Legion (Marvel Comics)
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|First appearance||New Mutants #25 (March 1985)|
|Created by||Chris Claremont (Writer)
Bill Sienkiewicz (Artist)
|Alter ego||David Charles Haller|
|Team affiliations||Muir Island X-Men
|Notable aliases||Daniel Haller, Cyndi, Rodney, Ian, Lucas, Fanya, Jack Wayne, Boris, Zachary, Sylvester, Jemail Karami|
Ability to absorb a person's psyche into his as an alternate personality and manifest their superhuman abilities when they are dominant, including:
Legion (David Charles Haller) is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character was created by writer Chris Claremont and artist Bill Sienkiewicz, and first appeared in New Mutants #25 (March 1985). Legion is the mutant son of Professor Charles Xavier and Gabrielle Haller. He takes the role of an antihero and has a severe mental illness, including a form of dissociative identity disorder, with each of his personas controlling one of his many superpowers.
- 1 Publication history
- 2 Fictional character biography
- 3 Powers and abilities
- 4 Mentality
- 5 Other versions
- 6 In other media
- 7 References
- 8 External links
In 1991 Legion was assigned to be a co-starring character in the newly revamped X-Factor, as a member of the titular superteam. However, writer Peter David was uncomfortable with this, and ultimately editor Bob Harras independently came to the conclusion that Legion should not be used in the series. David explained, "I don't mind building a story around [Legion], but working him into a group - you're really asking for a bit much from the reader. Believing that a group of people will come together to form a team is enough of a suspension of disbelief... 'Oh, by the way, one of them is so nuts he shouldn't be setting foot off Muir Island'... that's asking the reader to bend so far he will break."
Fictional character biography
Charles Xavier met Gabrielle Haller while he was working in an Israeli psychiatric facility where she was one of his patients. Xavier was secretly using his psychic powers to ease the pain of Holocaust survivors institutionalized there. The two had an affair that resulted in the birth of their son David. Xavier was initially unaware of this, as Gabrielle never told him she was pregnant.[volume & issue needed]
When he was very young, David was among the victims of a terrorist attack, in which he was the only survivor. The trauma of the situation caused David to manifest his mutant powers, incinerating the minds of the terrorists. In the process, he absorbed the mind of the terrorist leader, Jemail Karami, into his own. Being linked to so many others at their time of death, he was rendered catatonic, and remained in the care of Moira MacTaggert at the Muir Island mutant research facility. The trauma caused David's personality to splinter, with each of the personalities controlling a different aspect of his psionic power.[volume & issue needed]
Struggle from within
Karami struggled for years to separate his consciousness from David's. Using David's telepathic abilities, he reintegrated the multiple personalities into David's core personality. Some of the personalities resisted Karami, and two proved to be formidable opponents: Jack Wayne, a swaggering adventurer, who commands David's telekinetic power, and Cyndi, a temperamental, rebellious girl who controls David's pyrokinetic power. Wayne intended to destroy Karami's consciousness to preserve his own independent existence within David's mind. Neither personality succeeds, and Karami, Wayne, and Cyndi continue as David's dominant personalities.[volume & issue needed]
During his time at Muir Island, David emerged from his catatonia. Soon after, David was possessed by the Shadow King, who used his powers to psychically increase the amount of hatred in the world and feed on the malignant energy. During this time, the Shadow King, as David, killed the mutant Destiny. The X-Men and X-Factor fought the Shadow King, and as a result, David was left in a coma.
Legion Quest/Age of Apocalypse
When Mystique tracked down David years later to get revenge for "his" murder of Destiny, he awakened with his fractured mind healed. David had a new goal, to help his father realize his dream of human-mutant coexistence by killing Magneto, Xavier's greatest opponent, before he had a chance to amass power. He traveled twenty years into the past, when Xavier and Magneto were orderlies at the mental hospital. In the process, he loses his memory. Magneto then accidentally triggers his memory, causing David to go on a rampage, attacking Magneto and revealing the existence of mutants to the public decades too early. Several X-Men who were pulled back in time with him were unable to prevent him from attacking Magneto. Xavier, however, leaped into the path of the psi-knife (the focused totality of Legion's psionic powers) being killed in Magneto's place, causing the formation of the Age of Apocalypse timeline.
Due to being trapped in the past by David's actions, Bishop enlisted the aid of the new reality's X-Men to travel back in time to confront Legion again. Bishop seized Legion's psi-blade and drove it into his own chest, allowing Legion to see the future that he caused. In his last moments, David apologized for what he did. David's mother, Gabrielle Haller, described having a "maternal loss" afterward implying David had never been conceived.[volume & issue needed]
While David was considered deceased, some of his alternate personalities remained trapped between life and death, manifesting as spirits. When the spirits started terrorizing Israel, Excalibur was called to stop them. After learning that the spirits were refusing death, Meggan used her empathy to calm their rage, convincing them to go "towards the light."[volume & issue needed]
Sometime later, Legion is discovered alive and trapped in a concrete box by the reformed New Mutants as they are investigating a possible mutant case in Westcliffe, Colorado. After accidentally absorbing Karma and trying to protect a little girl called Marci, who is trapped within his mind as well, David, now beset with an army of split personalities, tries to take control of his body through a doll named Moira, which enables its 'holder' to gain control of David's body and use his or her powers at will. Moira has come into Marci's possession and is coveted by the other personalities, particularly the more vicious and free-wheeling ones—especially Jack Wayne, who had become the ringleader for the struggle of control over David's body and powers.
After escaping his cell, David flies off to kill Dani Moonstar. One of Legion's split personalities revealed that when Bishop used Legion's psychic blade, David was transported to the Age of Apocalypse timeline where he was caught and made a slave, but it didn't reveal how Legion managed to return to the present timeline. When Magik is absorbed into his mind as well, she begins killing off some of the more hostile personalities, including Jack Wayne, to get to Karma and Marci. Eventually Marci leads the girls to David, who has been locked away by the other personalities. They then manage to get a hold of the doll that controls his body; Karma and Magik return to their bodies, and David is taken into the care of the X-Men.
Following the aftermath of Utopia, the X-Club, along with Rogue and Danger are repairing David's mind by isolating the other personalities from each other, much to the delight of David. It is revealed by Karma, during a session with Kavita Rao that Marci was a little girl from Westcliffe who helped David by keeping him company when he came back from the Age of Apocalypse, but one of the other personalities within Legion ended up murdering her, so Marci became permanently trapped within his mind. Before Karma and Magik left his mind, Karma killed the entity who murdered Marci using Magik's soulsword. Both lie to Kavita, saying Magik killed him. With nowhere to return to, and as the only independent and non-violent personality inside him, Marci is allowed to keep David company as a source of comfort and stability while the other personality fragments are separated and isolated from them.
Legion appears in X-Men: Second Coming as one of the X-Men fighting Bastion's Nimrod Sentinels. With the Nimrod army relentlessly appearing from a portal hell bent on destroying the mutants on Utopia, Charles Xavier is tasked with mobilizing his son to aid in their battle against the sentinels. This is because of the X-Men's need to employ Legion's unique powers, despite his apparent instability due to his dissociative identity disorder. Legion is airdropped into battle, employing two of his many personalities, each containing a different power.
Rise of the New Mutants
It was revealed that Magik is the one responsible for bringing Legion back to Earth from the Age of Apocalypse, for the purpose of destroying the Elder Gods once and for all.[volume & issue needed]
Age of X
When Xavier and Doctor Nemesis attempted to treat Legion's DID, it resulted in the creation of a new personality that attempted to 'protect' Legion from this 'assault' on his mind, the new personality assuming the appearance of the deceased Moira McTaggert and using its ability to warp reality to create a new world where Legion could be the hero that he always wanted to be. Unfortunately, this 'heroic' status consisted of Legion being one of the mutants responsible for generating a force wall to cut the mutants off from continuous assault and persecution from the rest of humanity, to the point that 'Moira' was creating random soldiers simply for Legion and the other mutants to kill them and create the impression that they were 'safe'. After Legacy- the alternate Rogue- was tipped off about the truth of this world, she was able to release Xavier and the other telepaths- 'Moira' having kept all telepathic mutants locked away in case they saw through her deception-, who subsequently convinced Legion to absorb 'Moira' back into himself and restore reality to its original form.
Legion was given a Neural Switchboard Wristband that was engineered by a collaboration of Doctor Nemesis, Madison Jeffries and Reed Richards. By keying in a number this device stimulates cells in the thalamus and neocortex, creating a one-way link between Legion's own mind and one of his sub-selves. This way Legion can utilize power sets without being overwhelmed by the personality. Later it was revealed that several of David's personas escaped with corporeal bodies. With the help of the X-Men, Legion began to hunt down and reabsorb all of these rogue personas, but while absorbing the last one he accidentally absorbed Rogue along and after releasing her he suffered a massive shock to his nervous system. Rogue stated that while she was inside Legion she was connected to thousands of types of powers and there are more being born all the time.[volume & issue needed]
Avengers vs. X-Men
Legion recovered at some point and was seen with his father. When the Phoenix approached the earth to choose a host, it caused all the omega level telepaths to suffer great pain and Legion was one of them.[volume & issue needed] At some point, Xavier took David to Merzah the Mystic to help him control his vast powers.[volume & issue needed]
Quest for control and Xavier legacy
With the help of Merzah the Mystic, David gains a great amount of control over his powers by constructing a prison in his mind and locking away many sub-personalities while using needled gloves to drain the persona of its power. However, this control was destroyed when a Phoenix Force-possessed Cyclops killed Professor X, which caused a mental shock that caused Legion to lose control and destroy the place he was in and free all the evil personalities. This caused the death of Merzah the Mystic and many others. Also, unknown to David a new persona emerges and kills another persona. One by one, the Legion personas take control of David's body and start wreaking havoc around the world. David takes his body back over and finds out that he is in China. There he is attacked by people and helped by an unknown entity who uses a dead goat to build a body for itself. However, the stranger begins to insult David's father and kill some of the people and David was being pursed by one of his sub-personas and it got close to him. David defeats the persona and uses its power to knockout the people and read the mind of the stranger to find it full of hate for him, his father, and mutants in general. Also, David finds out there are two twin mutants in need of help. David decides to help them and takes control of his power once and for all.[volume & issue needed]
After finding his way to Japan, Legion is ambushed and captured. Later, David learns that the twins are not prisoners but the heirs of Logan's old enemy Ogun. However, Legion notes that the twins are not doing what they do willingly and convince them that if they don't want to do something they shouldn't be forced to as they are children. Legion also admits to himself that his father wasn't perfect and just because he died doesn't mean he was, and there is no harm in trying to be better. This allows David to gain more self-confidence, which makes him mentally stronger and able to beat another persona and drain it and use its power. Legion asks the twins to accompany him in his journey and the twins accept his offer. However, the same entity that David met tricks the X-Men to make them think that Legion was going to hurt the twins, so that they attacked the location, demanding that Legion step away from the twins.
In the final issue of X-Men: Legacy, Legion, reaching the full extent of his powers, decides to erase himself from existence by never being born. However, there is still an aspect of himself living within Blindfold's mind.
Powers and abilities
Legion is an Omega-level mutant who has multiple personalities. The first personality to manifest, Jemail, was the mind of a terrorist that David somehow absorbed into himself. According to Karma, the only way he can absorb other people into his mind is if he is right next to them when they die or through telepathy. Two others, Jack Wayne and Cyndi, have made themselves known, but it is unknown how many other personalities may exist. The manifestation of Legion's individual powers are each associated with a different personality, and each personality controls a different power. The cumulative powers of all his personalities make him one of the strongest mutants in existence.
Legion's core personality took control of his splinter personalities' powers when he traveled back in time.
Some of the powers alter the host body physically, such as lycanthropy or a prehensile tongue. According to Cannonball, this is a relatively new ability. Some of the other powers include super speed, flight, X-ray vision, heat absorption, super strength, matter animation and sonic scream. Dr. Nemesis claims that Legion instinctively created a doll named Moira; when one personality gains control of the doll, it controls the body. Using the soulsword given to her by Magik, Karma went inside Legion's psyche and liberated an unknown personality imprisoned deep within him. This persona turned out to be Legion himself, displaying a different behavior and appearance, marked by his peculiar eyebrows. This "true Legion" persona could warp reality and wiped the Elder Gods from existence, later resetting the universe to a state before the Elder Gods first appeared on Earth.
A new personality emerged when Dr. Nemesis started killing off the other personalities. This new personality was described by Professor X to be psychic antibody, this one possess psychic abilities and warp-reality. This personality seemed to be the only one that wanted David to be happy so she made the Age of X reality where David would be seen as a hero. She took the form of Moira and became his "mother" in this reality.
After the Age of X has ended, David was given a Neural Switchboard Wristband which was engineered by a collaboration of Doctor Nemesis, Madison Jeffries, and Reed Richards. By keying in a number, this device stimulates cells in the thalamus and neocortex, creating a one-way link between Legion's own mind and one of his sub-selves. This allows Legion to utilize power sets without being overwhelmed by the personality.
In the current X-Men: Legacy Volume, David was shown to have greater control over his powers, but lost this control due the mental shock of his father's death. New sub-personas were shown with powers of their own.
The following characters are the different personalities of Legion where each one has a different power:
- Through the personality of terrorist Jemail Karami (the name given to Personality #2), he has manifested telepathy.
- Through the personality of roustabout adventurer Jack Wayne (the name given to Personality #3), he has manifested telekinesis
- Through the personality of the rebellious girl Cyndi (the name given to Personality #4), he has manifested pyrokinesis. This personality of Legion had a crush on Cypher.
- Through the personality of The Legion (the name given to Personality #5 and Legion's "real me"), he can warp time and reality where this form was responsible for the Age of Apocalypse reality. Magik nicknamed this personality as a "God-Mutant."
- Through the personality of Sally (the name given to Personality #67), he has the appearance of an obese woman with Hulk-like super-strength and increased muscle mass.
- Through the personality of an unnamed punk rocker (who was classified as Personality #115), he can channel sound blasts that are referred to as "Acoustic Aggressive" by the Nimrod Sentinels.
- Little is known about Personality #181 except for the fact that this persona can enlarge itself to an undetermined size. This was the first power Legion utilized with the Neural Switchboard Wristband.
- Through the personality of Johnny Gomorrah (the name given to Personality #186), he can transmute his enemies and objects into salt.
- Time-Sink (the name given to Personality #227) has the ability of time-manipulation.
- Personality #302 uses rapid-punching abilities.
- Styx (the name given to Personality #666) has the ability to use a touch of death to absorb the spirits of his victims after absorbing a spirit so Styx can continue to control the victim's body. David finds and absorbs them.
- Personality #749 can discharge electricity.
- Personality #762 is a pirate that can belch an acid gas.
- Personality #898 is a centaur.
- Personality #993 can emit gaseous materials at high speeds.
- Delphic (the name given to Personality #1012) is a blue-skinned seemingly-omniscient seer willing to answer three questions to supplicants. She also gives off what appears to be electric discharges.
- Absence is an alien/demon creature who claims to have traveled through realities and stars. Absence's power is to "siphon off heat and love."
- Bleeding Image is a living voodoo doll and amplifies pain from any injury he inflicts on himself will be felt by his victims.
- Chain is a human virus turning anyone he touches into a copy of himself with a new weapon.
- "Fiend" is a persona that emerges due to the mental shock of Professor X's death. It has an unknown power and it has been shown to be immune to telepathy, as it was shown to be unaffected by Blindfold when she rendered all the sub-personalities to fall asleep and attacked her, causing Blindfold a psychic-trauma. He has the form of a yellow little goblin-like creature with unknown power. This personality also contained a part of Professor X who calls David his "son."
- Chronodon is a dinosaur with a clock on its face. Based on its name, it can be assumed that it has time manipulation.
- Clown is a surly-looking clown that can blast a light energy from his mouth.
- Compass Rose can locate any person and teleport to them.
- Drexel is a foul-mouthed simpleton with super-strength.
- Endgame can counter any attack executed against him such as increasing strength with a melee attack or changing his form with a magnetic.
- Findel the Finder can find anyone across the galaxy.
- Hugh Davidson is a stereotypical prepster with a long prehensile tongue.
- Hypnobloke is a strange gentleman with flashing swirls for eyes in a top hat and carrying a pocket watch. His powers are that of hypnotic suggestion.
- Kirbax the Kraklar is a demonic creature with the ability of flight and electricity generation.
- Ksenia Nadejda Panov is a Moscow heiress, discus champion, exporter of caviar, torturer of puppies. She has the ability to generate ionic scalpels from her fingers.
- K-Zek the Conduit Power appears to be an android with the ability of wireless energy transfer (or WET) and electrical absorption.
- Marci Sabol is a normal girl that David Haller had once met. She became trapped in his mind when she was killed by one of Legion's other personalities.
- Max Kelvin has the appearance of an crotchety old man. His eyes protrude when he uses his powers of plasmatic flame generation..
- Mycolojester is a plant-like entity with the attire of a jester. He has the mutant power to emit toxic spores from the skin pores on his body which acts as a powerful nerve gas. However, its effects can be dissipated by water.
- Non-Newtonian Annie is a skinny purple women dressed in pink clothes. She has the power to be cloaked in a zero-tainullskin that deflects any attack and according to the law of the conservation of energy, kinetic energy is redirected.
- Origamist is a sumo wrestler who can warp reality and can fold space time.
- Protozoan Porter is a strange-looking near octopoid-like personality with physiological resemblance to a leech. He has the ability to teleport by disassembling into multiple little bits of ameboid like particles then reassembling them at a given destination.
- Pukatus Jr. is a small cherub-like demon which can vomit an acidic substance.
- Skinsmith control the ability to bend the skin of others.
- Susan in Sunshine can amplify emotions of those around her.
- Tyrannix the Abominoid is a Cthulhu-like creature with telepathic powers.
- Wormhole Wodo can open wormholes across the galaxy.
- Zero G. Priestly can control gravity.
- Zubar has the power to levitate himself.
- An unseen persona has the power to heal others which David uses to heal an old man from his psychic tumor.
Origin of name
The Ultimate incarnation of Proteus is a combination of Legion and Proteus from the mainstream comics. His mother Moira MacTaggert and his father is Charles Xavier. He possesses Proteus' reality warping power and is named David Xavier. He escapes his mother's facility, looking for his father, and murders hundreds to discredit him. David is later crushed by Colossus, while possessing S.T.R.I.K.E. agent Betsy Braddock inside a car.
Age of X
In the Age of X reality, Legion is a member of the Force Warriors, a select group of telekinetics who rebuild the "Force Walls" (telekinetic shields that protect Fortress X) on a daily basis. Unlike his 616 counterpart, there is no trace of the other personalities shown. When Magneto reveals that he too has questions regarding the origin of Fortress X, Legion and the Force Warriors arrive and relieve him of his command. It is then revealed that the Age of X was in some small way created by Legion himself. A flashback reveals that in the 616 universe Professor X was arguing with Dr. Nemesis regarding the latter's containment and deletion of Legion's other personalities in an effort to stabilize him. While Dr. Nemesis claimed that everything was going according to his plan, Professor X was unconvinced and entered Legion's mind. There he found the other personalities dead and their rotting corpses left in their containment units. This surprised Dr. Nemesis who claimed that when a personality was deleted it should simply disappear. Professor X was then attacked by what he called a "psychic antibody" a natural defense against Nemesis's deleting of the personalities. The antibody then took on the face of Moria MacTaggart and claimed that it would make a world where Legion could be happy. Professor X tried to warn Nemesis about the antibody's power but was unable to. The antibody then reshaped Utopia into Fortress X and inserted itself as Moria and the supercomputer X. Before Legion or Professor X could get any answers out of "Moria" the Force Walls fell and the human armies began their attack.[volume & issue needed]
In other media
- Legion will be getting his own live-action television series in 2017 on FX, with the show being produced by 20th Century Fox Television and Marvel Television. It was going to be set in the same universe as the X-Men film series, but FX CEO John Landgraf revealed that the series is set in a 'parallel universe' instead. Rachel Keller will play a mysterious female lead who's "a scrappy, optimistic woman in her 20s," and will demonstrate powers that are "tied to human touch", much like X-Men mainstay, Rogue. In February 2016, Dan Stevens was cast as the titular lead character, with Aubrey Plaza, Jean Smart, Amber Midthunder and Katie Aselton also landing lead roles in the program. The series was picked up by FX in early 2017 with 8 episodes.
- Legion appears in the X-Men: Evolution episode "Sins of the Son" voiced by Kyle Labine. Legion's backstory remains mostly unchanged, although David Haller is a fairly normal boy with no visible mutant powers. In the episode, David appears to be kidnapped by a Scottish punk named Lucas, but in reality Lucas and David are one and the same. David's body can somehow change to match whichever of his multiple personalities is dominant, with personality and body shifts sometimes happening at random. The mechanism behind this ability is never fully explained, although it is possible that David is using strong psionic abilities to alter people's perception of his appearance rather than actually changing as Mastermind had done when first trying to avoid being discovered. His personalities sometimes appeared in two places at once, supporting the control-of-perception theory. Only three personalities were shown. As David has no obvious powers of his own, Lucas possesses telepathic and telekinetic powers, as well as pyrokinetics while Ian is a young mute boy who is also a pyrokinetic. As Lucas is shown capable of both telepathic and pyrokinetic powers, it is possible the Lucas persona may have access to the powers of other personalities (if any beyond these three exist). Lucas lured Professor Xavier to Scotland and tricked him into locking David's other personalities away, leaving Lucas free to be himself. It was never explained what Lucas's goals were after this. The show has stopped production before his storyline could be further explored.
- Legion is mentioned in Marvel Anime: X-Men. He is the root cause of something called "Damon-Hall Syndrome". This condition affects mutants that develop a secondary mutation causing multiple personalities, uncontrolled physical mutation, and psychological instability. There is a vaccine which Beast created to stop its progress. It should also be mentioned that one of the main antagonists of the series named Takeo Sasaki (voiced by Atsushi Abe in the Japanese version and by Steve Staley in the English Dub) is the son of Professor X and Yui Sasaki (a scientist in mutant research). This character is similar to Legion in many ways except for design and name; he is also similar to Proteus in terms of his parentage and reality-warping powers. He attended his mother's school for mutants where he was a classmate of Hisako Ichiki and an incident with Takeo being picked on by the other children resulted in a fire that burned the nearby neighborhood and had included a small burn on Hisako's hand. Mastermind planned to use a near-comatose Takeo to warp reality so that the mutants can rule the world. Takeo's powers go out of control enough for him to kill Mastermind and for the entire facility he was in to collapse as he emerges as a colossal energy being. Learning that Takeo hates him for being born into a world where his powers cause him so much suffering, Professor X blames himself for causing Takeo pain. The X-Men try to attack Takeo, but are easily defeated. Professor X then prepares to destroy Takeo's mind and kill him, fully intending to die along with his son. Jean's presence manages to revive the X-Men and give them courage to fight on against. Hisako recalls her friendly past with Takeo and insists that Takeo is a good person who can be saved. Her feelings cause her armor to generate a brilliant light, reaching Takeo and bringing him back to his senses. He and Charles are able to reconcile and Takeo's body is destroyed. Before his death, Takeo is able to reassure Yui and Charles that he is all right.
- O'Neill, Patrick Daniel (February 1992). "Peter David". Comics Interview (105) (Fictioneer Books). pp. 19–20.
- Muir Island Saga, involving Uncanny X-Men #278-280 and X-Factor #69-70
- "Dreams Die!". X-Men. Legion Quest 2 (41). February 1995.
- New Mutants vol. 3 #1
- New Mutants, vol. 3 #1–2.
- New Mutants vol. 3 #4
- New Mutants vol. 3 #5
- New Mutants vol. 3 #14
- X-Men: Legacy #245-248
- X-Men: Legacy #24
- New Mutants, vol. 3 #4
- New Mutants, vol. 3 #1–5
- New Mutants #27
- Marvel Directory - Legion
- Ultimate X-Men #15-19 (2002)
- Schwartz, Terri (January 16, 2016). "FX'S LEGION ANTICIPATED TO DEBUT IN 2016; SERIES NOT SET IN X-MEN FILM UNIVERSE". IGN.
- Andreeva, Nellie (January 5, 2016). "‘Legion’: FX Marvel Pilot Casts ‘Fargo’s Rachel Keller As Female Lead". Deadline.
- Andreeva, Nellie (February 22, 2016). "‘Legion’ FX Pilot Casts Amber Midthunder". Deadline.
- "FX NETWORKS PICKS UP 'LEGION' TO SERIES". Marvel. May 31, 2016.