Prep for the new series by looking back at David Haller’s first appearance!

Every Friday, we use the powers of Marvel Unlimited to look back at the very first appearance of a major character, place, or object that made waves this week.

While fans have been celebrating David Haller’s return to comics in writer Peter Milligan and artist Wilfredo TorresLEGION #1 (out next week!), the character’s presence hasn’t always prompted such a positive response. In Haller’s first appearance, his arrival wasn’t cheered—it was met with dread.

The young man known as Legion debuted in 1985 on the second-to-last page of writer Chris Claremont and artist Bill Sienkiewicz’s NEW MUTANTS #25. Presented as an entry in Moira MacTaggert’s notes on the mutant subjects of Muir Island, the reveal not only gave us our first look at Haller, but a wealth of introductory information.

New Mutants (1983) #25

New Mutants (1983) #25

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He looked like a teenager. He’d been catatonic for half of his life. And he possessed telekinetic and telepathic abilities passed onto him by his father…Charles Xavier. Haller’s mother, Gabrielle, was one of Xavier’s patients when he worked as a therapist. And, despite their relationship, the Professor never knew that David was his son.

In the following issue, David lost control of his powers and blew up part of Moira’s facility. Concerned for the well-being of her mutants, MacTaggert called in Professor X for some assistance. Charles came, and brought Banshee, Warlock, Doug Ramsay, Wolfsbane, and Dani Moonstar with him.

New Mutants (1983) #26

New Mutants (1983) #26

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In his inspection of the Island, Xavier began suspecting foul play when he met Gabrielle Haller there. She explained that David was her son, but held back on telling him the father’s identity. In an attempt to quell the chaos, the world’s most prominent telepath then entered Legion’s mind—but found himself, shockingly, ousted from his mental plane.

Haller’s mindscape proved to be an expansive and potent place. When Xavier returned to Legion’s mind, he found himself in an epic Soul War with one of David’s alternate personalities that’d hijacked one of the young man’s mutant powers. During this battle, Charles also learned of his own connection to the boy.

New Mutants (1983) #27

New Mutants (1983) #27

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After resolving the fight and concluding the mindscape adventure, Charles sat down with David in the real world only to discover that three other personalities all still lived inside Haller’s head. Saddled with such a complex and fragile mental state, Legion received word from his father that he would have his support as he grew older. Despite this promise, Charles and David were set for a challenging father-son relationship in the many years ahead.

FLASH FORWARD

A decade after making his first appearance, David Haller changed all of reality in a story called “Legion Quest” that ran through X-FACTOR #109, UNCANNY X-MEN #320#321, X-MEN #40#41 and CABLE #20. In that crossover, David decided that Magneto’s madness was the source of much of the world’s trouble, so he traveled back in time to kill him. Ultimately, however, Haller ended up accidentally killing his father instead, kickstarting the “Age of Apocalypse” storyline in the process. That event eventually led to the X-Men sending Bishop back in time so that he’d stop the wrongful assassination. In the process, Bishop stabbed Legion with his own psi-blade, sending them both spinning into Limbo.

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Navid Negahban will play Amahl Farouk, while more is revealed about Season 2, coming to FX in April.

“Legion” is returning in April for Season 2 on FX, as David Haller (Dan Stevens) learns that freeing himself from the Shadow King’s influence in Season 1 hardly means his threat is over.

The executive producers and cast of “Legion” were present at the TCA (Television Critics Association) press tour today for a panel to discuss Season 2, which began with Executive Producer Noah Hawley revealing the true form of the Shadow King/Amahl Farouk will be played by Navid Negahban (“Homeland”).

Here are the highlights!

The Shadow King Revealed
The panel began with the debut of a scene from Season 2, as David awakens in a wheat field, where he finds a very out of place Fortune’s Teller booth. At first, no one else is present, but then a man appears and David realizes it’s Farouk (played by Negahban). Farouk boasts to David, “I hear everything. Or maybe I just read your mind,” before telling David he too is incredibly powerful.

Farouk goes on to say things like, “All the world’s a stage and you’re the star. You decide what is real and what is not. You are the creator of reality,” before proclaiming, “You and I are gods. What did John Lennon say? ‘Bigger than Jesus.’”

Seeing David is unreceptive to his words, Farouk notes his unhappy expression and then adds, “Now we have to figure out if you’re mad at me or yourself.”

Keeping Things Weird
“Legion” has a distinct, offbeat style and many moments of surrealism and the cast were asked just how much they question what’s happening in the moment when they read scripts. While Stevens said he certainly had questions at times, he noted it was “part of the fun of the show,” and added, “I don’t question too far into the future. I trust the writing will lead us somewhere and it always does and it’s always fascinating.”

As Hawley explained, “I’m just doing an experiment basically and using this genre to try to solve these characters and what’s fun about is because it is a genre show, you can do things that you can’t do in a linear drama. You can say, ‘Alright, I can literally take you into the memories of this character and try to understand who he is.’ These powers can be used in a more existential way than simply by fighting for dominance.”

Said Hawley, “The idea of making something unexpected is important, and this word ‘uncanny,’ which I know I’ve talked about.”

Referencing the Marvel source material of “Legion,” Hawley noted, “Originally it was called THE UNCANNY X-MEN and that word uncanny is very specific, referring in a lot of ways to the horror when familiar things act in unfamiliar ways. I like to question everything. ‘Why does the world have to be right side up?’, for example.”

Lenny’s True Self
In Season 1, the Shadow King also existed inside David’s friend, Lenny (Aubrey Plaza), and Hawley remarked, “He wore different faces. This season we’re meeting him for the first time, but that doesn’t mean he won’t continue to hide and he’s not continuing to use people like Jemaine [Clement as Oliver] and Aubrey [as Lenny].”

Meanwhile, Hawley said, “What was interesting for me for Lenny was to keep her evolving. This has been a traumatic experience for her as well. What’s on the other side of that? What is the collusion with this guy look like and what’s her culpability in all this?”

Hawley noted that and Plaza had had a lot of conversations where she’d asked him who Lenny fundamentally is, without the Shadow King’s influence, and “We’ve channeled that into the work.”

Said Plaza, “She was being used in the first season. [Now] she almost becomes like David in Season 1, in the sense that she doesn’t know what’s real or who she is or what’s happening. The power that I thought I had has been taken away from me and I’ve been slowly stripped down. We get to see who she really is.”

David’s Next Step
As for the man at the center of “Legion,” David Haller, Hawley said, “If the first year was sort of the story of an insane man in a sane world, I was interested in looking at David now being the sort of sane man in an insane world. We’ve established that he doesn’t have schizophrenia and he has these abilities.”

Suffice to say, David will return after his mysterious abduction at the end of Season 1, but Hawley said, “He comes back and the world is a very different place,” adding, “I was interested this year at looking at a mass psychology.”

Hawley said David, “Is on a journey here in which in the language of this world we have heroes and villains and it’s not determined yet where he’ll end up. A lot of that will have to do with what’s holding him on the new path. This love story with Rachel [Keller as Syd] and his experience with Farouk and so I think that’s really interesting to explore.”

Stevens said that in Season 2, David has, “Issues of trust. Who exactly has rescued him and what have they rescued him from? Where does he now find himself? Is he a force for good or evil and either way, is he being used? And what does that turn into?”

He added, “What team does he end up playing for is always in play and that’s really heightened this year, I think.”

Legion: Season 2 debuts in April on FX. Keep up with the latest from the show with @LegionFX on Twitter, the official “Legion” Facebook page, and @Legion_FX on Instagram!

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Artist Wilfredo Torres crafts a mind-bending ride!

David Haller—the son of Professor Charles Xavier—has always found it difficult to control the multiple personalities that exist within his mind. Some good, some not-so-good, he lives in fear of what he might do…and who he might become.

On January 24, writer Peter Milligan and artist Wilfredo Torres present LEGION #1—the first issue in a five-part limited series that dives into Haller’s powerful mutant personas!

Tasked with exploring the dimensions inside this character’s head, Torres has leapt into the work, utilizing an imagination as rich as the one he’s depicting. To discuss the process of bring-ing such a unique book to life, we caught up with the artist to talk all things LEGION and give you an early look at his art in the images in the gallery below.

Marvel.com: Having recently worked on BLACK PANTHER, how has it been jumping from Wakanda into the wild world of David Haller?

Wilfredo Torres: One of the best things about comics is the vast number of stories that can be told—and how they can be told—but, at their core, both of these books are about characters try-ing to discover who they might be when faced with extraordinary circumstances…only David has really weird hair.

Marvel.com: How did you and Peter come up with ways to convey Haller’s personality-related powers? And how did you approach the visuals for the co-star of this series, psychotherapist Dr. Hannah Jones?

Wilfredo Torres: Peter laid down a pretty straightforward approach to that aspect of it so I’ve just tried to translate that as best as I could.

I feel like Hannah has a bit of a Sarah Connor thing going on, so she’ll evolve as the story goes on. That’s an interesting challenge to show the reader how those layers peel back in a visual way.

Marvel.com: It sounds like a chunk of this story will take place in Legion’s mind. How have you enjoyed coming up with those mental landscapes?

Wilfredo Torres: My approach to it was that David’s subconscious mind would be populated by things he had seen in his waking life. So maybe he had a toy tank as a kid or he was fond of a particular garden or he’d flipped through a magazine somewhere and something stuck with him. I don’t know how successful I’ve been in that, but its been fun.

Marvel.com: How does it feel to work on books like BLACK PANTHER and LEGION—series that might have a higher profile because of corresponding film and TV projects?

Wilfredo Torres: It’s always cool to see things you love broadcast to a larger audience, especially in a way that really understands and values the source material. And if that brings more people into comic shops, even better!

Expand your mind with LEGION #1, by writer Peter Milligan and artist Wilfredo Torres, on Janu-ary 24!

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Peter Milligan delves into the mind of David Heller in a new limited series!

David Heller, the powerful son of Charles Xavier, has had psychological issues all his life, especially with battling multiple personalities. But now, the emergence of a dangerous new personality means Legion’s newest, formidable foe is himself! Legendary scribe Peter Milligan and artist Wilfredo Torres tackle the complicated mutant in their new five issue limited series, beginning with January 24’s LEGION #1.

We reached out to Peter to tease what he’s got in store for David.

Marvel.com: You’ve already made waves in the past doing non-traditional X-books like X-STATIX, so what drew you to writing David Haller in LEGION?

Peter Milligan:  David Haller AKA Legion is, as you suggest, another non-traditional kind of hero.  It’s a stretch to even call him a hero. I liked this, and I was drawn to the whole inner world of madness thing that goes on with David. I also appreciate that there is a degree of fluidity around his character.  I mean, when a man is so full of alternative personalities as Legion, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly who he is and what is real about him.  And that’s great for a writer because it gives you a certain degree of room and freedom to put your own stamp on the character and the story.

Marvel.com: Where is David at, mentally, when this book begins?

Peter Milligan:  Even by David’s less than sane and stable standards, he’s in a bad way when we first meet him…. It seems to me that anyone dealing with the levels of madness coupled with mutant power that David must continually be on the brink of some kind of a mental crisis. This story – “Trauma” – begins when one such crisis seems imminent.

Marvel.com: This used to be a more obscure corner of the X-Men mythos, but with FX’s LEGION show, more people know about David than ever before. Has that heightened profile changed how you would approach the character?

Peter Milligan:  Not really.  I like characters that come from the more obscure corners of X-Men reality, they give you a bit more freedom.  The TV show – which was, particularly at the beginning, very good – hasn’t necessarily changed how I approach the character. It might change how readers approach it, but they’ll quickly see that the comic book David Haller differs in some vital ways from his TV iteration.

Marvel.com: Can you talk about your relationship with artist Wilfredo Torres and some of what you’re both trying to accomplish stylistically?

Peter Milligan:  Wilfredo is very good at understanding what I’m trying to do in this story. The important thing with something like this, where there’s a lot of craziness going on, is for the art to really ground the reader in reality.  You have to believe what you’re seeing, even if what you’re seeing is unbelievable. This is mainly achieved through character and Wilfredo’s great at that. He also has a nice light touch which I like, as it’s a counterpoint to what is in fact very serious stuff: the potential disintegration of a mind and a person.

Marvel.com: What are you most excited about readers experiencing in this book?

Peter Milligan:  Joining me on a journey into the mind of a madman.

Don’t miss LEGION #1, from Peter Milligan and Wilfredo Torres, on sale January 24!

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Writer Peter Milligan returns David Heller to his own solo title!

Life can be difficult when you have Dissociative Identity Disorder—especially if each of your personalities has its own super power. Thus, Legion, A.K.A. David Haller, faces some tough times ahead.

In January, writer Peter Milligan and artist Wilfredo Torres see Marvel Legacy expand its horizons as the son of Professor Charles Xavier returns to the fold in LEGION #1! Haller has coped the best he can—learning his personalities, beginning to master them—but a new, darker, even more dangerous persona seems to be emerging…and seizing control.

We asked Milligan about the story headed our way this winter.

Marvel.com: What drew you to David Haller as a character?

Peter Milligan: The biggest challenge—dramatizing an insane mind—drew me to this character. David has so many troubles. I felt really excited about how his madness and inner demons become externalized due to his “powers.” That, and the idea of being able to travel into the mind of this madman—well…anyone who knows my work will probably be aware that this seems like my kind of territory.

Marvel.com: Without spoiling anything, rumor has it that Haller finds himself facing a new enemy from within. What can you tell us about this latest personality?

Peter Milligan: The best stories happen when a hero faces some kind of crisis. In this situation, you find out what the hero’s made of. And what David is made of is pretty insane.

Living within the mind of this young man sit a number of alternative personalities or personas. But what happens when a new—and powerful—persona starts to think that he could be more important than all the others? Including David Haller? How does David deal with this upstart persona? Can he deal with it? Does he have the right mental condition to deal with anything?

Marvel.com: Legion might also find a new ally in the form of a Dr. Hannah Jones. Tell us a little about her and how she can help David.

Peter Milligan: Just because David’s insane doesn’t mean he’s stupid. He knows he needs help if he’s going to come through what may be the greatest threat he’s ever faced.

Hannah Jones, a young psychologist from a tough part of London, has become the “psychologist to the stars” via pure grit and determination. She deals with a number of A-list actors and musicians. If anyone can help David, it’s Hannah.

But maybe Hannah should come with a warning label. Yes, she’s brilliant and resourceful, but she also might have a few demons of her own…and by helping David, she might be forced to confront them.

Marvel.com: What kind of research did you do to get Dissociative Identity Disorder “right”?

Peter Milligan: Books, pamphlets, internet. And I’ve spoken to a psychologist friend about the subject to try to get some different angles. The fact that very little consensus exists within the mental health community gives one a little license. It’s very difficult to find the right way to treat this—or even to understand it.

Marvel.com: What kind of tone and setting do you establish in the book? How does artist Wilfredo Torres help you realize that vision?

Peter Milligan: The tone can be pretty dark and twisted at times—a story about insanity and a man’s desperate attempts to save himself. But I also wanted the book to have heart and a little humor. Both David and Hannah have flaws in different ways, but they’re both likable and, in their own ways, laudable. David’s lifelong struggle with his insanity shows real guts. Hannah’s rise to the top from her lowly origins also deserves praise. Wilfredo really captures these aspects—the weird mental psychedelia and the human side of the story.

Marvel.com: From readers who may be unfamiliar with Legion to those who have known him since his introduction, how does this book present a can’t-miss situation?

Peter Milligan: This journey goes to the heart of darkness. A story about a journey to the last great unexplored frontier: the human mind. In this case, an exceptionally troubled human mind. It can be read as a stand-alone story—if you’ve never picked up a LEGION comic before and know nothing about the character, it really doesn’t matter. Everything you need to enjoy the story will be in here. But if you’re a Legion aficionado, you’ll find this this story presents a new and surprising take on the maddest mutant of them all.

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The Women of Marvel are joined by X-Men editor Daniel Ketchum to introduce you to Legion!

For this week’s podcast, host Judy Stephens is joined by X-Men editor Daniel Ketchum to introduce you to David Haller, otherwise known as Legion!

Listen to the Women of Marvel – Episode 133 now!

Legion, the new original series from FX and Marvel, premieres February 8th 10 PM on FX.

This week’s episode is sponsored by Loot Crate, who is launching it’s third Marvel Gear & Goods crate. The next theme is WEAPON X, featuring Wolverine and All-New Wolverine. This crate delivers to you a go-bag and other gear that will set you up in heroic fashion for any adventure that comes your way!

You have until 9pm PST on March 15 to subscribe, so head to LootCrate.com/marvelgear and use promo code MARVELWOMEN to save $3 on your subscription today!

We are now on Soundcloud! Head over now to our new hub to listen to all 132 Women of Marvel podcasts!

——————–
The Women of Marvel podcast assemble to chat all things Marvel and more! New episodes will be released every Friday, co-hosted by Marvel Director, Content and Character Development Sana Amanat, Marvel.com Producer Judy Stephens, along with Marvel DMG Senior Social Media Manager Adri Cowan.

Have feedback or questions? Email us at WomenOf@marvel.com, or tweet your questions and comments to @Marvel with the hashtag #WomenOfMarvel!

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Check out the newest digital comics available from Marvel Unlimited!

Already plowed through the thousands of comics available in Marvel Unlimited? Fret not, Marvelites! We add new books into the collection every week to keep you up to your neck in digitized comics! Now, you can expect an array of new issues every Monday, along with a sneak peek of what’s to come the following week. Stay abreast of all Unlimited releases by checking out the Marvel Unlimited Calendar!

ALL-NEW X-MEN (2012) #19
AMAZING X-MEN (1995) #3
AVENGERS (1963) #231
AVENGERS (1963) #232
AVENGERS (1963) #235
AVENGERS (1963) #238
AVENGERS (1963) #240
AVENGERS (1963) #241
AVENGERS ASSEMBLE (2012) #21
DAREDEVIL (2011) #33
FANTASTIC FOUR (2012) #14
INCREDIBLE HULK (1962) #441
INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK (2012) #15
LONGSHOT SAVES THE MARVE UNIVERSE (2013) #2
SECRET AVENGERS (2013) #11
SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL (2013) #1
SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN TEAM-UP (2013) #6
THUNDERBOLTS (2012) #18
UNCANNY X-MEN (2013) #14
X-MEN (2013) #7
X-MEN LEGACY (2012) #20
YOUNG AVENGERS (2013) #12

Check out the full Marvel Unlimited library today!

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Check out the newest digital comics available from Marvel Unlimited!

Already plowed through the thousands of comics available in Marvel Unlimited? Fret not, Marvelites! We add new books into the collection every week to keep you up to your neck in digitized comics! Now, you can expect an array of new issues every Monday, along with a sneak peek of what’s to come the following week. Stay abreast of all Unlimited releases by checking out the Marvel Unlimited Calendar!

DAREDEVIL (2011) #32
FF (2012) #13
INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK (2012) #14
INFINITY: HEIST (2013) #2
INFINITY: THE HUNT (2013) #3
MARVEL: NOW WHAT?! (2013) #1
NOVA (2013) #9
SAVAGE WOLVERINE (2013) #10
SCARLET SPIDER (2012) #23
SECRET AVENGERS (2013) #10
SUPERIOR CARNAGE (2013) #4
SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN (2013) #19
SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN (2013) #20
SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN TEAM-UP (2013) #5
THUNDERBOLTS (2012) #17
ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN (2011) #28
UNCANNY X-MEN (2013) #13
X-MEN LEGACY (2012) #18

Check out the full Marvel Unlimited library today!

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Check out the newest digital comics available from Marvel Unlimited!

Already plowed through the thousands of comics available in Marvel Unlimited? Fret not, Marvelites! We add new books into the collection every week to keep you up to your neck in digitized comics! Now, you can expect an array of new issues every Monday, along with a sneak peek of what’s to come the following week. Stay abreast of all Unlimited releases by checking out the Marvel Unlimited Calendar!

ALL-NEW X-MEN (2012) #16
AVENGERS A.I. (2013) #3
DAREDEVIL: DARK NIGHTS (2013) #4
DEADPOOL KILLS DEADPOOL (2013) #3
THE EMERALD CITY OF OZ (2013) #3
INFINITY (2013) #2
IRON MAN (2012) #15
SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN (2013) #3
SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN (2013) #17
VENOM (2011) #40
X-FACTOR (2005) #262
X-MEN: BATTLE OF THE ATOM (2013) #1
X-MEN LEGACY (2012) #16

Check out the full Marvel Unlimited library today!

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Check out the newest digital comics available from Marvel Unlimited!

Already plowed through the thousands of comics available in Marvel Unlimited? Fret not, Marvelites! We add new books into the collection every week to keep you up to your neck in digitized comics! Now, you can expect an array of new issues every Monday, along with a sneak peek of what’s to come the following week. Stay abreast of all Unlimited releases by checking out the Marvel Unlimited Calendar!

AVENGERS (2012) #18
AVENGERS ASSEMBLE (2012) #18
CABLE & X-FORCE (2012) #13
CAPTAIN AMERICA (2012) #10
DAREDEVIL (2011) #30
DEXTER (2013) #2
INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK (2012) #12
MORBIUS: THE LIVING VAMPIRE (2013) #8
NEW AVENGERS (2012) #9
NOVA (2013) #7
SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN (2013) #16
THUNDERBOLTS (2012) #14
ULTIMATE COMICS ULTIMATES (2011) #29
VENOM (2011) #39
X-FACTOR (2005) #261
X-MEN (2013) #4
X-MEN LEGACY (2012) #15

Check out the full Marvel Unlimited library today!

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