Charles Xavier met Gabrielle Haller while he was working in an Israeli psychiatric facility where she was one of his patients. Xavier was secretly using his psychic powers to ease the pain of Holocaust survivors institutionalized there. The two had an affair that resulted in the birth of their son David. Xavier was initially unaware of this, as Gabrielle never told him she was pregnant.
When he was very young, David was among the victims of a terrorist attack, in which he was the only survivor. The trauma of the situation caused David to manifest his mutant powers, incinerating the minds of the terrorists. In the process, he absorbed the mind of the terrorist leader, Jemail Karami, into his own. Being linked to so many others at their time of death, he was rendered catatonic, and remained in the care of Moira MacTaggert at the Muir Island mutant research facility. The trauma caused David’s personality to splinter, with each of the personalities controlling a different aspect of his psionic power.
Struggle from within
Karami struggled for years to separate his consciousness from David’s. Using David’s telepathic abilities, he reintegrated the multiple personalities into David’s core personality. Some of the personalities resisted Karami, and two proved to be formidable opponents: Jack Wayne, a swaggering adventurer, who commands David’s telekinetic power, and Cyndi, a temperamental, rebellious girl who controls David’s pyrokinetic power. Wayne intended to destroy Karami’s consciousness to preserve his own independent existence within David’s mind. Neither personality succeeds, and Karami, Wayne, and Cyndi continue as David’s dominant personalities.
During his time at Muir Island, David emerged from his catatonia. Soon after, David was possessed by the Shadow King, who used his powers to psychically increase the amount of hatred in the world and feed on the malignant energy. During this time, the Shadow King, as David, killed the mutant Destiny. The X-Men and X-Factor fought the Shadow King, and as a result, David was left in a coma.
Powers and abilities
Legion is an Omega-level mutant who has multiple personalities. The first personality to manifest, Jemail, was the mind of a terrorist that David somehow absorbed into himself. According to Karma, the only way he can absorb other people into his mind is if he is right next to them when they die or through telepathy. Two others, Jack Wayne and Cyndi, have made themselves known, but it is unknown how many other personalities may exist. The manifestation of Legion’s individual powers are each associated with a different personality, and each personality controls a different power. The cumulative powers of all his personalities make him one of the strongest mutants in existence.
Legion’s core personality took control of his splinter personalities’ powers when he traveled back in time.
Some of the powers alter the host body physically, such as lycanthropy or a prehensile tongue. According to Cannonball, this is a relatively new ability. Some of the other powers include super speed, flight, X-ray vision, heat absorption, super strength, matter animation and sonic scream. Dr. Nemesis claims that Legion instinctively created a doll named Moira; when one personality gains control of the doll, it controls the body. Using the soulsword given to her by Magik, Karma went inside Legion’s psyche and liberated an unknown personality imprisoned deep within him. This persona turned out to be Legion himself, displaying a different behavior and appearance, marked by his peculiar eyebrows. This “true Legion” persona could warp reality and wiped the Elder Gods from existence, later resetting the universe to a state before the Elder Gods first appeared on Earth.
A new personality emerged when Dr. Nemesis started killing off the other personalities. This new personality was described by Professor X to be psychic antibody, this one possess psychic abilities and warp-reality. This personality seemed to be the only one that wanted David to be happy so she made the Age of X reality where David would be seen as a hero. She took the form of Moira and became his “mother” in this reality.
After the Age of X has ended, David was given a Neural Switchboard Wristband which was engineered by a collaboration of Doctor Nemesis, Madison Jeffries, and Reed Richards. By keying in a number, this device stimulates cells in the thalamus and neocortex, creating a one-way link between Legion’s own mind and one of his sub-selves. This allows Legion to utilize power sets without being overwhelmed by the personality.
In the current X-Men: Legacy Volume, David was shown to have greater control over his powers, but lost this control due the mental shock of his father’s death. New sub-personas were shown with powers of their own.
The following characters are the different personalities of Legion where each one has a different power:
- Through the personality of terrorist Jemail Karami (the name given to Personality #2), he has manifested telepathy.
- Through the personality of roustabout adventurer Jack Wayne (the name given to Personality #3), he has manifested telekinesis
- Through the personality of the rebellious girl Cyndi (the name given to Personality #4), he has manifested pyrokinesis. This personality of Legion had a crush on Cypher.
- Through the personality of The Legion (the name given to Personality #5 and Legion’s “real me”), he can warp time and reality where this form was responsible for the Age of Apocalypse reality. Magik nicknamed this personality as a “God-Mutant.”
- Through the personality of Sally (the name given to Personality #67), he has the appearance of an obese woman with Hulk-like super-strength and increased muscle mass.
- Through the personality of an unnamed punk rocker (who was classified as Personality #115), he can channel sound blasts that are referred to as “Acoustic Aggressive” by the Nimrod Sentinels.
- Little is known about Personality #181 except for the fact that this persona can enlarge itself to an undetermined size. This was the first power Legion utilized with the Neural Switchboard Wristband.
- Through the personality of Johnny Gomorrah (the name given to Personality #186), he can transmute his enemies and objects into salt.
- Time-Sink (the name given to Personality #227) has the ability of time-manipulation.
- Personality #302 uses rapid-punching abilities.
- Styx (the name given to Personality #666) has the ability to use a touch of death to absorb the spirits of his victims after absorbing a spirit so Styx can continue to control the victims body. David finds and absorbs them.
- Personality #749 can discharge electricity.
- Personality #762 is a pirate that can belch an acid gas.
- Personality #898 is a centaur.
- Personality #993 can emit gaseous materials at high speeds.
- Delphic (the name given to Personality #1012) is a blue-skinned seemingly-omniscient seer willing to answer three questions to supplicants. She also gives off what appears to be electric discharges.
- Absence is an alien/demon creature who claims to have traveled through realities and stars. Absence’s power is to “siphon off heat and love.”
- Bleeding Image is a living voodoo doll and amplifies pain from any injury he inflicts on himself will be felt by his victims.
- Chain is a human virus turning anyone he touches into a copy of himself with a new weapon.
- “Fiend” is a persona that emerges due to the mental shock of Professor X’s death. It has an unknown power and it has been shown to be immune to telepathy, as it was shown to be unaffected by Blindfold when she rendered all the sub-personalities to fall asleep and attacked her, causing Blindfold a psychic-trauma. He has the form of a yellow little goblin-like creature with unknown power. This personality also contained a part of Professor X who calls David his “son.”
- Chronodon is a dinosaur with a clock on its face. Based on its name, it can be assumed that it has time manipulation.
- Clown is a surly-looking clown that can blast a light energy from his mouth.
- Compass Rose can locate any person and teleport to them.
- Drexel is a foul-mouthed simpleton with super-strength.
- Endgame can counter any attack executed against him such as increasing strength with a melee attack or changing his form with a magnetic.
- Findel the Finder can find anyone across the galaxy.
- Hugh Davidson is a stereotypical prepster with a long prehensile tongue.
- Hypnobloke is a strange gentleman with flashing swirls for eyes in a top hat and carrying a pocket watch. His powers are that of hypnotic suggestion.
- Kirbax the Kraklar is a demonic creature with the ability of flight and electricity generation.
- Ksenia Nadejda Panov is a Moscow heiress, discus champion, exporter of caviar, torturer of puppies. She has the ability to generate ionic scalpels from her fingers.
- K-Zek the Conduit Power appears to be an android with the ability of wireless energy transfer (or WET) and electrical absorption.
- Marci Sabol is a normal girl that David Haller had once met. She became trapped in his mind when she was killed by one of Legion’s other personalities.
- Max Kelvin has the appearance of an crotchety old man. His eyes protrude when he uses his powers of plasmatic flame generation..
- Mycolojester is a plant-like entity with the attire of a jester. He has the mutant power to emit toxic spores from the skin pores on his body which acts as a powerful nerve gas. However, its effects can be dissipated by water.
- Non-Newtonian Annie is a skinny purple women dressed in pink clothes. She has the power to be cloaked in a zero-tainullskin that deflects any attack and according to the law of the conservation of energy, kinetic energy is redirected.
- Origamist is a sumo wrestler who can warp reality and can fold space time.
- Protozoan Porter is a strange-looking near octopoid-like personality with physiological resemblance to a leech. He has the ability to teleport by disassembling into multiple little bits of ameboid like particles then reassembling them at a given destination.
- Pukatus Jr. is a small cherub-like demon which can vomit an acidic substance.
- Skinsmith control the ability to bend the skin of others.
- Susan in Sunshine can amplify emotions of those around her.
- Tyrannix the Abominoid is a Cthulhu-like creature with telepathic powers.
- Wormhole Wodo can open wormholes across the galaxy.
- Zero G. Priestly can control gravity.
- Zubar has the power to levitate himself.
- An unseen persona has the power to heal others which David uses to heal an old man from his psychic tumor.
Legion has been described as both autistic and schizophrenic.
Origin of name
Legion is named after the Biblical demon Legion. A man possessed by many evil spirits was asked by Jesus what his name was, to which he replied “I am Legion, for we are many.”