CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The obese, yellow-eyed creature often appears in the background during the FX's "X-Men" spinoff "Legion," often staring ominously at series protagonist David Haller.
But after two episodes the creature's origin remains a mystery. The premiere implied it was in David's head. But when it reappeared during a memory exercise in the next episode, David is told that everything he's seeing is real, further deepening the mystery.
Meanwhile, fans speculate in forums and online posts about the so-called "yellow-eyed-devil."
Is the yellow-eyed devil an illusion? A creation of David's mind? An X-Men character in disguise?
While "Legion" creator Noah Hawley is on record saying that few, if any, X-Men character will appear in his show, he's made parallels to the ongoing comic book series that inspired it.
The main character himself is the most obvious. David Haller was X-Men founder Charles Xavier's son in the comics. In both the books and the FX series, the character is diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and attempts to harness unbelievable powers.
David's girlfriend Syd can't touch anyone for fear of activating her mutant powers, much like Rogue from the comics, who lives in constant dread of skin-to-skin contact.
The main character and his friends are hunted by Division Three, which captures young mutants and kills those they can't control. The name conjures memories of the United Nations' Mutant Response Division, a special squad that dealt with dangerous mutants in the comics.
Melanie Bird, who leads a group of mutant refugees hiding from Division Three, has telepathic powers and wears white, much like the White Queen, a villain turned hero who sometimes leads the mutant superhero team in the comics.
Whether or not the yellow-eyed devil has any commonalities with an established X-Men character remains to be seen, but we can speculate based on what we've already been given.
Here are a few possibilities:
An alternate version of an X-Men villain
On first glance, the yellow-eyed devil resembles major X-Men villain Mojo. Both are obese and yellow, and largely observe from a distance rather than getting directly involved.
The biggest difference is that the devil never talks, while Mojo -- the ruler of a media-obsessed alternate universe -- never passes up an opportunity to speak.
But the devil also shares some similarities with the Shadow King, a telepathic villain who takes over Haller's body in a major storyline from the comics.
Shadow King lurked in the background for several years in the comics, appearing only in brief glimpses.
"Legion" has gone out of its way to distance itself from the comics, making it unlikely that the yellow-eyed monster will turn out to be Mojo or the Shadow King. But it wouldn't be a surprise if the creature ended up having something in common with either of those characters.
Part of David's subconscious
David briefly glimpses the yellow-eyed devil upon his first meeting with Melanie Bird, who offers to train him to use his incredible powers. No one else notices the creature, lending credence to the theory that the devil is a creation of David's fragile mind.
Is the devil telling us something? Is it trying to warn David that Bird is not to be trusted?
Unfortunately, no clear pattern emerges when you consider the devil's other appearances. David sees the devil after a telekinetic episode that sends utensils flying and destroys his kitchen. He sees the creature later on when he's using recreational drugs with a friend.
The meaning behind those appearances is more opaque.
Perhaps more will become clear as the series continues.
A manifestation of David's mutant powers
When the Memory Artist takes David and Melanie Bird through the main character's recollection of his early years, all three of them see the devil.
David tries to dismiss the creature as a figment of his imagination, but Bird assures him that everything they're seeing is real. Bird implies that the creature -- who briefly appeared in place of one of David's teenage friends -- is a manifestation of his powers
The series hasn't yet shown its audience the extent of David's powers, and when the villains measure his abilities in the premiere, they determine that he's the most powerful mutant they've ever encountered. It's been implied that the voices in his head are a result of his telepathy, and he's also demonstrated the ability to manipulate and transform solid matter and teleport large objects.
And David could have powers that remain unrevealed, such as the power to create a person. Or, in this case, a devil with yellow eyes.
More will hopefully be revealed in tonight's episode.
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