Is "The World's Angriest Boy In The World" A Real Book? 'Legion' Invented A Nightmare Children's Story
The FX series Legion proves that television has not yet exhausted the creative possibilities of superhero shows. Early in its first season, the X-Men-related property has already announced itself as a very different kind of series than say, anything in the CW's straightforward Arrowverse. Legion is a psychedelic cocktail of extraordinary powers, arch wit, and your worst nightmares, all centered around David Haller (Dan Stevens), a man who's just learning that what he thought of as his mental illness is actually his exceptional ability. David is being prompted to review formative moments in his life, including childhood memories of his father. In the second episode of Legion, his dad reads young David a strange and violent children's story. Is The World's Angriest Boy In The World a real book? You can't buy it at a store, but it does technically exist.
Fans of the comic book Legion is based on have an idea where the mystery of David's father might be going. But as of last week's episode, David couldn't even conjure his father's face during a "memory work" session at Summerland. He could, however, see the drawings in the book his father was reading him, underlining just how inappropriate a story this was for a boy of his age. "To bed, she said. The angry boy, his face turned red," David's father reads from The World's Angriest Boy In The World. "His face turned red, and with a cry, he chopped her head." Yes, the angry boy is so determined not to do as his mother says that he decapitates her.
Is this a real memory or a false one? There's a lot of unpacking to be done in terms of David's family life, but it doesn't seem possible that a book like this would exist let alone that a competent parent would share it with his kid. The World's Angriest Boy In The World is not a book that's been published (phew), but one was created for the purposes of Legion.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Dan Stevens said that Legion showrunner Noah Hawley wrote a fully-illustrated copy of The World's Angriest Boy In The World, which shows the creative attention to detail behind this visionary series. (In addition to writing and producing TV like Legion, Fargo, and Bones, Hawley has written five published novels.) Stevens told The Hollywood Reporter:
Noah Hawley essentially wrote the world's most twisted children's book for our show. I wonder if they're going to publish it. I imagine they will! But it would be a little weird if it ended up on some child's bookshelf. Scratch that. That's an awful idea. But there was one. There was a physical copy, and it was useful. I love buying books for my kids, and it was a great sort of object to open up. It continues to feature quite strongly, both the book and the character of The World's Angriest Boy in the World, which is my favorite title of any book.
So that book is out there somewhere — probably in a props closet. And if anyone at FX is reading, a copy of The World's Angriest Boy In The World would make a nice addition to a special edition first season DVD set. Just a suggestion.