Did you catch this week’s debut issue of X-Men Legacy? If so, you’ve just witnessed the dawn of a new epoch for mutant-kind as one of the most powerful beings on the planet has begun to stir.
Until now, David “Legion” Haller has been little more than a force of nature, a blemish on his father’s legacy. But Professor X is dead and writer Si Spurrier has big plans for Davey Boy. How does Legion handle the news of his father’s demise? How does he hush all those voices in his head and control his awesome power-set, a full suite of psionic abilities which lend him godlike talents? You’ve already seen a bit of this explored in the first issue, but Spurrier was nice enough to answer a few of our questions about this twisted new chapter of X-Men Legacy.
iFanboy: You’ve come up with a really creepy interior world for David that makes great use of his acquired personalities and their individual power sets. I say ‘acquired’ because in past stories these personalities have been portrayed as souls or essences he’s inadvertently absorbed. Do you view the characters imprisoned in David’s mind as real or as figments of David’s imagination? To put it a little more simply, how did all those people end up in there?
Si Spurrier: To begin with, we’re keeping it simple. The rogue personalities in David’s mind can be regarded at this stage as products of what he calls his “sickness”: the artificial creations of his own brain. As is established in episode 1, they’re not aware of that themselves. I say “to begin with” because David’s backstory is so devilishly convoluted (and often contrary) that it would’ve dropkicked a chunk of new readers straight out of the comic if we started waffling-on about Absorbed Personality Patterns and so-forth from the getgo. Buuut, as you mmmay have gathered from the closing panels of the first episode, things aren’t quite as simple as they seem.
Frankly, for now, it doesn’t rrreally matter where these brain-nasties came from: to all intents and purposes they’re autonomous beings, operating within the confines of their freaky-deaky mental environment. But, yeah. Let’s just say we haven’t forgotten David’s penchant for accidentally absorbing other people’s minds.
iF: In this issues we witnessed some pretty awesome displays of David’s powers. He could function as an earthly god if he wanted to, couldn’t he? Do you reckon he’s the most powerful mutant out there, just in terms of raw potential?
S.S.: Heh – “if he wanted to” is precisely the problem. Episode 1 of this new run is the first time in recent memory that we’ve actually seen David having anything approaching “control” over his powers. As you now know, that doesn’t work-out quite as planned. Going forward, David’s quest to a) access his potential and b) do so in a way which doesn’t tear a fucking great hole through the Universe, is a recurring story thread.
Hypothetically speaking, if he had total control of all his innumerable powers, and if he had a mind to use them, then – yeah. He’s definitely one of the most powerful mutants on Earth, if not one of the most powerful beings in reality. Bear in mind he’s not just an Omega-Level mutant, he’s (at a guess) 200 Omega-Level mutants all rolled into one.
I said “bear in mind”. I’m so funny.
I also said “hypothetically speaking”, which is also funny, because we’re totally going to see him accessing that potential – deliberately or otherwise – as we move forwards.
iF: We’ve seen just how precarious David’s mental control is, elegant as his system might be. Does he have any hope for establishing real relationships? Could he find love? Or is he destined to walk the world’s highways, thumb out, whistling the dreary Hulk music?
S.S.: Don’t knock the Hulk music, man – I totally had that as my ringtone for a while. (insert requisite “#geek” hashtag here.)
Hope for establishing relationships? Yeah, definitely. There’s always hope. And – as we shall see – it’s not long before David gets his first little heartskip. It becomes a question of whether the obstacles aligned against him (eg: the cruel universe; debilitating mental divergence; ostentatious hair) are going to allow him the chance to be happy, or not.
As for the whole “wandering the world” thing… there’s a hint of that, but we’re also setting up a lot of recurring threads which will give David’s story some very chunky grounding. This isn’t throwaway baddie-of-the-month stuff: there’s a major story playing out, deeply embedded in the bedrock of the x-verse. And the first arc is very conspicuously building up to a point that David can start to say “This is who I am, this is my place in the Marvel Universe, and this is what I do…”
And what that is, ain’t quite like anything else out there.
iF: And now to the truly shameless question, but it’s fun so how can we not. Assuming you’d never want the burden of possessing all of David’s powers, but if you could have one, which’d you go for?
S.S.: Funnily enough, I just today came up with what I think may be the Greatest Mutant Power Ever Invented. And it’s not even one of David’s (dum dum duuuum). And I can’t talk about it, so. Um. Sorry.
‘Course, the trick answer is “the power to control all the other powers”, which appears to be the only one David doesn’t have, poor guy. I’d be happy enough with The Power To Find My Fucking Keys, honestly.
iF: What’s next for David? Any more teases?
S.S.: Hrm. Howzabout a dinosaur with a clock for a head, a giant albino astral crow, an epic battle of wits between a wedge-haired mutant and a wingtip-haired mutant (hint hint), an unexpected and uberviolent guest on the X-lawn, and a guy made entirely out of eyeballs. That worth a squirt?
Disclaimer: Paul Montgomery writes for Marvel.com on a freelance basis and scripts recaps that appear in Marvel Comics titles, including X-Men Legacy.