While fans of FX’s masterpiece TV series, Legion, eagerly await the premiere of season two comic book fans at least have a new five part miniseries to hold their attention until the psychotic mutant makes his way back to the silver screen. Legion #3 hits shelves today, continuing the personified psycho-analysis of David Haller as psychologist Hannah Jones attempts to stop lord Trauma from taking over David’s mind. Sadly, fans of Charles Xavier’s bastard son are better off just waiting for the TV show to come back as the third issue in this miniseries is the most dull and aggravating yet due to a poor protagonist and her lackluster plan.
It started to become clear in the second issue that Hannah Jones was the real protagonist of this series and, after this issue, there’s no denying she is the true star. In no way do I mean “star” as a compliment- she’s a horrible character. She once again clarifies that she is only helping David to further her status as psychologist celebrity rather than helping David because she is a doctor and it’s her job.
While trying to “help” David in the manifestation of his mental landscape, Hannah Jones comes off as a total know it all un-phased by the insanity around her. She seems to have the answers to everything while she constantly points out how common David’s alters are. We are talking about David Haller here, the X-Man known as Legion with hundreds of personalities stored in his barely functioning brain- there is nothing common about him!
I do think the point is to show just how good of a psychologist Hannah is, but I don’t want her to be that good. Hannah’s quick mastery of David’s mind completely belittles the uniqueness of his affliction while putting a bad character on way too high of a pedestal. I am already reluctantly rooting for Hannah- seeing as how if she fails David dies- but watching her barely struggle with the insanity of David’s mind is even more off putting than her ego.
If she is so good, then how come her almighty plan to stop Lord Trauma sounds ripped from a Disney Channel Original Movie? “Come on guys, if we all work together, and stand as one we can defeat anything!” What a boring and trite solution to a problem as complex as a rebelling, evil alternate personality with super powers.
David’s brief appearances in this issue are more frustrating than anything else. For starters, when we last saw Legion, he was being forcibly removed from a hospital after having a mental breakdown. This issue picks up right where that left off as Legion accidentally knocks out the guard escorting him and wanders back in to no objections, even after another nurse discovers the unconscious guard. It’s lazy writing, plain and simple. You’re telling me, moments after a man has a violent breakdown in a patient’s room, no one would bat an eye if he strutted back in minutes later making more absurd claims? Come on.Even more aggravating is Legion’s all too quick encounter with Lord Trauma towards the end of the issue after the villain has materialized himself in the real world. Since both this issue and #2 focused so heavily on Hannah, I felt this was going to be the moment in the series that put Legion in the spotlight, going toe-to-toe with his evil alter. Instead, that opportunity is thrown away, literally, as Lord Trauma flings David across the hospital effortlessly. Legion being more of the setting than a character to this series is disappointing enough, but watching him immediately get his ass kicked at the first chance he has to do something cool makes me want to quit the series altogether.
At least last issue had redeeming art. This issue, however, pulls the focus away from the surrealism of David’s mind and focuses on the more grounded personification of his alters which make for noticeably less intriguing panels than previous books. One panel in particular that was supposed to depict a violent attack of Trauma’s alters actually made me laugh at just how awkward it looked. There was no intensity whatsoever and the Trauma alters looked like they were out for a lovely jog while David’s alters screamed in terror.
I wish it weren’t the case, but I don’t have anything positive to say about Legion #3. The story forgoes the titular protagonist in favor of an utterly unlikeable protagonist with a mundane plan to defeat a much more intriguing villain. I can’t wait for Legion season two to air so I can wash the taste of this mini series out of my mouth.