FX Network’s Legion may be based on Marvel’s X-Men comics, but that doesn’t mean it’s in the same boat as Arrow or Luke Cage. For some, there are just too many comic book based shows and films anymore. Superhero fatigue is becoming a real thing for certain viewers, don’t let that keep you from experiencing Legion.
In this age of entertainment, every comic book property possible is getting some sort of on-screen adaptation. For fans like me, it’s a glorious time as we’re starting to get more abstract projects. FX wanted to get in on the action, and it doesn’t get more abstract than lesser known X-Men characters; like David Haller.
Fear not general audience, Legion is not your average comic book show. It has nothing in common with the CW’s programs, or even Marvel’s Netflix properties. In just five episodes, Legion has transcended the genre into something outrageous and beautiful. It’s a triumph for comic book properties of course, but it’s much more than that.
Marvel’s Netflix series, Daredevil, was an accomplishment for superhero television as a genre. Legion is an accomplishment for television in general. It’s barely recognizable as an X-Men property. Fargo creator, Noah Hawley, has another thought provoking masterpiece on his hands. Fans of that series can easily transition, there are plenty of familiar elements.
Don’t get me wrong, the show does feature more than one mutant, and displays plenty of super powers. However it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before. The show is a mind-game, it challenges viewers in ways no other show can. The superhero influence isn’t used as a crutch. It’s merely an element that allows the narrative to go to places beyond human comprehension.
The series has more elements of horror than it does of super-heroics. It’s a science-fiction mystery puzzle unfolding in the name of mutants. There’s no crime fighting, or justice serving. The story focuses on David, who may or may not be a paranoid schizophrenic. His super-human abilities don’t make him a Superman, they make him a nuclear warhead with a trigger nobody understands.
Legion has more in common with Inception, The Shining, The Big Lebowski, and Memento than it does with any other superhero property. If you’re feeling the very real fatigue of superhero over-saturation, don’t let it keep you from this stunning experience.
This doesn’t mean that comic book fans have nothing to grab onto. The show is very much entrenched in reminders that this is an X-Men story; they’re just deeper rooted. Dear ol’ David Haller is in good hands, Dan Stevens stays true to his comic book counterpart. That being said, viewers coming from Flash will certainly be taken out of their comfort zone.