Review: Legion #1
So, what do you do when Marvel and FOX have a hit TV show on FX? Bring back that specific character in the comics to capitalize on it, even if it’s for a miniseries. Of course! I’m not cynical about this, honestly. Given the character of David Haller or Legion, his codename, has a lot of story potential. You could create a ton of psychological Horror stories surrounding this character given his powers involve telepathy and reality warping especially given he has multiple personality disorder. The possibilities are really endless especially if someone is talented enough to make it all interesting. Hell, the TV show Legion showed you can do it in other media.
So like I said, no doubt Marvel decided to bring back the character due to the TV show being a hit and who’s the guy they hire to bring him back? Peter Milligan, who previously wrote for Marvel and the X-Men with the book X-Statix. Admittedly, as a big Marvel fan I am, I am not that familiar with X-Statix but I am curious about his work now given he has put in a lot of twisted intrigued with Legion and seems to fit him like a glove. The book is pretty much psychological horror through and through but with a different flair than say, the TV show. Okay, I swear I’ll cut back referencing the TV show.
I describe the book’s feel so far as like a Stuart Gordon horror film like Re-Animator meets Beyond The Gate, at least in regards to tone. I don’t know how to describe it but it seems blunt with its weirdness. It’s colorful but also dark with its content. The entire book revolves around two characters. Yes, it’s not just David Haller. There’s somebody he has to warn of an incoming danger he has been meeting often times face to face in the first opening pages of the book. Haller has to work Dr. Hannah Jones, a psychotherapist who as of recent has been treating celebrities. And whatever force is after David, is after her too.
So the book has two POVs and it can be a bit jarring at first but it works once the last couple of pages have the two together, thus, setting up the next issue to come. And the book does at least do a good job introducing both characters as to who they are, what they do and how they’re reacting to this new, dangerous situation to them. Especially since Jones has had multiple encounters with tentacles. This book is fond of tentacles for whatever reason. Though thankfully, it wasn’t throughout the book. In fact, there’s a good scene of a statuette of Sigmund Freud seemingly talking to Hannah-really demonstrating how far this force will attempt to mess with her.
The art, I felt was jarring at first because it’s not bad art. I really love the art by Wilfredo Torres and the colors by Dan Brown. They make the art pop. Just that with a premise like this, I kind of got it in my head that a Legion book would be more twisted with its visuals to empathize the horror aspect in a way. But I think the art is growing on me as it reminds me of Mike Allerd’s art and I say that in a good way and I think it can fit the book the more it goes on. I mean, whatever twisted visuals are there, works to its effective use.
And Peter Milligan does do a solid job establishing the characters and situations to behold. It’s a set up but it’s good set up for things to come. It did feel a bit jarring from the first page when the book is dumped straight into the action where David Haller is running for his dear life. The text narration from him does help a bit but I’m too sure if that was the right call if only because maybe a build up to that moment would have sufficed. The rest, Milligan did well really from what this evil force can accomplish like having his victims relive their traumas or how David is coping with not just the situation but himself and what brief interaction was shown between him and Hannah does show promise.
If you’re a fan of the Legion character whether it’d be the comics or the TV show (whoops, did it again!), this comic is guaranteed to feed that satisfaction.