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It was only a matter of time before the X-Men mutants turn up on small screen. For this year 2017, the son of Professor Charles Xavier inherits a TV show to his effigy. For some weeks already, Legion has put himself out there Wednesdays on FX for the interest of every Marvel fan out there.
Series Review: Legion
Seen as one of the more, if not the most, powerful mutants of the Marvel Universe, the character of Legion possesses multiple personalities each associated with different powers such as telepathy, telekinesis or pyrokinesis. In the series, David is interned for a paranoid schizophrenia from the first scenes of the pilot. Suffering from perpetual psychosis and not yet clear on his real power, David Haller carries a huge part of mystery and shadow that we are to uncover progressively. His narrow vision of the world makes him fragile, being prone to doubts and manipulation, while his only and true enemy is himself.
Although Legion can be added to the long list of Marvel adaptations, it marks a significant change with the common superhero story arc and has the courage to be treated with more darkness. The plot is reinforced by some impressive cinematography.
Effectively, the producer, Noah Hawley – mainly known for the show Fargo – has managed to create a precise aesthetic where scenes intertwine, cut and recut themselves while the camera zooms, holds on and swings. Masterfully orchestrated, each shot seems to have been thought out at length to create the desired effect and to produce a particular repercussion on the rest of the story. This has a slightly Kubrick feel which alternates labyrinths and enclosed premises that creates a perfect hint of the mental confusion the hero goes through.
Thanks to this ingenious setup, the audience follows David in his discovery of the world, in his personal evolution but also in his paranoias and anxieties. As the series takes shape, the border between reality and fiction gets thinner to give way to flashbacks and altered memories of the youth he tries to escape. Thus, the hero is persecuted by a yellow-eyed demon and by a doll with a disproportionate head that probably are the metaphors of repressed recollections.
Also treated with a bit of humour and casualness, the show praises insanity and even suggests that a certain transcendence exists through it. It seems like the trauma experienced by the person concerned, is perceived as a strength with no equal by the others leaving the notion of abnormality behind.
Indisputably, the beginning of this show is inquisitive, surprising and intriguing at the same time. The audience is quickly plunged into a flow of constantly changing information where it is difficult to distinguish the reality from the dreams. But this is where the series takes on its full identity and becomes addictive. It turns into a jigsaw; a mystery that the viewer has to piece together.
Perfectly measured and choreographed, this brand new show differs from its Marvel counterparts thanks to a high level of intrigue, as well as an impressive and singular style. The casting that reunites Dan Stevens, Jean Smart, Rachel Keller and Aubrey Plaza among others, is well thought through.
With no hesitation, we can say that all this portends a good future on FX for our disoriented mutant.
Legion makes it to the Big Leagues without even a shred of doubt. Well done !
Elodie Cure is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow her on Twitter @Elodie_Cure.