Legion (Marvel Comics)

Legion (Marvel Comics)
Cover to X-Men, vol. 2 #40. Art by Andy Kubert.
Cover to X-Men, vol. 2 #40 (1995). Art by Andy Kubert.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance New Mutants, vol. 1 #25 (Mar 1985)
Created by Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz
In-story information
Alter ego David Charles Haller
Species Human Mutant
Team affiliations Muir Island X-Men
Notable aliases Daniel Haller, Cyndi, Rodney, Ian, Lucas, Fanya, Jack Wayne, Boris, Zachary, Sylvester, Jemail Karami

The mutant 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 Marvel Comics character, created by writer Chris Claremont and artist Bill Sienkiewicz.

David is the mutant son of Charles Xavier and Israeli Holocaust survivor Gabrielle Haller. He has severe mental illness, including a form of dissociative identity disorder (more commonly known as multiple personality disorder), with each of his personas controlling one of his many superpowers.

His stories typically revolve around bitterness towards his father, and in Legion Quest, a misplaced attempt to redeem himself in his father's eyes.


Fictional character biography

Charles Xavier met Gabrielle Haller while working in an Israeli mental 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 a son David, in Haifa. However, Xavier is unaware of this, and Gabrielle never told him.

Powers manifest

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.

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.[1]

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 has 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.

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."


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.[2]

After escaping his cell, David flies off to kill Dani Moonstar.[3] 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.[4]

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.[5]


Legion is being cared for by Danger, who is assessing his personalities and has sedated him in the prison section of Utopia, along with Sebastian Shaw, Empath, and Donald Pierce.

Second Coming

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 hellbent 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 multiple personality disorder. Legion is airdropped into battle, employing two of his many personalities, each containing a different power.[6]

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.

Age of X

When Xavier and Doctor Nemesis attempted to treat Legion's MPD, 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 prosecution 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.

Powers and abilities

Legion is an Omega-level mutant[7] that has multiple personalities. At least the first, 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 psychic powers like telepathy.[5] While two others, Jack Wayne and Cyndi made themselves known, it is unknown how many other personalities there were or could have been. The manifestations of Legion's individual powers are generally associated with his different personalities, with each personality controlling a different power. The cumulative powers of all his personalities make him one of the strongest mutants in existence.

Doctor Nemesis, Blindfold, and Professor X among Legion's personalities.

He has manifested the powers of telepathy through the personality of Jemail Karami, telekinesis through the personality of Jack Wayne, pyrokinesis through the personality of Cyndi and teleportation through another unknown personality. Apparently, Legion's core personality finally took control of his splinter personalities' powers, since he manifested psionic abilities when he traveled back in time.

In the current New Mutants run, Legion is shown to be inhabited by thousands of personalities, each with its own superhuman power, some of which have manifest physically in such manners as lycanthropy and a prehensile tongue. According to Cannonball, this is a new part of his power. Some of the other powers he manifests include super speed, flight, X-ray vision, heat absorption, super strength, matter animation and sonic screams. Dr. Nemesis reveals that because his mind has become so fractured due to the many personalities, he instinctively created a doll named Moira, when one personality gets hold of the doll, it controls his body.[8] 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 the state it was in before they were released on earth.


Legion has also been described as both autistic and schizophrenic by a number of writers.[9]

Origin of name

Legion is named[10] after the Biblical demon Legion. A man possessed by many evil spirits was asked by Jesus what his name was, to which he replied "Our name is Legion, for we are many."

Other versions

Ultimate Proteus

The Ultimate incarnation of Proteus is a combination of Legion and Proteus from the mainstream comics. While he possesses Proteus' reality warping power and has the same mother Moira MacTaggert, he is named David Xavier and his father is Charles Xavier.

Age of X

The Force Warriors. Alternate versions of Unuscione, Hellion, Rachel Summers, Legion, and Psylocke

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 laters 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.

In other media


  • 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 goth/punk named Lucas, but in reality Lucas is David. 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 can create fire. 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 was canceled before his storyline could be further explored..
  • Legion is mentioned in the Marvel anime version of X-Men. He is the root cause of something called "David Haller 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, Takeo, is the son of Charles Xavier and a scientist in mutant research. This character is similar to Legion in many ways, except for design and name.


  1. ^ Legion
  2. ^ New Mutants, vol. 3 #1.
  3. ^ New Mutants, vol. 3 #1–2.
  4. ^ New Mutants, vol. 3 #4
  5. ^ a b New Mutants, vol. 3 #5
  6. ^ New Mutants, vol. 3 #14
  7. ^ New Mutants, vol. 3 #4
  8. ^ New Mutants, vol. 3 #1–5
  9. ^ New Mutants, vol. 1 #27
  10. ^ Marvel Directory - Legion

External links

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