Comics Recap: Legion #2-5

Legion is… an experiment. I’m guessing the popular FX show had something to do with bringing back this character with truly the worst Slim Jim mascot hair of all time.

slim jimIf you want to catch whatever good there is to mine here, go read #1 and then read #5.

Truly, the half baked subconscious journey, alternate persons inside of David and David trying to explain himself to strangers IRL in a hospital plots of #2,3, and 4 are the stuff of disposable comic book history. Really not good.

Issue 1 sees David’s powers running wild and warping reality. Issue 5 sees David’s new celebrity therapist doing some wild self therapy of her own and confronting a giant mutilated baby doll inside of David’s mind. The twist is that the Baby Doll is from HER MIND! Her past is COMPLICATED! It’s really a completely different story, all told in one issue and it’s the best that they could do to salvage the nothingness that ended up being David. The doll art is something else but nothing to go buy an issue for. It speaks to how maudlin the issues are after #1. If you’re going to go to an unconstructed dream space, you might as well fill it with something interesting and they never do. Some blue golems? really.

Then there’s the other issue of how psychotherapy is depicted. Multiple personality disorders and mental illness just point blank do not work like this. There’s not a therapist in the world who would look at psychically realized abstract dreamscapes that can cause actual harm and see anything beyond the loosest metaphorical application of their training. It doesn’t help when they have the therapist do just this meta out of my depth thing in the comic while still implying that it’s all sort of the same.

Obviously, it’s a comic, it doesn’t work like this in real life and there is nothing wrong with fiction and extended metaphors. Just look at Inception for this done well. It’s just not done well here and what little we have is trite and not fun.

If you look at something like Inside Out that has a fairly simple metaphor that teaches a fairly simple lesson: sadness has purpose, it’s ok to be sad, embrace sadness honestly with people who care about you. What you find in Inside Out is that the metaphor barely works! These things are always going to be thin, but they pad out the film with entertaining sequences and little playgrounds that work on their own.

Last big criticism, mixing the inside and outside worlds, cutting back and forth between them is bad. It’s all shoe leather. David punches a kind of nega-David in the face at the hospital. Why isn’t that fun?

If you are looking for something imaginative I suggest going back to the recent Doctor Strange Sorcerers Supreme book that was trying wild artistic things every issue.

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