One of the most welcome developments of Marvel Now, is the news that the focus of X-Men Legacy is going to be the errant son of Professor Xavier himself, David Haller, the mutant otherwise known as Legion.
Just on the off chance that you do not know, David Haller is one of the most powerful mutants on the face of the planet. Franklin Richards powerful. Cosmic Cube powerful. Just one little drawback, due to trauma experienced in a terrorist attack as a child, David suffers from a severe case of Dissociative Identity Disorder, more commonly known as Multiple Personality Disorder; and out of the vast plethora of mutant powers at his disposal, each one is associated with an individual personality.
Now I’m not just talking hang-ups and phobias here, but the more commonly seen in fiction version of DID/MPD, unique and quite frequently combative personalities, each fighting for dominance and ill-disposed to working with the ‘core’ David and his friends.
Introduced back in the pages of the first New Mutants series, Legion was initially underused, as there were many other tales to tell. Even though we can thank Legion for the existence of the Age Of Apocalypse, it was not until recent years that he came to the spotlight as anything other than a simple plot device. Appearing first in the early issues of the current series of New Mutants, where we took a wander through the caverns of his mind, he was soon to create the Age Of X (one of the alternate X-Men realities that was also underused) and then David found a home in the pages of X-Men Legacy, as six of his personalities escaped the confines of his mind.
The new creative team of Si Spurrier and Tan Eng Huat has an opportunity to tell stories of immense scope, heart-rending anguish and maybe thrusting that fictional spotlight on the entire subject of mental health. Too often in comics, we see rampant psychoses and perversions, offered as motivating factors for the villain-du-jour, but not so much an in-depth examination of the subject of mental health. (Of course, I’m not looking at the traditional Batman villains when I say this, nossirree, not me!) We saw repressed rage and abuse in Peter David’s excellent run on the Hulk, but other issues of mental health? Not so common in spandex.
Handled tactfully, this has the potential to be a great title. And let’s not forget who is responsible for Legion’s return. Magik brought him back from the AoA as a weapon against the Elder Gods, but I think he (they) have a little work to do before he is capable of such an ambitious feat.