Number 1 (aka Luther) is the leader of the group on The Umbrella Academy, but he doesn’t seem to always have the confidence to lead. Here’s a look at what his powers are on the show (as compared to the comics) and what happened to him. This post has spoilers about Luther from Season 1.
In the TV series, Luther’s power is super strength. In some ways, he appears to be the most underpowered of the team, even though he’s also the designated leader and gets the number one ranking. He’s durable and super strong. But that’s it as far as his superpowers go. Remember Luke Cage from Marvel? Luther doesn’t even seem to have the durability and strength that Luke Cage has in Marvel, at least judging by some of the fight scenes. But based on the powers they have, their abilities should be similar.
As a kid, Luther was shown throwing a robber through the roof. But then when he’s fighting Hazel, he can barely stand toe-to-toe with him. (We do learn later that these agents sometimes appear to have super strength or their own skills, so it’s possible Hazel had super strength too.) Still, one has to wonder if Luther’s powers possibly lessened after the serum when he received the gorilla body on the TV show. He just doesn’t appear as impressive as an adult as he did when he was a teen.
Interestingly, in the comics Luther appears to have enhanced speed, agility, and intelligence. These aren’t really presented in the TV series, though, and the series definitely doesn’t present him as being extra smart. In the series, his main power is shown to simply be super strength.
As for what happened to Luther, he didn’t always have a larger form. He started out looking normal. We learn partway through Season 1 that Luther nearly died on a mission by himself. The only way Reginald could save him was by using an experimental serum on Luther. The serum basically turned all of Luther’s body into a gorilla body. It’s unclear how this happened. We showed Luther being given a serum while he was dying, and then waking up with a gorilla body. We’re not shown the actual transformation. Now that he has a gorilla’s body, he’s likely even stronger than he was. (Comic Spoiler Ahead: In the comics, Luther’s head was transplanted onto a gorilla’s body. Some fans still think that was done behind-the-scenes, but I’m thinking the serum really did just alter his body significantly.)
It’s worth noting that in the comic series, Reginald Hargreeves’ inventions augment all his children’s powers. For example, he builds levitator belts that let them fly and a teleporting elevator (televator) that lets them move quickly from location to location.
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