Who is Legion?
The following article contains information about the character Legion, the X-Men related character published by Marvel Comics and may reveal potential spoilers about the main character of FX’s new Legion television program.
David Charles Haller first appeared in The New Mutants #25 (March 1985). Character creation goes to Chris Claremont (writer) and Bill Sienkiewicz (artist). Presented as an immensely powerful mutant, aspects of the character displayed the powers of telekinesis, telepathy, and pyrokinesis due to suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder.
The following personalities interacted with the New Mutants during the 1985 story:
- Jemail Kerami (Telepathy)
- Jack Wayne (Telekinesis)
- Cyndi (Pyrokinesis)
The character’s background – specifically his parentage – featured prominently in the story. David Charles Haller was born to Gabrielle Haller, now an Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations, and Professor Charles Francis Xavier. And, as with many young mutants in the Marvel Universe, David’s powers emerged when the area of Israel where he lived fell victim to a terrorist attack.The sheer terror of the event caused David’s powers to manifest, destroying the minds of those who attacked him and those around him. This event caused the first known alternate personality to bond with David’s own – the mind of Jamail Kermai, the leader of the terrorist group.
David’s mind has the “ability” to create other alternate personalities without the need to absorb someone. It should be noted that he can only absorb a personality of another person if he is A) in close proximity to the person and/or mentally linked and B)the person is dying.
The Jamail personality was changed by the events of the attack and later worked with others in attempts to heal David’s mind. On the other hand, the personality of Jack Wayne sought full control and eradication of the others.
Character In A Corner?
As first presented, David’s possessed a trio of powers; however, over the years, the number grew as more personalities emerged. This begs the question: Do creators ultimately write the character into the proverbial corner by making them too powerful?
Think about Superman. How often has he been depowered or shown to have less power than he did before. If Superman can move planets, then his adversaries must be able to do that and more!
Think about the Scarlet Witch. How often has her powers been explained, changed, altered, etc.? If she can change reality on a whim, so must her adversaries! Does it defeat the purpose of her being a member of the Avengers if she could simply wave her hand and vanquish the villain du jour?
Perhaps, with Legion, his mental issues served to make him less powerful? I’m uncertain how much validity I can offer to that claim since he has been responsible for two reality-altering X-Men events, The Age of Apocalypse and The Age of X.
Legion’s mind shattered beyond the original three after the death of Charles Xavier.
Legions last appearances were within the pages of X-Men Legacy, possessing (potentially) thousands of personalities. Legion currently does not appear in any X-Men related comics. This may change depending on the success of the TV series.
Check out Episode 36 for our discussion on the character and discuss our opinions on the FX series premiere.