Do the numbers of each child in The Umbrella Academy correspond to their respective power levels? Based on the comic book series by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba, The Umbrella Academy begins with the spontaneous births of 43 super-powered children across the globe at exactly the same time. Seven of these surprise tots are purchased by the mysterious Sir Reginald Hargreeves, who turns them into the famous crime-fighting team known as the Umbrella Academy. A major theme of the Netflix series deals with Reginald's detached method of parenting - an upbringing that led to some deep-seated mental issues for the adopted children.
As part of his hands-off approach to being a father, Reginald would refer to his children by number only, with their regular names eventually given after the creation of a robot to handle the motherly duties of the house. Luther is Number One, Diego is Number Two, Allison is Number 3, Klaus is Number 4, Number 5 has no other name, the deceased Ben is Number 6 and, finally, Vanya is Number 7.
The Umbrella Academy makes no real reference to these numbers having any meaning and, for the most part, they appear to be have been assigned at random. But very little is random about Sir Reginald Hargreeves, who meticulously kept detailed notes on all of his children and their abilities. Additionally, the children were all born at the same time, so the numbers can't denote age, which might usually be the obvious ordering method. The true meaning behind the numbers could be revealed in The Umbrella Academy season 2, but perhaps enough clues have already been provided to solve the riddle.
Over the course of The Umbrella Academy season 1, Vanya is manipulated into becoming the White Violin - the final villain of the season. While initially thought to be the dud of the bunch, Vanya is ultimately revealed to be the most powerful of all the Umbrella Academy kids, possessing enough power to destroy the moon, and Reginald was aware of this potential from the very beginning. With Vanya the most powerful of the Hargreeves children and the designated Number 7, reading the list in descending order does seem to reveal that the Academy are numbered in terms of power.
7. (strongest) Vanya - Sound wave manipulation.
6. Ben - Beast summoning
5. Number 5 - Time/space travel
4. Klaus - Conjuring the deceased
3. Allison - Verbal control
2. Diego - Throwing manipulation
1. (weakest) Luther - Super Strength
As Number 6, Ben should be the second most powerful, according to this theory. Viewers see little of Ben's abilities, but it's clear that he's often used as a last resort weapon - as evidenced in both the bank heist scene and the opera house finale. By summoning a demonic beast from another dimension, Ben seems capable of taking down large amounts of enemies with ease. Moving down the list, Number 5 would be the 3rd most powerful child, which makes sense when taking into account Reginald's stern warnings about the use of time travel. Conjuring the dead puts Klaus at 4th. Although his ability is useless while high, Klaus' power to physically manifest the dead is certainly fearsome, but is also entirely dependent on the person he's able to conjure.
Able to convince enemies to do anything she wishes, Allison would, quite rightly, come below time travel and demon summoning but is more powerful than Diego and Luther, whose abilities are purely physical in nature. Coming in second from bottom, Diego is able to manipulate thrown objects, which is slightly more useful than Luther's super strength and durability - the least superhuman ability of all the Academy members.
There is a subjective element to the strength of the Hargreeves children, and it's also possible that viewers haven't seen the full extent of their abilities yet. However, the descending power order does fit suspiciously well with the Umbrella Academy's numbers. There is an alternative explanation, however. The Umbrella Academy reveals that Luther, as Number 1, is the group's leader. As a result, each number could simply represent how suitable each kid is to be the Academy's leader. By this method, the meek Vanya and battle-shy Ben would understandably be at the bottom, with combat-savvy Diego and smart, cunning Allison near the top of the list behind the loyal and headstrong Luther.
The Umbrella Academy season 2 is currently without a release date. More news as it arrives.