Legion (Marvel Comics)

"David Haller" redirects here. For the British swimmer, see David Haller (swimmer).

Cover to X-Men, vol. 2 #40 (1995). Art by Andy Kubert.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance New Mutants #25 (March 1985)
Created by Chris Claremont (Writer)
Bill Sienkiewicz (Artist)
In-story information
Alter ego David Charles Haller
Species Human Mutant
Team affiliations Muir Island X-Men
Notable aliases Daniel Haller, Cyndi, Rodney, Ian, Lucas, Fanya, Jack Wayne, Boris, Zachary, Sylvester, Jemail Karami

Ability to absorb a person's psyche into his as an alternate personality and manifest their superhuman abilities when they are dominant, including:

Legion (David Charles Haller) is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character was created by writer Chris Claremont and artist Bill Sienkiewicz, and first appeared in New Mutants #25 (March 1985). Legion is the mutant son of Professor Charles Xavier and Gabrielle Haller. He takes the role of an antihero and has a severe mental illness, including a form of dissociative identity disorder, with each of his personas controlling one of his many superpowers.

Publication history

Created by writer Chris Claremont and artist Bill Sienkiewicz, Legion made his debut in New Mutants #25 (March 1985).

In 1991 Legion was assigned to be a co-starring character in the newly revamped X-Factor, as a member of the titular superteam. However, writer Peter David was uncomfortable with this, and ultimately editor Bob Harras independently came to the conclusion that Legion should not be used in the series. David explained, "I don't mind building a story around [Legion], but working him into a group - you're really asking for a bit much from the reader. Believing that a group of people will come together to form a team is enough of a suspension of disbelief... 'Oh, by the way, one of them is so nuts he shouldn't be setting foot off Muir Island'... that's asking the reader to bend so far he will break."[1]

Fictional character biography

Charles Xavier met Gabrielle Haller while he was working in an Israeli psychiatric facility where she was one of his patients. Xavier was secretly using his psychic powers to ease the pain of Holocaust survivors institutionalized there. The two had an affair that resulted in the birth of their son David. Xavier was initially unaware of this, as Gabrielle never told him she was pregnant.

When he was very young, David was among the victims of a terrorist attack, in which he was the only survivor. The trauma of the situation caused David to manifest his mutant powers, incinerating the minds of the terrorists. In the process, he absorbed the mind of the terrorist leader, Jemail Karami, into his own. Being linked to so many others at their time of death, he was rendered catatonic, and remained in the care of Moira MacTaggert at the Muir Island mutant research facility. The trauma caused David's personality to splinter, with each of the personalities controlling a different aspect of his psionic power.

Karami struggled for years to separate his consciousness from David's. Using David's telepathic abilities, he reintegrated the multiple personalities into David's core personality. Some of the personalities resisted Karami, and two proved to be formidable opponents: Jack Wayne, a swaggering adventurer, who commands David's telekinetic power, and Cyndi, a temperamental, rebellious girl who controls David's pyrokinetic power. Wayne intended to destroy Karami's consciousness to preserve his own independent existence within David's mind. Neither personality succeeds, and Karami, Wayne, and Cyndi continue as David's dominant personalities.[2]

During his time at Muir Island, David emerged from his catatonia. Soon after, David was possessed by the Shadow King, who used his powers to psychically increase the amount of hatred in the world and feed on the malignant energy. During this time, the Shadow King, as David, killed the mutant Destiny. The X-Men and X-Factor fought the Shadow King, and as a result, David was left in a coma.[3]

Legion Quest/Age of Apocalypse

When Mystique tracked down David years later to get revenge for "his" murder of Destiny, he awakened with his fractured mind healed. David had a new goal, to help his father realize his dream of human-mutant coexistence by killing Magneto, Xavier's greatest opponent, before he had a chance to amass power. He traveled twenty years into the past, when Xavier and Magneto were orderlies at the mental hospital. In the process, he loses his memory. Magneto then accidentally triggers his memory, causing David to go on a rampage, attacking Magneto and revealing the existence of mutants to the public decades too early. Several X-Men who were pulled back in time with him were unable to prevent him from attacking Magneto. Xavier, however, leaped into the path of the psi-knife (the focused totality of Legion's psionic powers) being killed in Magneto's place, causing the formation of the Age of Apocalypse timeline.[4]

Due to being trapped in the past by David's actions, Bishop enlisted the aid of the new reality's X-Men to travel back in time to confront Legion again. Bishop seized Legion's psi-blade and drove it into his own chest, allowing Legion to see the future that he caused. In his last moments, David apologized for what he did. David's mother, Gabrielle Haller, described having a "maternal loss" afterward implying David had never been conceived.

While David was considered deceased, some of his alternate personalities remained trapped between life and death, manifesting as spirits. When the spirits started terrorizing Israel, Excalibur was called to stop them. After learning that the spirits were refusing death, Meggan used her empathy to calm their rage, convincing them to go "towards the light."


Sometime later, Legion is discovered alive and trapped in a concrete box by the reformed New Mutants as they are investigating a possible mutant case in Westcliffe, Colorado. After accidentally absorbing Karma and trying to protect a little girl called Marci, who is trapped within his mind as well, David, now beset with an army of split personalities, tries to take control of his body through a doll named Moira, which enables its 'holder' to gain control of David's body and use his or her powers at will. Moira has come into Marci's possession and is coveted by the other personalities, particularly the more vicious and free-wheeling ones—especially Jack Wayne, who had become the ringleader for the struggle of control over David's body and powers.[5]

After escaping his cell, David flies off to kill Dani Moonstar.[6] One of Legion's split personalities revealed that when Bishop used Legion's psychic blade, David was transported to the Age of Apocalypse timeline where he was caught and made a slave, but it didn't reveal how Legion managed to return to the present timeline. When Magik is absorbed into his mind as well, she begins killing off some of the more hostile personalities, including Jack Wayne, to get to Karma and Marci. Eventually Marci leads the girls to David, who has been locked away by the other personalities. They then manage to get a hold of the doll that controls his body; Karma and Magik return to their bodies, and David is taken into the care of the X-Men.[7]

Following the aftermath of Utopia, the X-Club, along with Rogue and Danger are repairing David's mind by isolating the other personalities from each other, much to the delight of David. It is revealed by Karma, during a session with Kavita Rao that Marci was a little girl from Westcliffe who helped David by keeping him company when he came back from the Age of Apocalypse, but one of the other personalities within Legion ended up murdering her, so Marci became permanently trapped within his mind. Before Karma and Magik left his mind, Karma killed the entity who murdered Marci using Magik's soulsword. Both lie to Kavita, saying Magik killed him. With nowhere to return to, and as the only independent and non-violent personality inside him, Marci is allowed to keep David company as a source of comfort and stability while the other personality fragments are separated and isolated from them.[8]


Legion is cared for by Danger, who assesses his personalities and sedates him in the prison section of Utopia, along with Sebastian Shaw, Empath, and Donald Pierce.

Second Coming

Legion appears in "X-Men: Second Coming" as one of the X-Men fighting Bastion's Nimrod Sentinels. With the Nimrod army relentlessly appearing from a portal hell bent on destroying the mutants on Utopia, Charles Xavier is tasked with mobilizing his son to aid in their battle against the sentinels. This is because of the X-Men's need to employ Legion's unique powers, despite his apparent instability due to his dissociative identity disorder. Legion is airdropped into battle, employing two of his many personalities, each containing a different power.[9]

Rise of the New Mutants

It was revealed that Magik is the one responsible for bringing Legion back to Earth from the Age of Apocalypse, for the purpose of destroying the Elder Gods once and for all.

Age of X

When Xavier and Doctor Nemesis attempted to treat Legion's DID, it resulted in the creation of a new personality that attempted to 'protect' Legion from this 'assault' on his mind, the new personality assuming the appearance of the deceased Moira McTaggert and using its ability to warp reality to create a new world where Legion could be the hero that he always wanted to be. Unfortunately, this 'heroic' status consisted of Legion being one of the mutants responsible for generating a force wall to cut the mutants off from continuous assault and persecution from the rest of humanity, to the point that 'Moira' was creating random soldiers simply for Legion and the other mutants to kill them and create the impression that they were 'safe'. After Legacy- the alternate Rogue- was tipped off about the truth of this world, she was able to release Xavier and the other telepaths- 'Moira' having kept all telepathic mutants locked away in case they saw through her deception-, who subsequently convinced Legion to absorb 'Moira' back into himself and restore reality to its original form.[10]

Lost Legions

Legion was given a Neural Switchboard Wristband that was engineered by a collaboration of Doctor Nemesis, Madison Jeffries and Reed Richards. By keying in a number this device stimulates cells in the thalamus and neocortex, creating a one-way link between Legion's own mind and one of his sub-selves. This way Legion can utilize power sets without being overwhelmed by the personality. Later it was revealed that several of David's personas escaped with corporeal bodies. With the help of the X-Men, Legion began to hunt down and reabsorb all of these rogue personas, but while absorbing the last one he accidentally absorbed Rogue along and after releasing her he suffered a massive shock to his nervous system. Rogue stated that while she was inside Legion she was connected to thousands of types of powers and there are more being born all the time.

Avengers vs. X-Men

Legion recovered at some point and was seen with his father. When the Phoenix approached the earth to choose a host, it caused all the omega level telepaths to suffer great pain and Legion was one of them. At some point, Xavier took David to Merzah the Mystic to help him control his vast powers.

With the help of Merzah, David gains a great amount of control over his powers by constructing a prison in his mind and locking away many sub-personalities while using needled gloves to drain the persona of its power. However, when a Phoenix Force-possessed Cyclops killed Professor X, the mental shock caused Legion to lose control and free all the evil personalities. This caused the death of Merzah the Mystic and many others. Unknown to David a new persona emerges and kills another persona. One by one, the Legion personas take control of David's body and start wreaking havoc around the world. David takes his body back over and finds out that he is in China. There he is attacked by people and helped by an unknown entity who uses a dead goat to build a body for itself. However, the stranger begins to insult David's father and kill some of the people. David defeats the persona and uses its power to knock out the people and read the mind of the stranger to find it full of hate for him, his father, and mutants in general. David finds out there are two twin mutants in need of help. David decides to help them and takes control of his power once and for all.

After finding his way to Japan, Legion is ambushed and captured. David learns that the twins are not prisoners but the heirs of Logan's old enemy Ogun. Legion notes that the twins are not doing what they do willingly and convince them they have free will. Legion also admits to himself that his father wasn't perfect and just because he died doesn't mean he was, and there is no harm in trying to be better. This allows David to gain more self-confidence, which makes him mentally stronger and able to beat another persona and drain it and use its power. Legion asks the twins to accompany him in his journey and the twins accept his offer. However, the same entity that David met tricks the X-Men to make them think that Legion was going to hurt the twins, so that they attacked the location, demanding that Legion step away from the twins.

In the final issue of X-Men: Legacy, Legion, reaching the full extent of his powers, decides to erase himself from existence by never being born. However, there is still an aspect of himself living within Blindfold's mind.[11]

Powers and abilities

Doctor Nemesis, Blindfold, and Professor X among Legion's personalities.

Legion is an Omega-level mutant[12] who has multiple personalities. The first personality to manifest, Jemail, was the mind of a terrorist that David somehow absorbed into himself. According to Karma, the only way he can absorb other people into his mind is if he is right next to them when they die or through telepathy.[8] Two others, Jack Wayne and Cyndi, have made themselves known, but it is unknown how many other personalities may exist. The manifestation of Legion's individual powers are each associated with a different personality, and each personality controls a different power. The cumulative powers of all his personalities make him one of the strongest mutants in existence.

Legion's core personality took control of his splinter personalities' powers when he traveled back in time.

Some of the powers alter the host body physically, such as lycanthropy or a prehensile tongue. According to Cannonball, this is a relatively new ability. Some of the other powers include super speed, flight, X-ray vision, heat absorption, super strength, matter animation and sonic scream. Dr. Nemesis claims that Legion instinctively created a doll named Moira; when one personality gains control of the doll, it controls the body.[13] Using the soulsword given to her by Magik, Karma went inside Legion's psyche and liberated an unknown personality imprisoned deep within him. This persona turned out to be Legion himself, displaying a different behavior and appearance, marked by his peculiar eyebrows. This "true Legion" persona could warp reality and wiped the Elder Gods from existence, later resetting the universe to a state before the Elder Gods first appeared on Earth.

After the Age of X has ended, David was given a Neural Switchboard Wristband which was engineered by a collaboration of Doctor Nemesis, Madison Jeffries, and Reed Richards. By keying in a number, this device stimulates cells in the thalamus and neocortex, creating a one-way link between Legion's own mind and one of his sub-selves. This allows Legion to utilize power sets without being overwhelmed by the personality.

In the current X-Men: Legacy Volume, David was shown to have greater control over his powers, but lost this control due the mental shock of his father's death. New sub-personas were shown with powers of their own.


The following characters are the different personalities of Legion where each one has a different power:


Legion has been described as having both autism and schizophrenia.[22]

Origin of name

Legion is named[23] after the Biblical demon Legion. A man possessed by many evil spirits was asked by Jesus what his name was, to which he replied "I am Legion, for we are many."

Other versions

Ultimate Marvel

The Ultimate incarnation of Proteus is a combination of Legion and Proteus from the mainstream comics. His mother Moira MacTaggert and his father is Charles Xavier. He possesses Proteus' reality warping power and is named David Xavier. He escapes his mother's facility, looking for his father, and murders hundreds to discredit him. David is later crushed by Colossus, while possessing S.T.R.I.K.E. agent Betsy Braddock inside a car.[24]

Age of X

The Force Warriors. Alternate versions of Unuscione, Hellion, Rachel Summers, Legion, and Psylocke

In the Age of X reality, Legion is a member of the Force Warriors, a select group of telekinetics who rebuild the "Force Walls" (telekinetic shields that protect Fortress X) on a daily basis. Unlike his 616 counterpart, there is no trace of the other personalities shown. When Magneto reveals that he too has questions regarding the origin of Fortress X, Legion and the Force Warriors arrive and relieve him of his command. It is then revealed that the Age of X was in some small way created by Legion himself. A flashback reveals that in the 616 universe Professor X was arguing with Dr. Nemesis regarding the latter's containment and deletion of Legion's other personalities in an effort to stabilize him. While Dr. Nemesis claimed that everything was going according to his plan, Professor X was unconvinced and entered Legion's mind. There he found the other personalities dead and their rotting corpses left in their containment units. This surprised Dr. Nemesis who claimed that when a personality was deleted it should simply disappear. Professor X was then attacked by what he called a "psychic antibody" a natural defense against Nemesis's deleting of the personalities. The antibody then took on the face of Moria MacTaggart and claimed that it would make a world where Legion could be happy. Professor X tried to warn Nemesis about the antibody's power but was unable to. The antibody then reshaped Utopia into Fortress X and inserted itself as Moria and the supercomputer X. Before Legion or Professor X could get any answers out of "Moria" the Force Walls fell and the human armies began their attack.

In other media


Live Action



  1. O'Neill, Patrick Daniel (February 1992). "Peter David". Comics Interview (105). Fictioneer Books. pp. 19–20.
  2. Legion
  3. Muir Island Saga, involving Uncanny X-Men #278-280 and X-Factor #69-70
  4. "Dreams Die!". X-Men. Legion Quest. 2 (41). February 1995.
  5. New Mutants vol. 3 #1
  6. New Mutants, vol. 3 #1–2.
  7. New Mutants vol. 3 #4
  8. 1 2 New Mutants vol. 3 #5
  9. New Mutants vol. 3 #14
  10. X-Men: Legacy #245-248
  11. X-Men: Legacy #24
  12. New Mutants, vol. 3 #4
  13. New Mutants, vol. 3 #1–5
  14. New Mutants, vol. 1 #26
  15. 1 2 New Mutants, vol. 1 #27
  16. New Mutants, vol 3 #3
  17. New Mutants, vol. 3 #14
  18. X-Men: Legacy, vol. 1 #248
  19. X-Men: Legacy, vol. 1 #249
  20. Age of X: Alpha #1
  21. 1 2 3 X-Men: Legacy, vol. 1 #250
  22. New Mutants #27
  23. Marvel Directory - Legion
  24. Ultimate X-Men #15-19 (2002)
  25. http://deadline.com/2015/10/x-men-marvel-series-legion-fx-pilot-hellfire-fox-1201582209/
  27. Andreeva, Nellie (January 5, 2016). "'Legion': FX Marvel Pilot Casts 'Fargo's Rachel Keller As Female Lead". Deadline.
  28. http://marvel.com/news/tv/25702/dan_stevens_aubrey_plaza_jean_smart_cast_in_fx_networks_pilot_for_legion
  29. Andreeva, Nellie (February 22, 2016). "'Legion' FX Pilot Casts Amber Midthunder". Deadline.
  30. "FX NETWORKS PICKS UP 'LEGION' TO SERIES". Marvel. May 31, 2016.
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