This afternoon we took part in another Marvel’s Next Big Thing press call. Today’s topic, a new era of X-Men Legacy starring David “Legion” Haller, son of the late Charles Xavier. We spoke to writer Si Spurrier about this mental new chapter in the life of one of the Marvel U’s most powerful mutants.
Spurrier calls this new chapter of Legacy “the black sheep of the X-Men family.” To be fair though, it might just possess the strongest claim to the “Legacy” title out of all iterations since its inception. Spurrier is presenting something of a coming-of-age story for that rowdy Scot Legion in the wake of his father’s murder. The saga of a psionic scion, as it were.
Legion won’t be alone, of course. All of mutantkind has a stake in David’s choices, especially given his highly volatile power set and lineage. We’ll see cameos from concerned family friends like Wolverine, Storm and Beast. Spurrier specifically cites Chamber and Blindfold as particularly relevant to the proceedings.
But paramount to Spurrier’s mission statement is defining a singular voice for the frequently drowned-out David. The writer expressed dismay at just how quickly the character made himself known in the writing, a pleasant surprise given Spurrier’s impression that Legion has so often been limited to plot point status. No longer a mere means to an end for major events like Age of Apocalypse and Age of X, David is well-meaning lad with a thick brogue Spurrier promises will set him apart from the rest of the crowd. He’s also retaining that signature “MC Hammer” pompadour.
Good intentions are only part of the equation however. Central to the plot, David’s struggles with his own fragile mental state play heavily into his efforts to realize his father’s dream of prosperity. There’s also the PR matter. Just how much faith do other mutants have in this kid when he’s wrought so much chaos? Even if he is X-Men royalty.
“Obviously, we want to move away from the point that he just exists to move the story, but we’re not going to be ignoring that stuff,” Spurrier said. “He’s going to be very aware that he caused all these strange occurrences in the past. His arc is kind of redemptive. The book couldn’t be better named. X-Men Legacy is exactly what he is. It’s very much in the forefront of everybody’s mind that he has been involved in some weird stuff in the past. He and the X-Men want to make sure he’s not a threat anymore.”
We asked about Legion’s seemingly limitless powers and if he favored or even shied away from unleashing any particular psionic ability. Spurrier said that David has indeed latched on to a handful of signature moves and that that is a key part of his process in maintaining control over all that power. You can find a tease of those abilities in the preview below.
“Without spoiling too much, throughout all his trials and tribulations, as his powers go up and down for various reasons, David has the kind of go-to power, which I’m not going to spoil for you. There is a thing which is kind of his safe mode, if you like, and this is all explained in episode three.”
Powers are only one aspect of David’s condition, of course. Spurrier hasn’t forgotten about the repercussions of so many personalities and talents bound up in one noggin. The series will divide its time between Legion’s travels in the larger Marvel Universe and his own personal journey through his unstable psyche.
“I think it’s been done in a way that makes everything elegant and makes everything completely open to explosion and insanity and chaos,” said Spurrier of David’s interior world.
The writer was less eager to discuss David’s opinion of Cyclops, though it seems very likely that the young man will eventually confront his father’s killer. This brought up a very interesting subject when editor Daniel Ketchum stepped in to comment on fallout from the Avengers vs. X-Men event. According to Ketchum, a number of Marvel NOW! creators are making a conscious effort to avoid touching on the recent past in favor of the new series establishing themselves with new content and new directions. At least right out of the gate.
X-Men Legacy #1 hits shelves on November 14th.