, really. Five is a rather unhappy character at the best of times. He's burdened by the knowledge of the future and feels he's the only one who can prevent it. The frustration of the situation, not to mention being an old man stuck in a child's body means that Five peevish to say the least. If he was adult I'd call him a dick but the only word I have for Five is brat.
Five's diligence is pretty much on display from the moment he arrives. He's a man on a mission - save the world, save his family. When The Handler attempts to lure him away by offering power, an office and promotion, his demand is his family's safety. For perhaps the most cantankerous character in the series, he's also shown to be as fervent in his desire to save his family as Allison is.
Another pretty self-explanatory one, Luther is the proudest of the Hargreeves. And when he discovers his father sent him to the Moon to get him out of the way, rather than for any glorious purpose, Luther entirely shatters. Twice.
Poor Luther, I've also written a post about why Luther is the most hated character of The Umbrella Academy. You can read that here!
Well, I mean because... you know. It's pretty clear. This is a man who lived at home for years and then on the Moon. He has pretty much abstained from life in general.
Again, MASSIVE SPOILER WARNING!
Vanya is deeply envious of her siblings for their unique powers. But not only their powers, but for the closeness and community they shared and she was excluded from.
This envy is central to the plot of Umbrella Academy and drives the main conflict between Vanya, Leonard Peabody/Harold Jenkins and the Hargreeves siblings.
While clearly envious of her siblings, Vanya's humility - even if it has been hammered into her by her father and 'rumoured' into her by Allison - is the reason the world stayed safe for as long as it did. Even though there's an argument to be made that had she been raised as an equal...
Still, we see Vanya's modesty and humbleness as her central characteristic. She doesn't share the pride or self-indulgence of her siblings. For me, it makes her the most relatable character of her series,