With Legion on the horizon, we’re looking towards the series and we’re all very excited. It promises to be a considerably more adult series then a lot of Marvel fare outside of Netflix. This is the first X-Men show, and it’s got a lot riding on it’s shoulders. Who is David Haller however? Who is “Legion” the mutant and what specifically does he want in the comic book universe? Let’s take a look at comic book David Haller, examine why you should be watching Legion, and aim to give you a crash course in this character before his show premieres.
Who is David Haller?
Born the son of Charles Xavier and Gabrielle Haller, David was conceived during a 2 year affair between Haller and Xavier. After leaving, Gabrielle hid David’s true parentage from her son. In fact , Charles Xavier himself only learned that David was his son after his founding of the New Mutants. Unfortunately, the secret couldn’t be saved for long, as David’s life was soon to be marred by tragedy. When he was a child, his mother, who was a part of the Israeli Diplomatic Service was attacked by an assassination team sent out with one directive: Kill everyone connected to her.
They killed David’s stepfather and the attack triggered David’s abilities. The event was especially difficult, as he made telepathic contact with all of the other soldiers in the unit – and the leader of the assassins was absorbed into his mind. This event left David Haller in a catatonic state, fracturing his mind into multiple personalities. The leader of the assassination squad, Jamil Karami, was left on his own.
While inside David’s mind, Karami discovered that he had the ability to manipulate the multiple personalities that David’s psyche had fractured into. He realized that David was a decent person, and consequently began to heal David’s mind.
As David grew older his diagnosis was continuously upgraded, he absorbed more and more personalities into himself. From scientists under the direction of Professor X’s former flame Moira McTaggart to the mutant Wolfsbane. David’s abilities were out of control. Professor Xavier, in an effort to save his students entered David’s mind and discovered that the multiple personalities called themselves “Legion” after the biblical quote Mark 5:9, “My name is Legion for we are many.” Together the new mutants discover Karami was using David, manipulating him after years of being trapped in his psyche. He became a major antagonist that David had to defeat.
Legion can use multiple mental abilities and spontaneously create personalities that each come with their own specific abilities. Marvel has a full list of David’s personalities Here. Here’s a few we hope to see on the show. Keep in mind that these unique characters are all developed by David Haller AKA Legion, and they are all unique mutant characters with powers that comics David can access.
Johnny Gammorah: Able to transmute objects and people into salt.
Styx: Styx’s power is to use the touch of death. During the Age of X he escaped with a list of Legion’s personalities and kidnapped professor Xavier in an attempt to have the man return to him.
Personality 749: A Pirate literally able to belch noxious gas.
Overwhelmingly, Legion is a mutant whose superpower is creating imaginary mutants within his own mind. Much like a writer it makes him incredibly powerful. What he creates becomes “real” and something he’s able to tap into when fighting evil. It’s worth noting that David Haller considers himself an anti-hero based on all of these abilities and these people he has created with their own characteristics.
He also dislikes being called Legion. Who knew?