‘Legion’ Is FX’s Eye-Popping, Mind-Blowing Entry Into the Marvel Universe

Legion FX Michelle Faye/FX

Noah Hawley (FX’s Fargo) is the creator of FX’s stylish new action/drama Legion (Wednesdays at 10pm ET/PT beginning Feb. 8), based on the Marvel Comics character who first appeared in a 1985 X-Men spinoff. For the uninitiated, Legion (a.k.a. David Haller) is the mutant son of Charles Xavier and an antihero with varying superpowers governed by the many sides of his multiple personality disorder.

FX’s Legion depicts David (Dan Stevens, Downton Abbey) as a young man haunted by visions, voices and abilities he cannot understand. He is institutionalized and befriends gregarious fellow patient Lenny (Aubrey Plaza). When beautiful but haphephobic patient Sydney Barrett (Rachel Keller) arrives, it’s love at first sight for David, which leads to events that reveal his powers to a sinister agency looking to exploit them.

Legion looks and sounds like the offspring of Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange and Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon (no coincidence the hospital is Clockworks Psychiatric Hospital and Syd Barrett was a founding member of Pink Floyd). It’s a vision of a young man’s fractured psyche, where the lines of reality and delusion are blurred, like when Syd and the other patients break into an impromptu Bollywood-style dance number.

“The story is entirely about the messy, complicated nature of being a person, being a human who is trying to relate to the world around him, his past, his relationship, [Syd’s] wants and needs,” Keller says. “Sometimes it’s dark, sometimes it’s confusing, and sometimes it’s hilarious and really touching.”


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Devotee of Star Wars. Builder of LEGO. Observer of televised sports. Member of the Television Critics Association. Graduate of the University of Wisconsin. Connoisseur of beer. Consumer of cheese. Father of two. Husband of one. Scourge of the Alaskan Bush People. Font of Simpsons knowledge. Son of a Stonecutter.