Portrayed by Milo Ventimiglia
|Affiliations:||X-Men, Xavier Institute - Staff|
|Birthdate:||May 7, 1982|
"And he asked him: What is thy name? And he saith to him: My name is Legion, for we are many." -- Mark V.9
David Haller is a broad-spectrum psi who has been diagnosed with a condition known as Dissociative Identity Disorder since the age of 13, and as such is eminently qualified for his position as the most recent in a long line of slightly cracked student counselors at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters.
- 1 Details
- 2 Biography
- 3 Voices in David's Head
- 4 IC Knowledge Cheatsheet
- 5 Physical Characteristics
- 6 Powers
- 7 Trivia
- 8 External Links
- 9 Plots
- 10 Meta
Real Name: David Charles Haller
Aliases: Jim (primary); Jack, Cyndi, Davey (alters)
First Appearance: January 14th, 2006
Date of Birth: May 7, 1982
Place of Birth: New York, New York
Relatives: Benyamin Haller (uncle, deceased), Rebecca Haller (aunt, deceased), Charles Xavier (father), Gabrielle Haller (mother), Andrew Shomron (guardian, deceased), maternal grandparents (disowned by)
Education: GED, sporadically pursuing psychology courses at The New School
Relationship Status: Single/scarred for life
Occupation: Student counselor at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters
Team Affiliation: X-Men
Childhood and Manifestation
Haller had a typical childhood until the age of 7, when his parents were killed in a suicide-bombing of their hotel when on pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Haller was then relegated to the care of his maternal grandparents for some months until Andrew Shomron (brother to Daniel Shomron, an associate of Gabrielle Haller's, and a friend of the family) assumed guardianship. Later it was discovered that the time spent with his grandparents established the foundations of Haller's later dissociative disorder as their harsh treatment of Haller's introversion and "excessive" grief over his parents' death lead to the defensive creation of the happier, more socially acceptable persona that later became known as Davey.
At the age of 10 Haller was caught in the middle of a convenience-store holdup one night as he and Andrew were returning from a visit to a friend's house. In the restroom when the three gunmen arrived, Haller startled them by opening the door and caused one of the gunmen to open fire. Haller, shielded by his guardian's body, suffered only a bullet to the arm. Andrew, however, was killed instantly. Pain, terror and rage catalyzed his psionic powers, and the resulting manifestation destroyed the convenience store and killed the three gunmen, two clerks and one other customer. Overwhelmed by the death of his guardian and the horror of physically and psychically annihilating six people, Haller's mind shattered. By the time rescuers pulled him from the rubble the boy was catatonic. His grandparents placed him in a long-term care facility.
Muir Island and Xavier's
At the age of 13 Haller's powers again began to manifest in reality in the form of telekinetic and pyrokinetic fits. Seeing this as the final straw, his grandparents disowned him. His aunt Gabrielle, now assured the boy was a mutant, contacted Charles Xavier for help. Charles succeeded in extricating Haller from the institution the boy was sent to the Muir Island Research Facility for a brief time. Several weeks of psychic coaxing saw Haller out of his coma, but it was discovered that the trauma of his manifestation had resulted in Dissociative Identity Disorder (also called DID, once known as Multiple Personality Disorder). During the initial months of recuperation Haller bonded with Moira MacTaggart, who had only a year before lost her son Kevin.
Once Haller stabilized he was transferred to Xavier's in order to continue treatment with Charles. With the assistance of a personal caretaker Haller remained at the school until he was 16, at which point he was deemed well enough to continue treatment for his DID with more specialized therapists. However, because of the complications associated with his powers and mental illness it was deemed best for Haller to spend this time in the care of Muir Island.
Therapy continued apace for a number of years. Then, for reasons originally cited only as "a psychological reconfiguration," at the age of 19 Haller's DID began to spiral out of control. A year later, after several increasingly violent incidents with his telekinesis which resulted in third-degree burns, numerous fractures and blunt-force trauma, Haller was once again forced to turn to Charles for help. Unknown to both men, the psychic-inhibitors placed around Haller's TK had the unintended side-effect of artificially restraining the personalities that held them. Although Davey continued to emerge, manifestations of Jack and Cyndi grew less and less pronounced. His brief, failed attempt at out-patient treatment at the age of 18 notwithstanding, he was not formally released until he was 20.
After his convalescence and release from Muir, Haller spent three years drifting around the United Kingdom working as a volunteer in various asylums. Due to his own experiences and the training received under Charles Xavier, Haller proved exceptionally adept at working with the mentally ill. However, despite his natural talent the work took its toll.
In the winter of 2005, physically and emotionally burned out, Haller contacted Charles, who arranged for him to assume position as the latest in the long line of student counselors at Xavier's, supporting and eventually replacing the overworked Wanda Maximoff. Haller arrived at the school in early January of 2006. In addition to his staff duties, Haller began to pursue psychology courses at The New School.
As a result of a relapse brought upon by his actions in The Rictor Effect in July of 2006 Haller temporarily removed himself from position as school counselor. The hiatus lasted until Charles gently nudged Haller's shattered self-confidence back into some approximation of whole by requesting his assistance with the new arrival Yvette Petrovic.
Though initially leery about joining the team due to his history of mental instability, Haller's assistance was required to combat Chthon in Head Like A Hole. It marked Haller's first willfully offensive use of telepathy and the beginning of his involvement with the team. After the events of House of Wind, he decided to stop fighting fate and officially volunteered. After some time in the field learning the technicalities of the psionic switchboard from Nathan during Masque (plot), he tried a slightly more active role in X-Men Mission: Haunted House, and in his determination to prove his worth actually managed to put himself into a coma. He was less adventurous after that.
Haller's telekinesis remained locked until The Rictor Effect, during which his assistance was required to hold back the tsunami in San Diego. By ripping off the inhibitors Haller succeeded in helping to avert the immediate threat, but released the latent personalities of Jack and Cyndi. In their attempt to escape the possibility of re-imprisonment the two alters assaulted Cable, Phoenix, Polaris and Rogue before they could be pacified by Juggernaut. It was the first time Haller had ever worn team leathers.
After a period of voluntary inactivity for fear his obvious instability threatened the team, Haller reenlisted after he was forced to test his limits under pressure when Pete Wisdom utilized borderline blackmail to scrape up another telepath for Operation: Xorn. However, he remains more at home with repairing minds than going on missions.
Five Against One
Main article Five Against One.
Early in 2007 Haller discovered his mentor, Charles Xavier, was in fact his biological father by Gabrielle Haller, the woman Haller had until that time believed to be his aunt. Fearing this knowledge would destroy Haller's tenuous grip on sanity, Charles and Gabrielle had withheld it for years. This fear proved to be 100% correct. The alter Jack responded with escalating violence against both Jim (levied against Haller's physical body) and the professor. A dinner meeting with his mother proved the last straw, and Haller's fractured psyche finally split entirely, revealing the source of the conflict.
David's original manifestation hadn't merely killed six bystanders, but lead to the absorption of the psyche of one of his assailants -- a 17 year old named Jemail Karami, the man who had shot and killed David's guardian only moments before. During the violent schisming of David's psionic abilities, Jemail found himself in possession of the aspect the traumatized boy couldn't bear to have: telepathy. Locked inside David's mind for years and completely isolated from the world, Jemail slowly began to utilize his power by effecting repairs on David's mind until Charles located the boy and drew him out. It was Jemail who received the training Haller would later put to use in his vocation of telepathic therapist.
All was relatively calm until David began recovery in earnest around the age of 18, when David's brain became unable to sustain the presence of two strong, coherent personalities. Erring on the side of survival, David's mind chose the strongest of the psyches: Jemail. David's own mind slowly began to disintegrate. In order to preserve both personalities, Charles was eventually convinced to knit the two psyches together to form the composite entity who came to call himself Jim -- a solution which nearly killed him, as the event became the catalyst for Jack's original rebellion.
The poison drawn out into the open, David finally gained the opportunity to confront Jemail, his victim, partner and parasite. After a great deal of drama, both men finally resolved their issues and once more reintegrated into Jim.
Since Five Against One, cooperation amongst the alters has greatly increased, particularly between rivals Jim and Jack. Alexander's Wall showed Haller's alters now able to formulate strategy and coordinate attacks, albeit with the occasional snarky commentary. Though he is most commonly used for communications due to the unpredictability of his telekinesis, he is occasionally useful for spontaneous defensive maneuvers and does train with it in the Danger Room.
Though still unable to refer to Charles as anything but "the professor," Jim remained with him in the mansion rather than evacuating with the students for the events of Thirteen Days, marking the first time he has ever put personal desire over professional. He has also succeeded in calling Gabrielle "Ima" -- Hebrew for mother. In the meantime, he has also resumed his interrupted college courses in January of 2008.
Haller suffered from the departures of long-time lover Betsy Braddock and close friend Lorna Dane, becoming more isolated as a result. Consequently, when Xavier was contacted by X-Factor regarding a series of murdered mutants he took the opportunity to include his son in perhaps the strangest equivalent of a playdate to date. Though he originally intended only to assist in locating the killer, the suspect's resolute silence eventually forced him to break his policy against non-consensual use of telepathy. While acknowledging the necessity, the incident left him discomfited.
Haller accompanied the X-Men to rescue the residents abducted during a protest outside the Genoshan embassy only to find himself captured. While detained in the Citadel he was horrified to discover Betsy Braddock had been brainwashed and was working as a magistrate. The experience, as well as the news of the alleged death of Rachel Kinross-Dayspring took its toll on his psyche, leaving him in a largely blank and dissociated state until they were freed. Once the ordeal was past he reunited with Betsy, who was shaken after her experience and had newly been freed of Kwannon's presence.
Once they had returned from Genosha Scott approached Haller about his parentage, which he had "learned" as a result of the Genoshan's attempts to turn their captives against one another. To his horror, Haller realized his subconscious insecurity had caused him to weaken the bonds around Scott's memory of his relationship with Charles, causing temporary tension between the two. Some time later Betsy appeared at the mansion unannounced, claiming concern for his well-being but in fact dealing with alarming changes to her powers. After countless evasions and denials, Betsy's new teleportation powers manifested in a way that left no room for doubt. After the two struggled to deal with the implications and the lack of honesty a confrontation ensued: Betsy, fearing the changes had something to do with Essex and Kwannon, tore into Haller and disappeared in the aftermath, leaving him heartbroken.
Perhaps as a means of distraction, Haller became more involved in the tutoring of the influx of students with psionic powers, like Hope, Topaz and Maddie. He continued with reconstructive activities such as rebuilding Garrison's mind after its quasi-mystical destruction, preliminary work with Adrienne's psychometric overflow, and repairing some of the damage to Longshot's memories, but largely withdrew from team involvement.
The Dark Phoenix
Haller was hit hard by the news Moira and Nathan had been killed in the destruction of Muir Island, but did not allow himself to process it during the frantic search for the missing Jean Grey. His sanity took another blow when the Imperial Guard intervened in their rescue mission and murdered Namor, with the Guardsman Oracle piping the young man's death directly into his mind. He held out until the murder of Lorna and near-death of Xavier pushed him over the edge. With the help of Emma and Rachel, he overcame his grief and tapped enough power to delay the Dark Phoenix as she attempted to invade Cerebro. Their efforts, however, were doomed to failure; like Rachel, he disappeared when the Dark Phoenix overloaded an attempt to suppress her power.
Voices in David's Head
Haller's mind was once broken into many ego states, but has now resolved into only four:
PB: Milo Ventimiglia
PB: Adrian Pasdar
PB: Stock image
PB: Stock image
|Jemail Karami - deceased|| When It All Goes Wrong Again, and appeared again in Five Against One before their permanent melding.
In life Jemail was 5'7", spoke Khaliji (Arabic) and some Farsi, and is solely responsible for Jim's smoking habit. His mother, still alive and ignorant of her son's fate, is Safa Karami. He still sometimes refers to her as "Ummee".
PB: Navid Akhavan
IC Knowledge Cheatsheet
Due to Haller's fierce devotion to privacy and the ridiculously byzantine nature of his psyche, please enjoy this brief primer on IC knowledge. (Note: In public, particularly around students, Haller requests even those who know his "nickname" to call him David.)
|Suffers from DID||Core personality a composite called Jim||Xavier is biological father|
|Staff||Yes - new staff are given a courtesy memo when they join the school; whether the staff read it is up to them||No||No|
|Students||No - not denied but not advertised; Haller admits to unspecified mental problems due to his powers||No||Hell no|
|Team||Yes - team involves working with telekinetic personalities||No||No|
|Snow Valley||Somewhat - was a factor in Operation: Xorn||Somewhat - may have heard Wanda or Betsy use the name, likely assumed to be nickname||No - unless someone spent personal time investigating Xavier's sex life|
|Individuals in the know||Catseye (cat-brainwaves snuck under radar while an alter was out), Madelyne Pryor||Betsy Braddock, Marie D'Ancato, Lorna Dane, Nathan Dayspring, Jean Grey, Cain Marko, Wanda Maximoff, Scott Summers (partial; knows the name)||Betsy Braddock, Marie D'Ancato, Lorna Dane, Nathan Dayspring, Jean Grey, Cain Marko, Wanda Maximoff, Scott Summers|
|NPCs in the know||Charles Xavier, Moira MacTaggart, Nathaniel Essex, Magneto, Gabrielle Haller||Charles Xavier, Moira MacTaggart, Gabrielle Haller||Charles Xavier, Moira MacTaggart, Nathaniel Essex, Magneto, Gabrielle Haller|
Aside from getting the aforementioned information directly from the source (or a secondary party being drunk, mouthy or both), the odds of discovering the above are influenced by the following:
Haller's Mental Illness - Clearly stated in both team and medical records, including names and capabilities of alters. Also somewhat known in psychiatric circles, as Haller does frequent conferences and is open that he has been a subject in studies on powers and psychology.
The "Jim" Situation - Nowhere in the team/security database, so not accessible via security hack or mission notes. Likely referenced only in Xavier's personal notes and psychological assessments.
Haller's Paternity - Theoretically accessible to anyone who's looking in the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and/or the New York State Putative Father Registry. Xavier and Gabrielle Haller both signed a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form. Also buried in Haller's confidential medical file.
Eyes: Blue right eye, brown left eye (Jim); grey (Jack); green (Cyndi); blue (Davey, David)
Hair: Black, feared sentient
Other Features: While normally heterochromatic, depending on which personality is in control Haller's eyecolor changes due to a rapid increase or decay of the melanin in his eyes, which is a product of psychosomatic interaction between his state of mind and his own body. As a consequence of uncontrolled fits of pyrokinesis Haller has very visible scars running up the back of his right hand and arm, as well as several less obvious ones across his body.
Haller is theoretically a broad-spectrum psi, but his traumatic manifestation schismed his powers into the two most basic expressions: psychically affective (telepathy) and physically affective (telekinesis, subdivided into macro- and micro- scale). Because of David's inability to cope with the psychological ramifications these powers were allotted to other personalities; the core personality did not come into possession of any powers until eight years after his initial manifestation. Though potentially as powerful as his father, if not more, Haller's abilities are greatly hampered by his mental illness. His full power has been seen only once, in the brief period of time between removing the blocks on his telekinesis and psychological dissolution during The Rictor Effect.
Telepathy: Trained by Charles and experienced in the rebuilding of his own mind, Haller's area of speciality is psychic reconstruction. A high ability to multi-task and thus perform functions like the psionic switchboard during missions is an unforeseen benefit of his disorder. He is adept at mimicking and customizing techniques demonstrated to him, and extremely talented at adaptation as necessity requires. Though powerful, psychological inhibitions restrict his range to 1-2 miles at best and he is psychically numb to any but the extremely familiar. Despite this introversion the intuitive nature of his approach to telepathy allows him the atypical ability to communicate with those speaking in languages other than his own -- useful for face-to-face communication, but no help when it comes to speaking, reading or learning the language itself. Only Jim has use of Haller's telepathy.
Macro-TK: Telekinesis affecting objects visible to the eye, controlled by Jack. By far the least developed aspect of Haller's powers, a combination of mental inhibitions and genuine inexperience restrict him from complex manipulation, handling simultaneous multiple targets, or, under normal circumstances, affecting objects larger than around the size of a bus. It is notable that the physical limitations are far less severe when in the area of instinctive defense. He is best able to affect objects already in motion; imminent action is often characterized by the disturbance of nearby objects as his less refined telekinesis begins to "leak". The power is usually characterized by poorly-directed hurling or smashing of objects or short, sharp bursts of concussive force. However, Jack displays an unexpected talent for shielding.
Micro-TK: Telekinesis on the molecular level, wielded by Cyndi. Most often it manifests as pyrokinesis -- not because it's limited to that, but because that is simply the controlling alter's preference of manifestation. While Cyndi's fine control exceeds Jack's, emotional upset or simple boredom tends to result in unwitting spontaneous combustion. Occasionally this occurs slightly too close to the non-fireproof Haller. In Fiddler's Green she discovered her micro-TK allowed her to manipulate great masses of water, though she is unused to the sustained effort this requires.
- The telepathic personality, Jim, is the only smoker. His brand of preference is Marlboro.
- Though he loathes the professor, Jack sometimes listens to jazz because Charles once suggested it as a way to mellow out.
- After an attempt to telepathically force-integrate with Cyndi, Cyndi retaliated by seizing control, getting a tattoo and burning down a nightclub. To this day Jim still cannot remember these events.
- Haller participated in a public search and rescue operation for a British Alzheimer's patient in the spring of 2004, which attracted the attention of Magneto. He was courted briefly as a possible resource, but declined. Due to the commonality of his power and his various restrictions Magneto deemed him not useful enough to pursue.
- As revealed in The Enemy Within, Haller was at the Muir Island Research Center with Moira during the events of X2.
- The reason why Jim has the "atypical" ability to telepathically understand those speaking languages other than English is due to the fact his player was unaware this was not common practice in X-Project and found out only after multiple instances of use. As retconning was useless, his player decided he was just special. Jonothon Starsmore is currently the only other telepath to display similar ability.
- Haller claimed his codename in response to Jack's final taunt to him during the sudden relapse brought on by the The Rictor Effect: So smile and say it with me now, "Jim": My name is Legion, for we are many.
Darkness Falls - event
- With the sole exception of Davey, all personalities (with their associated powers) were originally set by writer Chris Claremont in the Marvel comic The New Mutants.
- In The New Mutants #27 the personality of Jack declared Legion's identity to Xavier by leveling against him the same quote referenced in The Rictor Effect. This was a little odd since the quote originates from the Book of Mark in the New Testament and canon Legion was also pretty Jewish.