So with FX premiering Legion this week, I sat down and read through the penultimate David Haller story “X-Men Legacy”(2012). With only a cursory knowledge of Legion and a bit of a disconnect to the X-Book at the time (this is post Avengers v X-Men and it’s climax) I dove in with very limited expectations. What I got was a very strong, character driven story of self, loss, and destiny. By its bittersweet ending in issue 24 I genuinely felt attached and heartbroken by the decisions made. I’m trying very hard to avoid spoilers because the journey in this case is its own story, the conclusions springs from those steps preceding it and telling you the ending does the 23 issues before it a disservice.
This is a story of what defines the self, David Haller has always been the embodiment of unlimited potential hindered by a fractured psyche. His power set is so massive, so godlike, that he would be the most powerful being in the universe, on par with the cosmic beings like Eternity, The Living Tribunal, and Death, in essence whatever Haller wanted to do he could. The only limitation on that godlike ability came in the form of his shattered self image and the disparit menagerie of monsters that embody each power. Like a Green Lantern, his self confidence and willpower allow him greater access to his powers, but unlike the GL corps David has to contend with a psychic representation of the power he wants to use, not merely turning a power on but literally fighting that personality for control. If he loses that fight the beast or entity takes control, or in some cases, are unleased in chaotic fashion. Legacy is a story of this broken person finding how to fix himself, if he even can fix himself.
We will dig into this later this week on The Geeks Respite, along with a review of FX’s first episode of Legion.