LEGION, a new FX show collaboration between Fox and Marvel is about a character of the same name. Legion is a lesser known X-Men character from the Marvel comics universe, but what you may not know is that the upcoming show LEGION has all the ingredients for making a fine and unique superhero stew.

Speaking of food based terminology, please excuse my corniness when I say that this show can open a legion of opportunities in entertainment, and possibly in terms of further collaboration between Fox and Marvel Television in the future. For those uniformed with the source material, Legion is by far an exciting different take on a Marvel hero to be adapted for today’s hero focused television landscape. If you want a basic idea of Legion as a character, think the baby Jack-Jack from Pixar’s THE INCREDIBLES, but all grown up with schizophrenia. What that means is that Legion has different superpowers that he can switch to. Now, you may be thinking that this sounds familiar. Didn’t Marvel’s AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. do something like that with Creele, AKA the Absorbing Man? Well, what makes Legion so unique from other recent television heroes, including Creele, is that his many powers come from different personalities within him. He cannot willfully change his power like Creele. Legion is also unique for his ability (or lack thereof) to control the different powers he may change into, since each personality has and controls their own unique power. This means that Legion may physically look as though he’s using a new power, but mentally it actually belongs to another personality.

More about the show itself, it takes place in an alternative universe from the Marvel and Fox universes/franchises, with Dan Steven’s character David Haller or Legion having been in and out of psychiatric hospitals for years due to his mental illness. The creator of the show, Noah Hawley (of FARGO fame),  said in a panel at Comic Con that the struggles of the show are more internal than physical ones for David Haller/Legion which seems to be a change of pace as most Marvel shows focus on both. LEGION also will tonally be a psychological/metaphysical that makes viewers think about what’s real and what is within Haller’s mind. Effectively creating a story viewers will find puzzling yet refreshing to figure out the outcome of.

READ: X-MEN: APOCALYPSE Review: One for the Fans if you’re interested in more X-MEN!

In other cast related news for the show, Hawley also revealed on Sunday via Twitter that Jemaine Clement will join the show’s first season (as reported by Deadline). While details are scarce* about the former FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS co-star’s role (*read as shrouded in mystery), he will have a multi episode story arc within the eight episode first season. Clement joins an already accomplished cast comprised of former DOWNTON ABBEY and THE GUEST actor Dan Stevens as the lead role, cast members Rachel Keller (FARGO), Aubrey Plaza (PARKS AND REC.), Katie Aselton (THE LEAGUE), Jeremie Harris (A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES), Bill Irwin (CSI, INTERSTELLAR), and Amber Midthunder (HELL OR HIGHWATER) to round out a powerful cast for a promising new spin on the superhero genre for television.

After the infamous decision Marvel Comics made in killing off most of the X-Men in the comics to lessen merchandising profits for Fox, it would seem that despite that hiccup, the two companies are reconciling through this hefty project. Although there have been confirmed true rumors about the two studios collaborating, they have only been on the television side of things with shows like HELLFIRE and the upcoming LEGION. However, rumors that LEGION may be connected to the Marvel Netflix Universe were squashed recently when Jeph Loeb was asked if LEGION would be in the same universe as the MCU or the Marvel Television Universe. Loeb answered by saying,” Legion is still spiritually connected to the MCU, remarking, “Marvel heroes at their core are people who are damaged, are people that are trying to figure out who they are in life. And that doesn’t matter whether or not they’re X-Men characters or they’re Matt Murdock or they’re Tony Stark or they’re Peter Parker… That’s where it starts. We’re much more interested in the person that’s inside the mask as opposed to the mask or the cape. So if you start at a place as strong as David Haller’s character and you have a storyteller like Noah (Hawley), then that’s Marvel and in that way it is all connected. Because you guys at the end of the day know what it is more than anybody else. So we just want something that has truth to it. So if what you just watched feels like Marvel, then it is all connected and that’s really what matters.”

Loeb therefore clarified that although LEGION  is a collaboration between Fox and Marvel Television, the show is only spiritually within those realms due to the nature of what defines them, ie. complex people hurting behind the masks they wear, despite whether or not they belong to Fox or Marvel. And although Loeb closed the rumor of a combined Fox and Marvel universe for now, he also said that the two companies are building bridges. Additionally, Hawley and others working on the project have been vague in terms of details regarding where the show fits into the Fox universe of Marvel projects, even going as far as to obfuscate questions regarding when the show takes place in terms of past X-Men films (from Mashable).

This comes as bittersweet news as many believed and hoped LEGION would open the floodgates to a Fox and Marvel interconnectivity between properties. But it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. LEGION will hands downs be a distinct superhero experience unlike others within the Marvel realm of shows. If it had been confirmed to connect to other properties, LEGION may be judged unfairly in comparison. This show will hopefully set a standard for new interesting Marvel characters to take to the screen, and I hope that Legion’s success and a successful collaboration between Fox and Marvel Television leads to more  “sharing” in the future and incentive to adapt more properties that add new and exciting content to the superhero genre.

CLICK: For more about X-Men comics to movies check out Translating Comics Into Movies – the X-Men: Apocalypse Approach!

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