We first meet Reginald Hargreeves at the beginning of ‘The Umbrella Academy’ where the story starts with him narrating the mysterious event that led to the birth of 43 children at the same time on October 1, 1989, all over the world. He is introduced to us as a billionaire who has won a Nobel Award and is known for his many inventions that have changed the world. Despite his enthusiasm to adopt as many of the 43 children as possible, he doesn’t turn out to be a very good parent. He is cold and distant from his children and treats them like a science project, an experiment he needs to perfect.
His backstory and other details about how he managed to amass such wealth are shrouded in mystery, and as the events unfold, the Umbrella Academy discovers that he had never been completely honest with them. The worst extent of his betrayal was felt by Vanya, who discovered that he had suppressed her powers all along, and treated her like she didn’t belong at the Academy. Luther, too, feels betrayed by him because he had sent him to the Moon for four years and never bothered to look at the samples that he sent back.
The question remains: why did the old man do that? Why did he adopt these children and how did he know about them in the first place? Who really is Reginald Hargreeves? If you haven’t seen the show yet, head over to Netflix. SPOILERS AHEAD
Is Reginald Hargreeves an alien?
While we don’t have a complete answer to this mystery yet, the show does give us some bits and pieces about Hargreeves’s backstory. In the final episode of Season 1, we find Reginald in a strange place, where his ill wife bids goodbye to him. He releases strange glowing things in the air, as she dies, and in the background, we discover that he is not on Earth. This gives rise to the theory that Reginald is actually an alien. Nothing more is added to this theory until the penultimate episode of Season 2 where we actually get a glimpse of his true form.
Rewind a little bit, and we discover that a hint had already been dropped in an earlier episode of Season 2. When Diego, Five, and Lila crash the party at the Mexican consulate, a reference is made to Roswell, and the need to keep its secret intact is emphasized. The Majestic 12, of which Hargreeves turns out to be a member of, is worried about Kennedy poking around at the site, which is known for nothing but the alien conspiracy theories surrounding it. In keeping the secret of Roswell, the Majestic 12 want to keep the secret of alien-life, and hence, that of Reginald Hargreeves.
Him being an alien also explains how he has access to the technology that seems too futuristic at times. In one scene, the leader of the Majestic 12 tells him that they have kept him around for providing them with the technology they need. He is to help them get to the Moon, and they will support him in his research on the dark side of the Moon. While this doesn’t explain what interest Reginald has in the Moon, it does explain why he sent Luther there for four years.
Another theory that we can extrapolate from here is the true parentage of the Umbrella Academy and all the other children who were born on October 1, 1989. The glowing things that he had released in the finale of Season 1 could be the energy that eventually turns into the children. Because they are of alien origins, it would also explain why every single one of them is born with some kind of superpower. Moreover, it also hints at Reginald Hargreeves possessing some superpower himself.