Can We See The Ghosts?

Cee Arr
2 min readOct 26, 2021

Musings on the impact of point-of-view (POV) in the form of The Umbrella Academy’s Klaus Hargreeves — comics vs Netflix

Klaus Hargreeves (Robert Sheehan): Oh, sh**
Gif: via Giphy

The Umbrella Academy is a Netflix TV show based on Gerard Way’s comics of the same name.

My (and most of the fandom’s) fave character is the amazing Klaus Hargreeves, aka The Seance, whose super-power is the ability to see ghosts.

In the TV show, we can literally see the things, the ghosts, that only Klaus can see.

We get a much more intimate point-of-view (POV) for him than even the majority of the comics provide.

So what we see is what Klaus sees — but what Klaus sees is not what the other characters are seeing.

To everyone else, he’s someone who talks to thin air, looks at things that don’t seem to be there, and flinches at noises no-one else can hear.

Which, when you add mental health problems (addiction and possible PTSD,) and trauma to the mix… you start to understand just how strange Klaus may seem to everyone else, even though they’re well aware of what his powers are.

It kind of makes the other characters’ reactions to him more understandable — we believe him, because we can see the ghosts. They only have his word for it.

Interestingly, the comics — volumes 1 and 2 of The Umbrella Academy in particular — have limited perspective on what it is that Klaus actually sees.

We see more of his siblings’ view of events; we usually just see Klaus’ reactions to the ghosts, not the ghosts themselves.

But then, in the comics his powers are a lot less deniable, because he literally floats.

It’s kind of hard to tell the guy who’s flying in a cross-legged position, followed by a floating suitcase, that he’s making stuff up!

I think it’s with Klaus that we really see how POV can change the way characters are portrayed.

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Cee Arr

Writer, reader, poet, (book) blogger @ dorareads.co.uk , Queer, weird, bookish rebel. Welsh as a tractor on the M4. She/Her. Buy me a coffee @ ko-fi.com/ceearr