X-Men Legacy #1: Bugger-All Control

Simon Spurrier takes on a challenging character in Legion, the broken son of Charles Xavier.

Andy Hunsakerby Andy Hunsaker

X-Men: Legacy #1

This one's gonna be a hard sell, but it may very well wind up being worth the effort.

It seems very strange to actually center a book around a broken weirdo character like David Haller, aka Legion, aka the insane Scottish son of Charles Xavier who has a crazy amount of godlike powers and a legion of separate personalities in his noggin attached to each one of them. He's the guy who caused the Age of Apocalypse, and that's honestly about as much as I knew about him going into X-Men Legacy #1, which honestly isn't a book I'd have gone into at all if Simon Spurrier wasn't at the helm.

Spurrier is a writer I first began to adore when I read his X-Club miniseries (and I'm still a bit sad that he's not writing an X-Club ongoing, but considering the detonation of the X-Men's status quo post-AvX, I guess it's understandable). I've also been very much enjoing his Boom! Studios book Extermination, and thus, I have to see if he's got the Mott's enough to hook me on the Legion story.

Turns out, he's got a solid set-up that also gives us the answer to the big question of 'what the hell was Xavier doing all this time while a hairy murdering animal from Canada is trying to run a school and while his X-Men were corrupting themselves and fighting Earth's Mightiest Heroes?' It turns out he was devoting his time to trying to find a way to help his son cope with his monumental infirmity – a daunting task even for the world's greatest telepath. However, it seems that when A-Push came to X-Shove, Xavier entrusted David to the care of a specialized commune in Himalayan India and a therapist monk named Merzah The Mystic. In true Spurrier style, he introduces himself as "Chohan of The 7th Ray, Hierarch of the Age of Aquarius, Old-Assed Spyhunter and Quaffer of Beer." This commune includes other folks with significant cognitive issues as well, including people named The Telectrician, Master Mental and The Human Guess. I cannot wait to find out what the deal is with The Human Guess.

Merzah's attempt to help David manage his malady is that he's structured a mental Alcatraz for each of his myriad personalities in order to be able to focus on one at a time, and methodically pick and choose each one of them to siphon a power from when he needs one – such as to heal old Mr. Zardu of his psychic tumor. The trouble comes when we see the state of said prison – each time he picks someone for a power, he visits them as this nefarious being called The Xtractor, who straps them to a table and painfully rips their abilities from their brains. That causes dissention in the rank and file – specifically, one Moscow heiress and discus champion named Ksenia Nadejda Panov. Yes, these personalities get very specific. Is it possible these are all real people that David has actually psychically imprisoned? Future issues may tell.

Anyway, David is mostly straight of mind, which is crucial to give us a baseline for this first issue's foundation, but things start to go very wrong when he learns via a powerful psychic backlash that shatters that carefully constructed prison that his father has died… and in experiencing his death as it happened, David loses control and accidentally kills his guru Mezrah and everybody around him at the time, leaving him adrift in reality with a mind spawning new chaos amidst the old, and with us maybe never finding out what the deal is with The Human Guess.

It was a tall order, trying to get people to give a damn about Legion, but Spurrier's done an admirable job with X-Men Legacy #1. The art from Tan Eng Huat is decent as well, if a bit jagged in its expressiveness, and the colors from Jose Villarrubia also really help to differentiate the weird world in David's mind from reality. It's certainly worth checking out to see if you can get into it.

And yes, that crazy hairdo is explained in this issue, too.