Legion #1

Writer: Peter Milligan
Artist: Wilfredo Torres
Cover Artist: Javier Rodríguez
Colorist: Dan Brown
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Review by Anelise Farris

Legion #1 introduces readers to David Haller: illegitimate son of none other than the renowned Charles Xavier. Haller’s life has been anything but easy—full of both physical and psychological trauma—and, if that wasn’t enough, Haller is not a singular individual. He is a schizophrenic with dissociative identity disorder, one body that is inhabited by different personalities—each with a unique mutant ability. Consequently, he is Legion.

In Legion #1, we don’t get a lot of Haller’s back story. Readers are dropped right into Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where David is frightening the local folk with his outbursts. An Amish couple drop Haller off at a hospital, and clearly, as mutant times 100, he frightens the medical staff with his off-the-chart readings. While all of this is going on, Haller is being spoken to by an outside force, claiming to be able to help him. The help that Haller seeks, however, is in the form of celebrity psychotherapist Dr. Hanna Jones. When Haller finally makes it to New York, it seems that he and Jones have found each other at just the right time.

To be honest, I am a comic reader who knows who Legion is, but I am not an avid-reader of X-men comics. That being said, I did thoroughly enjoy season 1 of FX’s Legion, and I have become more intrigued by the character ever sense. Legion #1 does a good job of introducing readers to what makes Legion, well, Legion, without heavy exposition or longwinded backstory. Immediately, readers are brought into Haller’s struggle with so many different personalities pulling at him, and the writing and the art effectively come together to depict his pain.

The art in Legion #1 is perfect for the story that they are trying to tell. It is a loose, psychedelic-like style with pastel colors. Everything feels slightly off-kilter, which is just right for a story about Legion. There are gorgeous purple skies and pink backgrounds, and, in the moments when bolder colors are used, they pop with just the right amount of energy. One of the most impressive parts of Legion #1 was how well the narration is balanced with the dialogue, and I appreciate how we get both Haller’s and Jones’s perspectives—each with their own uniquely colored speech balloons.

Verdict:
Buy it. 
Legion #1 is a great introduction to a character that has received renewed attention since FX’s Legion, which premiered last year. Whether you are longtime X-men fan or someone that is new to the team, Legion #1 is worth your time.

Anelise Farris
farranel@isu.edu
I'm a doctor that specializes in folklore and mythology, speculative fiction, and disability studies. Basically, I'm a professional geek. When not researching or teaching, I read; I write; I yoga; I travel; I play with my fur babies; and, I watch way too many (if that's a thing) horror movies.

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