The latest addition to the Marvel universe, Legion is a non-stop neon jaunt through the mind of a twitchy but lovable anti-hero-to-be. The series was created for FX by Noah Howley, the man behind the award-winning Fargo series, a series whose visuals were matched only by its clever plot and effortless character development. Howley is again in fine form with Legion as the first episode feels weighted, a glimpse into something phenomenal to follow.
The action opens with a montage of the rise of the man who is to become Legion, David (played by Dan Stevens). We see a beaming baby boy, then a soccer-star toddler followed by a rebellious teenage, rebellion that sees his first of many admittance into psychiatric facilities. The sequence concludes with an attempted suicide by hanging. If you were under any impression that this would be your typical feel-good Marvel production, you are quickly dissuaded of the notion.
“a passenger on the cruiseship mental health.”
The first episode is built around short, quick cuts, repeated dialogue, jarring camera angles and disturbing music. The action takes place in David’s distorted memory as much as it does in what we can only assume is the real world. However, by the end of the episode we join in David’s line of questioning asking, “Is this… is this real? I mean, what if we are back at the hospital?” These are questions I hope to find answers to but for now, I am “A passenger on the cruiseship mental health.”, a line that so beautifully sums up my first taste of Legion.
Comic Book Background: Legion
In the Marvel comics, Legion is the son of Professor Charles Xavier and Gabrielle Haller. Legion suffers from severe dissociative identity disorder (formerly known as multiple personality disorder) and has several, possibly hundreds of unique powers each controlled by one of his many personalities. His fierce and often violent mental illness makes him unpredictable, tempestuous and mercurial in the extreme. As a result, Legion is rarely seen working with other mutants and was deemed far too unstable for the X-Men.
Legion is but one of the many Marvel productions being aired this year. Take a look at our list of upcoming movies in 2017 to see just a few.