The third season of Netflix 's much-anticipated sci-fi series The Umbrella Academy has finally been released on the streaming platform - but a lot of fans have been confused by the new cast of characters, as well as one old character who has been brought back from the dead.
Adapted from a comic book series written by My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way, the show follows the seven superheroes of the Umbrella Academy; the discordant bunch born on the same day, at the same time, to mothers who had not been pregnant at the time.
As is usual in the Academy, not everything is as it seems. After the time-travel-based hijinx of the second season many fan favourites, such as ghost-seeing Klaus (Robert Sheehan/ Misfits ) and sonic destroyer Vanya ( Elliot Page /Juno), return to their own time and find that they have been replaced.
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Who are the new cast members?
After returning from an apocalyptic 1960s to an altered present day, the Umbrella gang discovers both that their much-hated father is alive again and that their Umbrella Academy has been replaced by The Sparrows Academy - five new members, a floating cube, and their once-dead brother Ben.
Just as with the original cast members, the Sparrows have been named from Number One to Number Seven. The newly re-united Umbrella gang will spend Season Three grappling with these new superpowered siblings - so who are they?
Number One - Marcus (Justin Cornwell)
Like Umbrella's Number One, Marcus was born with superstrength. Unlike the other One, Marcus does not have the upper body of a gorilla.
Number Two - Ben (Justin H. Min)
Though he is played by the same actor, this altered Ben is very different from the Number Six we are used to - second-in-command, darker and more machiavellian. Though, he does still summon monster tentacles so not too much has changed.
Number Three - Fei (Britne Oldford)
The new Number Three has the power to emit blackbirds, which is a fairly unique power. Justin Min said "Ben always saw Fei as his right-hand person, who he could convince to do things for him when he was Number One. So over the course of the season, he goes back to her and starts to scheme with her in the same way."
Number Four - Alphonso (Jake Epstein)
Not the prettiest of heroes, Alphonso has the power to take a blow and then reflect it right back. Like a living voodoo doll.
Number Five - Sloane (Genesis Rodriguez)
Not all powers are made equal in the Academy series, never more true than for Sloane who can manipulate a fundamental force of nature - gravity. Despite this strength, she is the friendliest of the Sparrows.
Number Six - Jayme (Cazzie David)
One of the stranger Season Three powers, Jayme can induce strange visions in people, just by spitting on them with her hallucinogenic black spit.
Number Seven - Christopher (???)
A floating cube named Christopher that shoots lasers, fine. Only members of the Sparrow Academy can speak to this cube.
"At one point I thought that we would give him a voice, but then we decided it was more interesting and a lot more fun if they're the only ones who understand him," showrunner Steve Blackman says. "I think he's a very tough personality, but only the Sparrows understand the insults that he's spewing at the Umbrella Academy."
How is Ben back from the dead?
Long-time viewers of the series will know that Ben, Number Six in his own timeline, dies at a young age and can only be contacted by clairvoyant Klaus.
Over the course of the second season Ben tries his hardest to be seen by the other members of his family, before ultimately sacrificing himself to prevent Vanya from causing yet another apocalypse.
At the end of Season Two, with the apocalypse over, the universe resets. This overrides Ben's previous death and brings him back as a member of the new Sparrow Academy.
No longer just a ghost, the powerful tentacle summoner grows into his element in the third season, making up for all the lost time as a ghost by climbing up the rungs of the Sparrow Academy to its number two position.