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Who is the yellow-eyed demon that appeared in Legion’s premiere?

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There are two possibilities

Legion - David Haller and woman FX

FX’s X-Men-adjacent series, Legion, premiered last night, and people who tuned in were left confused by ... well, a lot. One of the questions being asked repeatedly by most is about the devil with the glowing yellow eyes. More importantly, who is he?

[Spoilers: This contains some spoilers for the first episode if Legion.)

Legion never addresses the identity of the character in its first episode. There’s no name attached to the terrifying creature, but it’s obvious the series’ main character, David Haller (Dan Stevens), has a connection to it. At night, when Haller is lying somewhere between a state of total unconsciousness and on the verge of connecting with an entirely different universe, the demon watches him. It’s eerie and nameless, but some X-Men die-hards seem to have a unanimous guess as to who it is.

In the 1980s, Marvel introduced a new villain for the X-Men to take on called Mojo. Mojo belongs to an alien race called the Spineless Ones, who are essentially left powerless without access to advanced technology. Mojo rules over a separate universe called the “Mojoverse,” a dimension “where all beings are addicted to his gladiator-like television programs,” according to Wikipedia. The character was first introduced in Longshot #3 in November 1985.

Wikipedia

Although Mojo never appears in the Legion comics, the yellow-hued skin and, of course, the demonic yellow eyes seem like too much of a hint to ignore. There is a chance, however, that the creature could be the Shadow King, a telepathic being who feeds on its hatred for humans and takes on the bodies of those he possesses. The Shadow King was introduced a little earlier than Mojo, appearing for the first time in Uncanny X-Men #117 in January 1979. Even more notable, however, is the close ties the Shadow King shares with Legion in the comics.

In one particular story, called the “Muir Island saga,” the Shadow King takes on the body of deceased FBI agent Jacob Reisz. Through a series of events, the Shadow King ends up taking control of Legion (Haller’s alter ego). The Shadow King is destroyed after a battle with Mystique, but following the abrupt removal of the villain’s possession over Haller, Legion loses all form of control.

Marvel Animation/Nicktoons

Despite the closer connection the Shadow King has to Legion in the comics, it seems more likely that the yellow-eyed creature is Mojo. Legion is a self-aware show and Mojo can be viewed as a satirical character within the X-Men universe. Considering Legion isn’t trying to be an X-Men show, choosing to only share themes from the main mutant franchise but not explicit plots or details, the show doesn’t need to connect its characters to villains that Haller has encountered in the comics.

Legion will hopefully acknowledge who the demon is as the series continues, but for now the best method of trying to figure out who might be appearing on the show from the X-Men universe is to flip through a backlog of X-Men villains.

Legion airs Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. ET on FX.