Who the Clix? is a series of articles featuring information on comic book characters that have been made into figures for the popular tabletop game Heroclix. These articles are meant to help Heroclix players learn more about the characters behind their favorite pieces.
This poor guy can’t catch a break, for he is many: Legion
Appearances in Heroclix: X-Men The Animated Series: The Dark Phoenix Saga, Wolverine and the X-Men
First Appearance: New Mutants #26 (April 1985)
Team Affiliations: X-Men
Powers/Abilities: Reality warping; Shapeshifting; Levitation/Flight; Telepathy; Telekinesis; Teleportation; Dimensional travel
Created by: Bill Sienkiewicz – Chris Claremont
When he is a younger man working in an Israeli psychiatric facility, Charles Xavier meets and has a brief affair with a woman named Gabrielle Haller. Gabrielle becomes pregnant with who would become the mutant Legion, but does not tell Charles.
Gabrielle moves to France and meets a new man, raising David in Paris. At a young age, their home is attacked by terrorists who kill David’s stepfather. This triggers David’s mutant abilities, leading to him incinerating the minds of the terrorists. During this process, the mind of the leader, Jemail Karami, is absorbed into David’s. The trauma of the initial attack as well as destroying so many lives sends David into a catatonic state. David is moved to the care of Moira MacTaggert on Muir Island and slowly recovers physically. Mentally, however, he continues to disassociate leading to Disassociative Identity Disorder. Due to his mutant heritage, each identity seems to develop its own mutation, though these could all simply be extensions of David’s own powers.
Karami has telepathic abilities, possibly due to the initial manifestation, and tries to break free of David’s mind for years. Eventually, he begins to try and unify the other alters in order to wake David from the catatonic state. Some resist, leading to Karami, Jack Wayne, and Cyndi remaining as the most powerful personalities.
David eventually taps into the telekinetic abilities of Jack Wayne to save Moira and Wolfsbane from a near fatal accident. This allows Jack to take control of the body and leave Muir Island. The New Mutants eventually convince Jack to let David take control. Soon after, Shadow King possesses David and kills Destiny before destroying two-thirds of Muir Island. X-Men and X-Factor are able to subdue Shadow King, which leaves David back in the catatonic state.
David wakes up years later and believes that he is fully healed. Despite this belief, the hears the vague prophecies of Destiny: that the world that could exist if Xavier had been given a real chance to fulfill his dream. Legion believes this to mean that he should travel back in time and kill Magneto so that Xavier will not have anyone in his way. Though the X-Men try to stop him, Legion simply drags them with him twenty years into the past. They all find Xavier and Magneto as simple orderlies in a hospital. After struggling with the X-Men, Legion tries to strike the fatal blow against Magneto only for Xavier to leap in its path. As Xavier dies, Legion fades from reality, having prevented his own birth.
This act, however, created the divergent timeline known as the Age of Apocalypse. Bishop somehow retains his memory in this new reality and is able to enact a plan to travel back in time and show Legion what will happen if he tries to kill Magneto. David realizes the error of his ways and allows the energy from this act to consume him, apologizing for what he had done just before dying.
During Legion’s “death,” some of his alters manifest to terrorize his nation of birth, Israel. Excalibur ultimately subdues the alters through the powers of Meggan. It is later learned that this is because David never died, he merely manifested in Otherplace. The trauma of the physic feedback loop has devastated the healing progress his mind had made. He wanders this limbo dimension as his alters attempt to take control until Magik arrives and meets with “Legion.” This alter is the most powerful and claims to be the real David, none of which matters to Magik. She offers to bring Legion back to Earth if he will help her destroy the Elder Gods when she asks.
Legion’s physical body manifests back on Earth, with the more malicious alters taking turns controlling his body and causing mayhem. They kill and absorb the mind of a young girl, forging her into a new alter. This mayhem brings the New Mutants to him where they battle him, leading to Magik and Karma being absorbed into his mindscape. There the two mutants battle and defeat alters until they find the young girl that had been absorbed. She leads them to David, who is imprisoned. Magik and Karma free David, which allows him to reassert control over his body and returning the New Mutants to their bodies. David is placed in the care of Professor X, Doctor Nemesis, Danger, and Rogue.
Weeks later, the Elder Gods arrive on Earth and begin wreaking havoc despite a number of mutant teams’ attempts to stop them. Magik sends Karma to free “The Legion” alter. Karma succeeds and Legion arrives, erasing the Elder Gods from reality and resetting the Earth to its state before their arrival. David reclaims control and returns to his care.
Doctor Nemesis believes he can heal David by quarantining the various alters within David’s mind. Unknowingly, this creates a new “antibody” alter that takes the form of Moira MacTaggert. This alter helps David to create a pocket reality where Legion is the greatest hero in the world, which also absorbs several X-team members.
This “Age of X” reality is a dystopian world where mutants have been hunted to near extinction and are only kept alive by the intervention of Legion’s mutant team. Legion is ultimately confronted with the truth: Moira had created this universe for him. With this knowledge, he confronts her and reabsorbs her into himself. This destroys the Age of X reality and returns the kidnapped mutants to their proper homes on Earth.
After the Age of X, Xavier attempts to take an opposite approach. They try to help David learn to live with his alters and provide him with a Neural Switchboard Wristband. The goal being to allow David to alter the powers of his alters for a brief period of time so that he is not overwhelmed by it. Eventually, hopefully, creating harmony within his mind. During testing, David learns that six of his alters have somehow escaped and manifested in the real world. With the help of the X-Men, David is able to track down and reabsorb these alters. David accidentally absorbs Rogue while absorbing the last of his alters. After releasing Rogue, David almost returns to a catatonic state. Rogue explains that she felt connected to thousands of different powers within Legion’s mind, with more being born all the time.
Legion is then taken to a Himalayan monastery where he learns to control his powers through meditation. While this seems to be going well, it is undone by the untimely death of Professor X. Feeling the death of his father causes David to unleash a wave of psychic energy that kills everyone at the monastery and creates a new alter, “The Fiend.” The Fiend is able to kill and absorb the powers of other alters within David’s mind. Fearing his own power as well as the danger of the Fiend, David attempts to erase himself from existence again.
This erasure fails and David is left with a fragment psyche once more, with a new malicious alter attempting to take over. This new one calls itself Lord Trauma. David seeks the help of a therapist that is able to help him at the cost of being trapped inside his mind. David thanks her by placing her mind in a dream state where she accomplishes all her goals, while her body remains in a coma.
Legion attempts to use Multiple Man and his dupes to prevent the Horseman of Salvation, X-Man’s Horseman, from achieving their goals. Unfortunately, he is unable to accomplish this.
After the establishment of Krakoa as a nation, Legion is captured by Project Orchis. They remove his brain and place it in a device that keeps him trapped in a hellscape that uses his personas to predict scenarios to destroy Krakoa. Legion is eventually able to recruit Nightcrawler to rescue him, revealing that the “Patchwork Man” haunting the dreams of Krakoan mutants is actually a resurrected Onslaught.