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David Haller is a schizophrenic mutant with immense psychic powers. He was recruited by Melanie Bird to join Summerland in the war between mutants and Division 3. David was also host to a parasitic being known as the Shadow King, which attempted to gain control of David's body and wield his power.
During infancy, David was adopted by the Haller family after his biological father psychically defeated a mutant known as the Shadow King. However, the Shadow King's consciousness still lingered and found David, attaching himself like a parasite within the latter's mind. To exact revenge on David's father, the Shadow King used David's own power to make itself stronger, planning on seizing complete control of his body to achieve this . The psychological damage from having the Shadow King manipulate his memories took its toll on David's mental health, which caused him to act violently to others and engage in petty crime. Around this time, David's mutant powers also began to manifest, shattering the windows of a police vehicle during one such incident. Sometime after this, he is diagnosed with schizophrenia .
Six years later, David and Lenny met a new patient at Clockworks, a woman their age named Sydney Barrett. David immediately developed an attraction to Syd, and they began dating. Mysteriously, Syd refused to allow anyone to touch her in any way, not even her new boyfriend. Dr. Kissinger later stated that Syd had recovered, and she would be returned to her family. Impulsively, David kissed her good-bye, and he suddenly discovered why Syd had been so obstinate about being touched - Syd was a mutant, a human with uncanny abilities. In her case, she could switch bodies with other people through physical contact. In Syd's body, David was confused for the real Syd and wandered around the hospital, where he was shocked to find a painting of Lenny on the wall, apparently done in blood.
As Syd, he was escorted from Clockworks. Just before leaving, he spotted two cars. The passengers of one car included a mysterious older man, while the other car carried a younger man and woman about David's age. He went into the city and stopped at an outdoor cafe. Two hours later, David's own returned to him. He went to his sister Amy's house. She agreed to let him stay for a few days, and introduced him to Ben, her new husband. Amy showed him to the spare bedroom, where David was met with another surprise - Lenny appeared in the room. Lenny explained that her bloody portrait at Clockworks was no coincidence; she had been accidentally killed by Syd in David's body. She then gleefully told David that "they" would be after him for Lenny's death.
Sure enough, the police called David in about Lenny's fate. He was interrogated by two men, one of whom David recognized as the man from the car outside the hospital. They hooked David up to a machine, citing that they needed to run some tests to be sure David was not a danger to himself or anyone else. David told the men his story, but as he grew increasingly frustrated, the objects and people in the room were lifted into the air, knocking them unconscious. Soon after, the room was filled with a gas that knocked David out. When he awoke, he was tied to a chair and power cables in the middle of a swimming pool. The interrogator demanded to know where Syd was. In the middle of the stint, David's mind travelled, and he was met by Syd. She confirmed David's suspicions -- these men were not cops at all, but members of Division Three, a secret government agency that targeted mutants, and Syd intended to rescue him. Once he was back in the moment, David slyly slipped out of the chair and into the water. Syd pulled him out and introduced him to two of her allies, the passengers of the second car at Clockworks - Ptonomy Wallace and Kerry Loudermilk. The four mutants escaped the facility and travelled to the mutants' secret refuge, a place they called "Summerland", where David was welcomed to the group and introduced to their leader, Dr. Melanie Bird.
Melanie believed David's "symptoms" were actually his mutant powers, specifically telepathy. She taught David how to use his telepathy, and brought him to see Ptonomy to get a better understanding of what triggers his powers. Ptonomy used his mental powers to project himself, David, and Melanie into David's earliest memories of his schizophrenia, including an incident when he levitated things in his bedroom while his father was reading him a story, The World's Angriest Boy in the World, a picture book about a boy who beheads his mother for trying to send him to bed. They also relived a tense session with Dr. Poole and one adventure with Lenny in which she stole a stove and they tried to re-sell it in exchange for drugs. Melanie noticed that once the David in the memory had gotten very high, he reacted strangely to Lenny. The David of the present day could not bring himself to admit that he had seen another vision of "the Devil with the Yellow Eyes".
Back in reality, Syd explained to David how she became involved with Summerland. After she found herself in David's body, she lost control of his powers, and accidentally killed Lenny. The sudden surge of power caught Melanie's attention. Unfortunately, Division 3 also took notice. Syd was eventually intercepted by Melanie's group, and then went with Ptonomy and Kerry to rescue David. Later, a scientist named Dr. Cary Loudermilk attempted to get a better understanding of David's mind. In the process, David had a vision of Amy at Clockworks, and realized that Division Three had his sister. David prepared to leave the others and rescue Amy, but was persuaded by Syd to stay and further develop his powers.
David told Dr. Bird about his sister, who decided that memory work had to be accelerated. Ptonomy, Melanie, and David further explored the memory of the day he destroyed his kitchen. Melanie explained that David was not only a telepath, but also had telekinesis. The mutants looked for what triggered David's powers, but something appeared to be blocking Ptonomy from exploring David's mind. Immediately, David saw yet another vision of "the Devil with the Yellow Eyes" and in a panic, he teleported them all out of his memories and back into reality, something Ptonomy had not thought possible.
Dr. Loudermilk hooked David up to the MRI again to model David's brainwaves and take hormone readings. At first, he simply relived a boyhood Halloween, when all of sudden, the scene changed dramatically: his dog, King, ran away and he wandered into a somber field, where he came face to face with the title character of The World's Angriest Boy in the World. Then it changed again when the apparition of Lenny appeared. She chastised David for wasting his time selfishly when Amy was still being held prisoner by Division Three. She also warned him against Melanie, when David once again saw Amy, begging for his help. The stress and confusion piled up, and the room began to shake. Syd entered the room to help him, and as a result the pair experienced a vision of Amy being terrorized by Division Three, telling her about her brother's powers and tried to coerce Amy into helping them find David and "turn him off". Suddenly, on of the agents reached for the spectral David and Syd, apparently having seen them. Fortunately, the pair vanished.
Syd and David manifested again in the middle of a lake and explained what had they had seen to Melanie, Cary, and Ptonomy. Melanie recognized the agent - his name was Walter, a former ally of Melanie's husband Oliver when Summerland was founded. Melanie explained that David could not go back to Division Three for risk of exposing himself or all of them. Melanie requested that David be sedated temporarily so she could have unfiltered access to his mind so get a better understanding of his powers. Reluctantly, David agreed, and Syd agreed to enter his mind alongside Ptonomy, David, and Melanie. The sedation kept David's rational mind from entering the memory landscape, and so he manifested as a young boy. Since Syd's powers did not work outside the physical world, David and Syd were able to embrace for the first time. This time, Syd received an unsettling feeling and asked Ptonomy to return them to the real world, but he was met with a similar force of resistance. David's boyhood self ran away, and Syd gave chase throughout a series of memories, and the pair found themselves reliving the same nightmare from David's MRI - cornered by the angry boy, who then transformed into the Devil with the Yellow Eyes. Syd urged David to wake up, and Syd and Ptonomy were able to return to reality. Melanie forcibly awoke after an encounter with the yellow-eyed demon, but David remained under, which worried Syd intensely.
Powers and abilities
- Reality Warping: As one of the most known powerful mutants, David has the power to manipulate reality at will. When she switched bodies with David, Sydney Barrett was able to transport all the patients of Clockworks into their rooms and cause the doors to disappear.
- Telekinesis: David can move physical matter with his hand, which often manifests when he is angry. He once telekinetically caused all the objects in his kitchen to move around him.
- Telepathy: David is able to read the minds of others, though he had trouble controlling it at first. With Melanie's help, David was able to fine-tune his telepathy so that he isn't overwhelmed by the mental voices of people around him.
- Teleportation: David can instantaneously transport himself and others from one location to another. He triggered this power whilst panicking during a MRI scan, teleporting himself and the machine outside of the Summerland facility .
- Astral Projection: David has the power to project his consciousness and that of others outside the physical form. Through astral projection, David can intangibly observe the physical plane , or he can travel to the Astral Plane.
- Levitation: When David was meditating, he was able to levitate above the ground.
- Energy Shield: During his fight with Shadow King controlled Kerry, David was able to generate a blue energy shield around himself. The shields collision with Kerry was strong enough to force Farouk out of her body.
- Sound Dampening: While under control of Farouk, David was able to mute all sound around and inside his childhood home.
- Chronokinesis: David was able to stop time when he and Syd was shot at by Walter.
- In the comics, David is the son of Charles Xavier and Gabrielle Haller. His parentage has not been confirmed in the show yet, but his father is strongly implied to be Charles Xavier during the chalkboard sequence in Chapter 7.
- In the comics, David was possessed by the Shadow King during the Muir Island Saga .
- David played soccer as a young boy, and even won a trophy for his team .
- David was born on a Thursday .
- According to Cary, David has an extremely large amygdala . This is the part of the brain that processes memory, decision-making, and emotional reactions.
- ↑ Episode: Chapter 7
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Episode: Chapter 1
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Episode: Chapter 2
- ↑ Uncanny X-Men #278-280
- ↑ X-Factor #69-70