Marvel and cable television station FX are geared to team up. What will they produce together? Legion, a new series spearheaded by Fargo creator Noah Hawley. Based on the X-Men comic book character of the same name, The series revolves around David Haller (code named “Legion”), a young man gifted with several mutant powers and schizophrenia on top of that.
Dan Stevens portrays Legion, while Aubrey Plaza, Katie Aselton and Fargo cast members Jean Smart and Rachel Keller also have significant roles. Set to begin its eight-episode run in early 2017, the trailer shows Haller’s personalities and some of his many mutant powers, a different one for each personality. Another nod to the character is how he has one green eye and one blue eye (that description of him has only appeared in those Marvel Universe Official Handbook guides). But there’s more to Legion than what the trailer indicates.
Real Name: David Charles Haller
First Appearance: The New Mutants (Vo1. 1) #25, March 1985
Powers: Legion’s mutant ability is to manifest new mutant powers at will, altering his own genetic code to develop any super-power or set of super-powers he can imagine. His initial power manifestation was so traumatic that it splintered his mind into multiple personalities, with each personality controlling a different mutant power. He currently utilizes a wrist keypad to focus his power, enabling him to summon his abilities without the personality associated with them for a short period of time. Over the years, he has demonstrated telepathy, telekinesis, pyrokinesis, superhuman strength, speed, x-ray vision, clairvoyance, teleportation, empathic amplification & force conversion, shape-shifting, mass-shifting, lycanthropy, heat-siphoning, sonic scream, flight, spear-like arms, elastic and prehensile tongue, animation of unliving materials, transmuting matter into salt, acoustic blasts, electrical blasts, viral genetic pattern, corrosive bile, time-travel, time manipulation, and pocket reality construction.
Brief History: At least a decade prior to forming the X-Men, Charles Xavier worked as a psychologist in war-torn Israel. One of his patients was a young woman named Gabrielle Haller. A Holocaust survivor during childhood, she became overtaken by those traumatic experiences during adulthood and retreated into a catatonic state. Xavier used his telepathy to reach Gaby’s inner self and helped her overcome the trauma. They briefly became lovers, but the relationship ended before either of them learned that Gaby was pregnant with Charles’ child. Because he was a mutant, Gaby elected to keep David’s birth a secret from Charles.
Raising David with help from his godfather (Daniel Shromon), Gaby became Israeli’s ambassador to Great Britain. While living in France, a ten-year-old David and Daniel were attacked by Arab terrorists seeking to kill every Jewish person they could find. Witnessing the murder of his godfather, the trauma unlocked David’s latent mutant powers and he used them to incinerate the brains of his attackers. He also absorbed mind of the terrorists’ leader into his own. These events rendered David’s mind into a catatonic state, and then shattering David’s own psyche into several splinter personalities, each possessing a different mutant ability.
To make a long story short, Gaby takes David to his father for help 10 years after the trauma and Xavier is shocked to learn that he has a son. He gets helped for the most part, goes into a coma, wakes up and causes the Age of Apocalypse, and then the Age of X. Though I doubt they’ll incorporate any of this history into his TV counterpart, it’s good to see that Marvel has regained some use of the word “mutant” to some extent.