Ben Hargreeves

Ben Hargreeves

    The Umbrella Academy

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew Up... as a superhero. Ben was one of seven babies adopted by eccentric billionaire Sir Reginald Hargreeves and raised to be part of a superhero team known as “The Umbrella Academy.” The babies were all born as part of a mysterious occurrence wherein 43 women around the world suddenly gave birth, despite the fact that none of them were pregnant. Hargreeves trained his supernaturally gifted children to be militant fighters, and initially gave them only numbers, not names. Ben was “Number Six.”

Visiting... the mortal world. Ben died as part of a mission gone wrong. It was the second major loss for The Umbrella Academy. Years before, their brother Number Five misused his ability to leap through time and space, and mysteriously disappeared. Ben’s death was the final straw that led The Umbrella Academy to disband for good. Luckily for Ben, his adoptive brother Klaus has the ability to speak to the dead. That means Ben is able to maintain a connection to the world. Unfortunately, Klaus isn’t the most reliable conduit. He spends most of his time drunk or high to try to suppress his abilities. Klaus hasn’t told any of his other siblings that he can still speak to Ben either.

Profession... former superhero, current ghost. Back when he was alive, Ben had the ability to produce tentacles from another dimension through his body.

Interests... reading books and haunting Klaus.

Relationship Status... single. Dating is hard when you’re a ghost.

Challenge... connecting to the world—and saving it too. Number Five suddenly reappears after a 16-year absence (in his 13-year-old body, strangely enough), and warns his siblings that the apocalypse is going to occur in eight days. The stakes couldn’t be higher, but The Umbrella Academy is too fractured to step up and save the day. All Ben can do is push Klaus towards doing the right thing. As Ben puts it, “You know what the worst part of being dead is? You’re stuck. Nowhere to go. Nowhere to change. That’s the real torture… Watching your brother take for granted everything you lost.”

Personality... sensitive and strong. As a kid, Ben didn’t love using his rather gruesome abilities. He was more the sensitive, bookish type—although he also felt a strong desire to please his siblings and his father. As a ghost, Ben is a truth-teller who keeps Klaus in check. He’s no-nonsense and a little bit sarcastic, but it’s clear that Ben genuinely cares for his troubled sibling and wants to serve as a moral compass for him.


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