By Peter Milligan, Wilfredo Torres & Dan Brown
With the recent television series from Noah Hawley on FX, Legion has been slowly growing in fame and recognition, so now feels like the perfect time to launch a new comic especially when there’s still a long way to wait for the second season of the show. This book essentially works as a stop-gap for fans of the show, as we’re thrust into the dark and twisted world David Haller, with mixed results.
The television show introduced those unfamiliar to David to the mind-bending possibilities that a character like Legion could throw at us, but the book plays things too safe in a rather conventional first issue that sees him on the run from Lord Trauma, a personality unleashed from David himself. The book doesn’t take much in the way of risks and doesn’t even address what happened to David the last time he was present in the Marvel Universe, where he erased himself from existence at the end of Legacy. Granted, this is still early stages and you can understand why writer Peter Milligan would want to make this book as accessible as possible to new readers, especially those who are just familiar about the character from the show, and for now its choice to not get bogged down in continuity is a good one.
Milligan avoids any family connection with the extended X-Men universe in favour of a David-centric approach that puts him front and centre, also spending time introducing us to a psychotherapist named Dr. Hannah Jones. With a character as unique as David it’s good to have someone grounded like Jones to be there on the side, and so far she makes for an interesting addition to the book. Time will tell how much of a regular feature Jones is in the book, but for now Milligan’s in a perfect position to explore both her and David’s characters going forward. There’s so much untapped potential to explore with a character like David, and a writer like Milligan has the experience to get the best out of him.
Wilfredo Torres’ pencilwork however, isn’t the best fit for someone as chaotic as David, as it just feels too clean and static, and while there are good elements here – particularly when the merging of real-world elements with the more fantastical elements comes into play, with one Taxi sequence in particular being a standout that gets the most out of Dan Brown’s impressive colouring, the artwork doesn’t always live up to the potential of the character.
Legion runs the risk of making David a supporting character in his own comic however, but like with many of the problems that have been mentioned here, it’s too early to tell whether they will stick with the series over the course of this book. One thing that this book does have is unlimited potential, and hopefully now that the first issue has introduced us to the character and the set-up, which seems to be clearly influenced from the television show itself, it can move away from its current constraints and produce something truly special over the course of this mini-series.