FX’s Legion has proven itself to be a surreal, mind-warping experience, as you’d expect of a show about an omega-level mutant who absorbs abilities as he absorbs people into his subconscious. Now, Noah Hawley, the showrunner of Legion, has stated that the show is set in a parallel universe to the X-Men film franchise, and it is apparent already that there are differences between the David Haller of the comics and the one played by Dan Stevens. That said, it is inevitable that Hawley will start incorporating story elements from the comics – but there are certain things from the comics that are too crazy for the TV incarnation. Some of the following items may be familiar to comic book fans, while others will be a bit niche. Here are 15 Things From Legion Comics That Are Too Crazy For The Show.
15. THE ORIGAMIST
One of David’s many subpersonalities, the Origamist is portrayed as a sumo wrestler and gives David the ability to teleport by folding space.
At this point, Marvel Television would be advised to tread carefully with Asian culture for a while. Iron Fist may be criticized for a lot of things, but its handling of Asian characters did not do it any favors. The Marvel/Netflix brand has been criticized for perpetuating Asian stereotypes since season 2 of Daredevil was released last April. Iron Fist keeps the Asian stereotypes intact, then adds a white, rich kid who becomes a martial arts master. In film, too, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has its hand in controversy due to Tilda Swinton being cast as the Ancient One, who was an Asian character in the comics.
The Origamist is not offensive like the Mandarin, but its whole identity is based around Asian mysticism. The argument could be made that there was a better way to have the Origamist’s character design represent Japanese culture without having to use a sumo wrestler. The designers could have used a samurai or a character in a kabuki mask, but perhaps there’s no saving the Origamist from criticism.
14. LUCA AND HIS SENTIENT EYES
It wouldn’t work because, though weird, it’s simple. Just glowing eyes that float and talk. The creature, Luca, has another form that resembles a Deathnote Shinigami with fur and wood instead of bone. Supposing that the “parasitic” demon (Mojo/Shadow King/etc) of the show is ever out of the picture, he could be brought in, but ANOTHER creepy creature torturing David? No. He would have to be more like his comic incarnation, which is like Lenny, but Hawley and the writing crew would have to figure out how to make him fit in with the show.
Luca is a pretty interesting character. He tried killing his mutant sister Ruth (Blindfold) out of his hatred for mutants, killing his mother instead. He was sentenced to death for the murder. His sister was in attendance at his execution, which was also the day he manifested his ability to astrally project. He ended up taking half of Ruth’s psyche. He was then able to live on as a pair of eyes that had the ability to possess people and create makeshift bodies for himself using telekinesis. As interesting as it sounds, it also sounds weird, which is why he’s on the list.
13. SOJOBO AND KARASU
Sojobo and Karasu were Ogun’s heirs. The twins were living with the Yamaugichi-Kai Clan following Ogun’s death, but were forced to torture the Yamaugichi-Kai Clan’s victims once they developed their powers. David came to Japan after being told that the twins were in danger by Luca “Eyeball Guy” Aldine. The twins recognized that David was mentally ill and did not want to torture him. David was able to convince Sojobo and Karasu that they did not have to remain with the Ogun’s clan in order to honor him and they chose to leave with David, saying he had “an old brain” and a “young ghost.”
These twins, who have yin/yang symbols in their eyes,have the ability to create a combined mental attack in the form of an astral projected bird. They were briefly taken under David’s wing. With their black and white hair, and eyes that change from black to red when using their abilities, they’re just too much sensory overload. Plus, we already have the Loudermilks in the combined forces department and the Eye in the distinguished iris department.
12. THE BATTLE WITHIN
Throughout X-Men Legacy: Legion, David is having some inner conflict that is portrayed as a prison for all of his dangerous personalities. There will be times when he is fighting one person while also fighting one of his personalities.
These scenes provide most of the action for the comic series and show the complexity of David’s power. He constantly as to fight for control in this mental prison, where he is essentially the sole prison guard. David can let other people into this prison, so it is similar to the white room on the show. That being said, it is a hell of a lot more detailed than the white room. The place is spacious and at times looks either like a glossy cavern or the inside of a giant monster’s body.
It’s fine within the comic, but in the show, it might not be as good of a fit. Besides the fact that it would break from the blurred realities of the show, it also has the possibility of being overly wistful and far-fetched, like Sucker Punch.
11. THE CHURCH OF THE HAPPY HOST
The Church of the Happy Host is led by a minister who looks like Wilford Brimley. David infiltrated the group as a preemptive strike, stopping them before they caused any trouble. David saw it as being opposite to the “reactive” X-Men. They had a fleeting existence, only because they were arrested for David’s crimes.
There’s bound to be cults at some point in the TV series. It is FX after all, but the Church of the Happy Host were a bunch of grade A nut jobs, who wore bathrobes with crosses and American flags embellished on them and psi-helmets adorned with crosses and beads. In a word: gaudy. In several words: satirical overkill. Would be too heavy-handed for the viewers of Legion. However, if Division 3 ever cleared out, and the show needs a “Big Baddie” we might get a toned down version of religious group.
10. S.W.O.R.D. (SENTIENT WORLD OBSERVATION AND RESPONSE DEPARTMENT)
It is not like S.H.I.E.L.D. in outer space. It is S.H.I.E.L.D. in outer space. They popped in as a deus ex machina when the Church of the Happy Host were trying to use a “laying-on of hands” to cure David of his mutophilia and appeared later, holding David at the Peak, i.e. Space S.H.I.E.L.D. Headquarters.
It’s been on The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, and is mentioned in Thor’s deleted ending; Selvig says while running simulations to test the Foster (as in Jane Foster) Theory, they’ll be using the “S.H.I.E.L.D astrophysical record” cross referenced with the “S.W.O.R.D. database.” So, it’s fair game to be integrated, maybe “Sentient World Observation and Response Department” is what the stars said, but Legion is more of a psychological show than an astrophysical one. The minute they start mentioning space, viewers unfamiliar with space S.H.I.E.L.D. will be wanting Mulder and Scully to show up.
Towards the end of the solo series, David gets intimate with a Marvel lady. It’s swooshy and light-based and looks a lot more like an acid trip than a love scene.
It might work, considering that his current girlfriend can’t be touched, and he created a place in his mind for them to banjo and chill. The reason why the scene from the comic makes the list is that it might be a touch too much for the viewing public. There’s also the thought of how well the show can pull it off. The show has great visuals, but most of its best effects are the practical ones. The show uses a lot of CGI that were nice for television, but more David Fincher than Salvador Dali. The types of visuals it would require to bring that scene to the show would not be in the same style of the show and weird in a bad sense; weird like when two different cartoon shows with two radically different art styles do crossovers. For reference of what the scene might look like, think of Harry and Hermione’s kissing scene from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 or that infamous battle scene from Dreamcatcher. Then imagine those scenes being put through every Instagram filter.
8. CHINLESS CHAMBER
Jonothan “Jono” Starsmore, aka Chamber, another relatively unknown mutant, is a peculiar one. He has a “psionic furnace in his chest.” The manifestation of his powers, let’s just call it psychic fire, burned out his lungs and took his jaw. He can only speak telepathy and there is speculation that his body is an empty husk animated by psionic energy. In the comic, he was a member of the X-Men and a professor at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning.
In the comic, Jono was initially a bit of an antagonist, pursuing David when the X-Men thought that David had lost control of his power. During a battle with David, Jono almost died when David, using the power of his hideous sub-personality the Skinsmith –who is actually perfect for the show — wrapped skin around Jono’s chest and face. The pressure in Jono’s psionic furnace would have built up and caused Jono to explode, if Beast hadn’t intervened.
Later on, Jono became one of David’s allies, helping David defeat a well-known Marvel villain.
Chamber is a weird character and one of many who mutants with a chip on his shoulder. He would look amazing on camera, but it would be a hard-sell if they keep him in is canon form. The writers could turn him into a sub-personality of David’s, but that risks evoking comic readers’ ire. It would be best to play Switzerland when it comes to Chamber and let the X-Men film franchise mess him up.
7. MARCUS GLOVE
Remember that episode of Spongebob with the old lady in a wheelchair? She may have been inspiration behind the character design for Marcus Glove. He created the Institute of Bio-Social Studies, which developed X-Cise.
The typical FX viewer is accustomed to some body horror, but with all of the money going into Marcus Glove’s disfigurements and robotic arm, there wouldn’t be a lot left to create the visuals the show is praised for. The “demon” is the same footage CGI-inserted altered so that it looks like he’s standing in the industrial park when David is trying to get drugs, or behind the ice wall in Oliver’s ice palace. Marcus Glove would be talking, looking like Gary Oldman’s Mason Verger, and everything else would look like the 1978 Doctor Strange; a fate worse than Lenny’s death.
Glove’s time in the comic is brief. There are plenty more substantial characters and storylines from X-Men Legacy Hawley could integrate into the show. So not only would it be crazy for the show to use him. It would be a move with little payoff and the show writers would be better off just making an original character.
Appearing to be part floating bean, part frog, Doop has been part of the Marvel Universe since 2001, in X-Force, and has been Ultimate Spider-Man, but Legion may be the only Marvel show that could possibly ever feature Doop. In X-Men Legacy, he worked at the Jean Grey School.
Doop has his own language, but is usually understood by people anyway, except for the time in the comic when he appears to be trying to help a troubled student only for the student to admit, “I don’t actually understand you. Never did. It sounds like squiggly symbols.”
There’s nothing wrong with Doop, but part of his character is his indecipherable language. He’s understood by the other characters, and there’s been characters with their own language that are somehow understood by everyone in their world, but Doop has the tendency to just pop up, and Legion has plenty of scary things to jump into camera.
The reason why the warwolves are high on the list is that for however strange they are, they would make sense on the show. They were created by Mojo (the possible Demon with the Yellow Eyes) and love television.
Their connection to Mojo and Mojo’s possible connection to the show makes it reasonable to consider that they might be included in the show, and they would be easy enough to create with CGI. The fact that they love television would put the show writers in a position where they can be meta or create meta humor.
Here’s the weird factor. The six warwolves make their kills by sticking their tongue into a victim’s orifice and using their tongue like a straw, leaving the victim’s skin like a deflated balloon. That can prove to be troubling imagery. It’s one thing to see it in a comic and another to see it in live action.
4. DADDY ISSUES
FX’s Legion isn’t afraid to go for the Freudian, and neither did the comics. In issue 8, a golden manifestation of David’s father, Professor Xavier, Professor Y — he’s in that mental prison mentioned earlier — asks David if he wants a hug and bites David’s face, on the mouth area. A Bugs Bunny kiss with teeth. There’s another scene in issue 10, “Invasive Exotic: Part One” where David hands over control of his body over to Professor Y, and has to stick his syringe fingers into the Professor’s neck, where the latter says “Be gentle with me, son. Nnf. It’s my first time.”
So, not only would the writers of Legion have to integrate one of the best known Marvel characters into the show, but they would have to have him be a weirdo. That might be too much for the non-comic reading Legion fans to swallow. However, with the revelation that David was adopted, the door is wide open for Professor X to make an appearance.
There is a fine line between strange and stupid, and comics have a history of crossing it. It’s the price of having writers come up with storylines in a short amount of time.
The story arc of “Wear the Grudge Like a Crown” had a mutant girl whose powers activated. Her powers? Absorbing other organic material into herself and forming a nightmarish mass of tendrils decorated with the anguished faces of the absorbed. It’s nightmarish and trippy, and isn’t on the list because it should be on the show.
The girl was real but her power was an illusion created by David when he put his chimney-topped personality Delusionaut inside her head. The reason: to lure Luca by making it seem like the end of the world when it appeared that David had been absorbed into the mass and trap Luca upon his arrival. Surely there was an easier way for a reality-warping mutant to capture a mutant who is just a pair of floating eyeballs, but David also got to go toe-to-toe with an X-Men whom he had a vendetta with; whom comic fans would expect and want David to fight in battle, with bare hands, despite the fact neither needed to use their bare hands.
2. WE ARE EVERYBODY
Issue 23 has David being clingy. He’s spent the past couple of issues merging with his sub-personalities in order to be whole, and when he merges with a pesky personality he becomes an apocalyptic monster, absorbing the consciousness of everyone that gets near him. “Everyone that gets near him” is every major Marvel character, pretty much: The X-Men, Captain America, Thor, Mystique, Captain Marvel, etc. Everything works out okay for pretty much everybody, but it’s be a major spectacle.
A show that has managed to distinguish itself from other Marvel TV shows would not be the place to adapt this storyline. Maybe it could be a way of finally bringing the X-Men into the MCU, but that seems as unlikely as anything seen on Legion. Impossible and inconceivable.
(SPOILER ALERT) At the end of X-Men: Legacy, David erases his own existence, but he lives on in the mind of his love interest, Blindfold. Were this plot point to be used in the show, it would have to be a series finale – few characters ever come back from full existential erasure. Well, maybe Doctor Who (see “The Big Bang”). It also kind of sounds like the alternate ending to The Butterfly Effect, though, and God forbid…
It would be a classic FX ending: devastating and depressing. The reason that it’s number one on the list is not just because it would be the craziest, but because it is the most likely to actually happen. It’s the logical conclusion. It’s better than being cancelled mid-story, right?