Legion has been teasing its connections to the X-Men for some time, but there was a moment during last night’s episode that brought up a very important event in the comics for David Haller, Professor Xavier and the Shadow King.
[Spoilers: The following contains spoilers for last night’s episode of Legion.]
There’s one particular scene from Legion’s seventh episode where David and his rational mind are trying to figure out everything that’s going on with the Shadow King. Last week’s episode confirmed that the Shadow King, a psychic entity who possesses human bodies and uses physical beings to carry out his acts of terror, was David’s main adversary.
As David uses the chalkboard to try and figure out what’s happening in the new episode, he learns about the history between his father, Professor X, and the Shadow King. All of which has led fans back to an important moment in the X-Men comics from 1991. The “Muir Island Saga” was a five-part crossover that took place between X-Men and X-Factor. After being warned about strange events taking place on Muir Island, the X-Men and Professor Xavier head over to investigate what’s happening. While there, they discover the Shadow King has taken over control of the island’s inhabitants.
What does this have to do with with Legion? During a battle between the Shadow King, the X-Men and X-Force, the Shadow King takes over control of Haller’s (known as Legion in the comics) body. Legion sets off an explosion that destroys most of the island, and when Professor X finally arrives to join his students, he learns Legion has taken them captive.
Xavier decides the only way they can defeat Shadow King is by taking him on in both the physical and astral planes, which he did originally in an issue of Uncanny X-Men in 1979. They eventually manage to defeat him, but the damage done to Legion’s brain after being taken over by Shadow King and suffering injuries during the fight are irreparable. Essentially, he’s left brain dead, making it one of the most important moments for the character.
This isn’t the actual scene that David sees playing out before him on the chalkboard. It’s unclear if showrunner Noah Hawley is going to incorporate any of those events from the crossover in the show, but it seems pretty unlikely. That actual moment David watches on the chalkboard took place in Uncanny X-Men #117, which can be read here, but it’s important to acknowledge how Legion’s story ties into the X-Men comics. There’s only one more episode left this season, and fans have been speculating about what that could mean for Legion, the Shadow King and even Professor Xavier.
Legion’s finale will air March 29 at 10 p.m. ET on FX.