Wednesday, February 15, 2017

On The Air: Legion (2017)

"My name is Legion, for we are many."---Mark 5:9

Chris Claremont & Bill Sienkiewicz introduced David Haller, aka Legion, in the pages of New Mutants (1st series) 25 in 1985. A quick check of the character's Wikipedia page confirmed what I had suspected, that Legion gets his name from his Biblical namesake, a man afflicted with multiple demons who was cured by Jesus. In Haller's case, what was assumed to be schizophrenia is actually something else entirely.

Haller (Dan Stevens) is the illegitimate son of Professor Charles Xavier, founding father of the X-Men. FX has adapted Haller's tale into a short-season series, which launched last week, and runs until the end of March. Ratings, of course, will decide whether or not a 2nd season will follow. What you need to realize, though, friends, is that this is not the usual comics adaptation. Far from it. Instead, series creator Noah Hawley (Fargo) is keying on Haller's perceived mental illness and reclassifying it as the gestation of the young man's mutant abilities. That said, Legion, the TV series, is far removed from the original comics stories that have been produced over the past 32 years. It's been established that the show is set in a parallel universe contrary to the cinematic world of the X-Men. Jean Smart (ex-Fargo, Designing Women) and Rachel Keller co-star.

Maybe this trailer will give you some idea of what Hawley and his staff have in mind.

I missed the 90 minute opener, and caught tonight's episode. Taking a cue from the film adaptation of Guardians of the Galaxy, Legion uses an eclectic soundtrack, which tonight includes Thomas Dolby's "Hyperactive" and a cover of the Talking Heads' "Road to Nowhere" (don't know the artist).

This might actually be worth waiting for the inevitable DVD release.

Rating: B-.

No comments: