Gabrielle Haller

gabriellehallerfilmI don’t know you, but Legion is getting more and more confusing…especially considering that the protagonist is one of the most unreliable narrators ever, due to his mental state. Anyway, the mind trip in Chapter 2 provided us with a new character to speak about (there should be two of them, but it’s better to wait a while for the dad, as there are two father figures in David‘s life): David’s mother, still unnamed, portrayed by Tatyana Forrest. We don’t see much of her, not even her face, but she seems to be a caring mother, as we see her in a couple of flashbacks, gardening and playing with her children. The book David’s father reads to him seems to imply that the young mutant eventually killed her, but that’s pure speculation right now. In the comics, David’s mother is called Gabrielle Haller, and this is her story.

Not much is known about Gabrielle Haller’s early life: she was born somewhere in Germany, and she came from a Jew family. When the Nazi Party rose to power, Gabrielle and her family were captured along with millions of other Jews, and they were brought to an unspecified concentration camp. Life became a living hell, and Gabrielle witnessed her entire family and her friends killed in cold blood, forced to work until death, humiliated and tortured. She herself became a guinea pig for some gruesome experiments, as some Nazi scientist was working on a way to store secret information directly into people’s brains as if they were computers. Something went wrong with the procedure, and as soon as the data were stored into Gabrielle’s brain, her psyche reacted badly, and she fell into a catatonic state. Gabrielle was kept alive just to see if she recovered, so that the same process could be repeated, but in the meanwhile the war came to an end, and the Nazis were defeated…not that the young woman knew anything about it. After she was freed from the concentration camp, Gabrielle was brought to many psychiatric hospitals, but nobody was able to cure her from her state, and many believed her catatonia to be a result of some sort of schizophrenia. Eventually, she was sent to a specialised hospital in the newborn State of Israel, and she spent there some years after the war…until a new doctor arrived: Charles Xavier. Xavier proved to be more capable than all of his colleagues in reaching for his patients gabriellehallercomics1and to cure them from their illness, but he had a secret: he was in reality a mutant, an extremely powerful telepath who could literally reach for his patients’ minds. Feeling that Gabrielle’s mind was wounded but still active, Xavier used his telepathy to help her come out of her catatonic state, and reawakened her. In the following months, he helped her to recover, while the volunteer Magnus watched over her physical rehabilitation. In those days, Gabrielle fell in love with her savior Charles, and the two started a relationship. Everything was finally returning to normal…until the information stored in her brain proved to be of great value to someone still wanting them: Nazi-inspired terrorist organization HYDRA.

In the concentration camp, Nazis had implanted in Gabrielle’s brain the coordinates of a secret storage of gold, gold that the war criminal Baron Strucker wanted: along with his HYDRA agents, Strucker attacked the hospital, and kidnapped Gabrielle. Magnus as well turned out to be a mutant, and he joined Xavier in the pursuit of Strucker: the two friends alone vanquished HYDRA forces, freed Gabrielle and recovered the gold…but a different view on the possible coexistence of humans and mutants made Xavier and Magnus part ways, and the latter left with the gold to finance his own personal war. Xavier stayed with Gabrielle, and the two lived together for some time, until they amicably agreed their relationship had come to an end, and Xavier left Israel. Gabrielle, however, was pregnant with Charles’ child, but she chose not to tell him, so that he would have not felt forced to stay with her. She gave birth to a son, David, and she gave him a father when she married another good man she had met, the psychiatrist Daniel Shomron. She resumed her studies and she succesfully graduated at Law School, obtaining remarkable results in her career, all the while being a good mother to David. Her professionality and her personal history allowed her to become the public face of Israel in Europe, and she became the Israeli ambassador in Great Britain, taking all her family with her to live in London. Being Israel’s gabriellehallercomics2ambassador wasn’t exactly a safe job, and Gabrielle realised it far too well when she became the target of a terrorist group while on a trip in Paris: many men broke into her house and murdered Daniel, keeping her and her son at gunpoint…and it was the shock of seeing his stepfather killed and her mother and himself threatened that awakened David’s mutant powers. The boy unconsciously killed all the terrorists, then fell into a catatonic state similar to the one his mother had experienced years before. Luckily enough, David woke up soon after, but he was different, having become nearly autistic. Looking for a specialist, Gabrielle turned to Dr. Moira MacTaggert for help, knowing the woman was one of the world’s most skilled specialists in mutants, and that she personally knew the boy’s father. She entrusted her son to her, but she put one condition: for no reason in the world, Charles Xavier had to be involved in her child’s life…

Gabrielle Haller is a woman molded by pain, who turned her past suffering into strength. Intelligent and determined, a single mother (at least for some time) and a career diplomat, Gabrielle constantly struggles to start a new life, but her past keeps haunting her, first with the results of the gruesome experiments performed on her in the concentration camp, then with the legacy the man she once loved left to her son, one that will make her life much more complicated than it’s already been.

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3 Comments

  1. […] Gabrielle Haller […]

  2. […] Gabrielle Haller […]

  3. […] who were brought to his hospital, but he eventually found one he couldn’t reach for: Gabrielle Haller, a woman who had survived Dachau, but who had fallen into a catatonic schizophrenia following the […]


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