5 Reasons Why We're Excited for Legion's Return

You’ve likely heard the name of the mutant Legion in the past year. He’s the titular star of [...]

You've likely heard the name of the mutant Legion in the past year. He's the titular star of an FX series created by Noah Hawley that has received more critical acclaim than any other superhero show on the air. What you might not know is that Legion has been absent from comics for a few years, and was not the most popular X-Men cast member even before that. Following the conclusion of X-Men: Legacy in 2014, Legion has been in a state of semi-retirement. The success of Legion on TV is the likely cause of a change in that status quo. Legion will return with a new five-issue mini-series written by Peter Milligan and drawn by Wilfredo Torres this week.

Preceding the launch of Legion Season Two by just a few months, the mini-series will focus on the emergence of a new, extremely dangerous personality within the mind of David Haller. It threatens not only to cause harm to Haller's world, but to consume the many other personalities within Haller's mind. While early solicits provide some hope in the form of a therapist, there are also indications that any support network Haller has found should be considered less than reliable.

Legion is an incredible exciting character in the superhero genre right now, and not only because of the FX series. Here are the five big reasons we are psyched to see him return to comics this week.

Legion on FX
(Photo: FX)

1. He's One of the Most Underrated X-Men

A quick look at both the FX series Legion and X-Men: Legacy offers a strong case for why this mini-series is long overdue. Legion has crafted a nuanced and compelling tale that has captured mainstream audiences just as well as, if not better than, those seeking out their superhero fix. Hawley's taste as a showrunner is superb considering his other key source material is the Coen Brothers collected films on Fargo. X-Men: Legacy was not the biggest hit in comics shops, but has sustained a strong cult following as one of the best X-comics of the 21st Century. It's a series well worth reading, if you haven't already.

Combined, these recent works with Legion show the great potential of the character. Yet he has remained on the B-list (at best) for years. Legion is tremendously underrated, perhaps because he doesn't fit the mold of a classic superhero. He is one incredibly compelling protagonist though, and his time in the spotlight is hopefully just beginning.

Legion - Nesting Dolls
(Photo: Marvel Entertainment)

2. The Possibilities Are Really Endless

The relative lack of Legion stories to date are just an opportunity for more to come though. When you consider the number of variables within Legion's character history, the possibilities seem simply endless. First, there are the multiple personalities that offer both endless powers, structures, and new antagonists. Second, there is David Haller himself as an unreliable narrator who can aid in crafting stories much more intriguing than the standard superhero beat-'em-up. Finally, there is David's history itself as someone who is tied into many of the most important characters and teams in X-Men comics.

Creators looking at David Haller are presented with a buffet of options. Not only is the character himself fascinating, but elements like setting, powers, and supporting cast are almost limitless. Reality almost ought to be warped as the starting point for a great Legion story, and so any artist should feel free to do what they most desire.

Legion - X-Men - Art
(Photo: Marvel Entertainment)

3. Legion Is a Very Visually Engaging Character

The possibilities don't just end with storytelling options though, they play perfectly with comics as a visual medium. There are the obvious elements of David Haller's iconic design (just look at that hair) and his endless array of powers to light up any action sequence. He would make for an interesting addition to any team or event for those elements alone.

However, just consider what a Legion story should really look like. Much of the conflict surrounding Legion is internal. Personalities, all with their own origins and powers, are battling it out in his mind. That provides an artist the ability to design new characters and warp settings however they see fit. There are no fixed rules in the realms of Legion's psyche, and any good Legion story ought to spend a lot of time there. With physics and reality out the window, an artist can really show off.

Legion - Wilfredo Torres
(Photo: Marvel Entertainment)

4. The New Creative Team Is Great

While the return of Legion to comics is exciting enough, Marvel could not have selected a better team to reintroduce the character to readers. Writer Peter Milligan should already be featured in the X-Men hall of fame for his run on X-Statix. The comic showed off how well Milligan can blend the absurd with dramatic storytelling in a farce that managed to both poke fun at modern trends and jerk tears from your eyes.

Wilfredo Torres' covers are already showing off why he is so well suited to draw a Legion story. Clean lines and the ability to effortlessly exaggerate forms shows how he can establish and then warp reality to wonderful effect. Recent installments of Moon Knight and Black Panther have shown how well Torres can cover both sides of this line - blending cartooning with more standard superhero action. Whatever he dreams up inside of Legion's mind is bound to astound.

Legion - Bill Sienkiewicz
(Photo: Marvel Entertainment)

5. Sienkiewicz on Covers

Bill Sienkiewicz is one of the most legendary Marvel creators still working today. He defined swaths of the X-Men's saga in New Mutants, including the exceptional "Demon Bear Saga". Sienkiewicz also co-created Legion in New Mutants #25, complete with his frail form and outstanding hair. Now he's returning for the new mini-series with at least one cover to remind readers why he's a master.

For all of these reasons (and more) we can't wait for Legion #1 to hit comics shelves this week. With any luck the series will prove just how packed with potential this particular mutant is and ensure many more issues to come.