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Why Ben Was The Sparrows’ Number 2 But The Umbrella Academy’s #6

Ben Hargreeves was the Umbrella Academy’s Number 6, but season 3’s Sparrow version is Number 2. Why is there such a huge difference between ranks?

Ben Hargreeves is the only character in The Umbrella Academy belonging to both the original Umbrella group and season 3’s Sparrows – but why does he get bumped from Number Six to Number Two between timelines? When Sir Reginald Hargreeves first adopted seven children from the 43 spontaneous births, he assigned them all a number, with Ben – who possessed the power to summon interdimensional creatures from his stomach – handed the Number Six position. Ben sadly died years before The Umbrella Academy‘s opening episode, creating an even bigger gap between Klaus (Number Four) and Viktor (Number Seven) after Five had already vanished into the future.

History played out very differently in The Umbrella Academy‘s Sparrow timeline. Displeased by the grown-up Umbrella kids he met in 1962, Sir Reginald selected a totally different team – not that it would’ve mattered anyway, thanks to Harlan. Because Reginald couldn’t see Ben’s ghost (and because he survived Harlan’s outburst), however, the Horror still made his cut. Weirdly, The Umbrella Academy season 3’s Sparrow timeline sees Ben inherit the Number Two ranking after falling from his initial position as leader. Why the huge promotion from Number Six?

The Umbrella Academy‘s early episodes indicate that being “Number One” makes Luther leader, but when Ben and Fei (Sparrows #2 & #3) assume control of their team after Marcus’ death, it becomes clear that all the numbers are essentially a hierarchy. This would make sense, since Viktor (Umbrella #7) couldn’t join the Academy, while Christopher (Sparrow #7) is just a floating cube possessing minimal communication skills. With Sir Reginald’s prams, The Umbrella Academy also confirms these numbers were assigned at birth, likely because Reggie’s monocle sees the value of a person, according to the comic books. We can maybe deduce, therefore, that when Sir Reginald judged his seven Umbrellas, he deemed Luther, Diego, Allison, Klaus and Five superior leaders to Ben, but when he selected the Sparrows, Ben was judged the most suitable commander before later being demoted to Number Two and replaced by Marcus.

Is Sparrow Ben More Powerful Than The Umbrella Academy’s?

The Sparrow Academy’s Ben variant is clearly more powerful than the Umbrella original. All Sparrows are more disciplined, drilled and highly-trained, so fans can safely assume season 3’s Ben has superior fighting skills, strategic nous and field experience. And whereas Umbrella Ben has always just flailed his stomach tentacles wildly when fighting, Sparrow Ben shows improved control, skill and versatility, easily maneuvering the Lovecraftian appendages to his will.

While The Umbrella Academy‘s Sparrow Ben may beat Umbrella Ben in a fight, however, his superiority is only due to a vastly different upbringing rather than any intrinsic quality. Not only has Ben received better training in the Sparrow timeline, but he had 13 extra years to hone those skills and control his gifts compared to Umbrella Ben who died at 17. Both Bens should theoretically stand shoulder-to-shoulder in terms of their latent potential on a power scale, since their DNA and abilities remain unchanged between realities. The Sparrow timeline’s changes merely gave rise to a stronger Ben than in The Umbrella Academy‘s original history.

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