What maketh a mutant?
‘Legion’ burst onto our screens in February and immediately captivated it’s audience. With critical acclaim and a brilliant cast, it’s the show that everybody seems to be watching; and if you haven’t had that viewing pleasure yet, don’t worry; NOW TV have got your back. To stop you feeling left out in your colleagues water cooler chat about the show, they’re offering you a free 2-week trial, so you can catch up on the entire first series! As long as you haven’t subscribed to the service in the past – you can have all the viewing you ever dreamed of for a fortnight.
- Watch now: Legion with NOW TV 14-day free trial
But if you just need a quick fix to bluff to your colleagues that you watch the show before you can get home and binge, here’s what you need to know: here’s the run down of what makes up the latest caped crusader.
In the comics, Legion is a mutant whose powers also include all the symptoms of schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder – the difference being that he also has all the strengths and abilities of his additional personalities. This internal struggle plays havoc with the man’s mind and Legion’s sanity – or lack thereof – is a major theme in the series. In this respect, his nearest mutant neighbour is probably the fourth-wall-breaking Deadpool, who operates on a different plane of reality to the world around him.
Marvel Comics’ big and small screen adaptations aren’t exactly famed for the unattractiveness of their cast – sometimes there’ll be a group of people onscreen where Chris Hemsworth (y’know, Thor) is, like, the third best-looking. Insanity. Dan Stevens (who plays Legion) is more in the ‘James McAvoy as Charles Xavier/Professor X’ camp than the ‘Hugh Jackman as Wolverine’ one, in that he looks like a handsome dude rather than a demigod carved out of God’s own bicep – but come on, he’s not doing badly. He’s about to be the Beast to Emma Watson’s Belle in the live-action Beauty And The Beast movie, and models for Armani in his spare time.
Legion is one of the most powerful mutants in the universe and, pleasingly, can be described as such (due to boring licensing issues between Marvel and 20th Century Fox, the word ‘mutant’ isn’t used in any of the Marvel Cinematic Universe or Marvel’s TV shows – only the X-Men films and now Legion). He’s the secret son of Professor X and the manifold nature of his powers means that, cumulatively, he could wallop any other X-Person. It’s the bigger ones, the otherworldly things,the Thanoses and Galactuses of the galaxy, who could put up more of a fight.
Fargo show runner Noah Hawley is in charge of Legion and he’s brought a hallucinatory, beautifully shot ridiculousness to it, with Bollywood-esque song and dance sequences, and tables being overturned in bullet time.It’s appropriate for the character, whose multiple personalities include pirates, dinosaurs, centaurs and all kinds of preposterousness. If you think Legion sounds like a silly character, though, dig through Marvel’s archives and you’ll find plenty where that came from, including Bird-Brain, Doorman and The Hypno-Hustler.
Er, Many-ness (?)
Legion gets his name from sort of being loads of people – it’s a Bible reference, from a demon telling Jesus, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” The Marvel character with the next best claim to being loads of people is Spider-Man,due to his involvement in The Clone Saga in the comics (and being played by three different actors in10 years in the films). The Clone Saga was a long-running event in which it was revealed (but later shown to be a lie) that theSpider-Man we all knew and loved was just one of loads of Spider-clones,s ome of whom had weird things going on, like eight limbs. It was, um, crap though, while Legion looks anything but, so there’s that.
Words by Mike Rampton