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Quote1 Happiness is a lie. Life is horror. The light is always dying, all across the universe. The last star will flicker out someday. When it does, all that remains... shadow. And I will be its king. Quote2
-- Shadow King src

The Shadow King is allegedly a multiversal manifestation of the dark side of the human consciousnesses, spawned by the first nightmare. When the mutant Amahl Farouk's power developed, Farouk psychically controlled those around him, feeding on the shadows in their souls and secretly merging with the Shadow King, who had been transferring from host to host since the dawn of humanity.[2]

Shortly before World War II, Amahl Farouk was believed to have worked with Baron von Strucker on a plot to destabilize Britain's political structure, with the intention being Britain allying with Germany in coming war, or at the very least, staying neutral.[5]

Amahl Farouk (Earth-616) from Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 2 17 0001

Shadow King

Shortly after encountering a young Storm, Charles Xavier walked by a restaurant in Cairo when he was suddenly hit with a powerful psychic attack. Realizing the culprit was inside, he confronted the Shadow King, then known as Amahl Farouk. The two engaged in a fierce battle on the astral plane. Xavier defeated Farouk, whose body slumped over in his chair. But Farouk's evil mind continued to exist on the astral plane, calling itself the Shadow King. (It was also hinted that Farouk was just a body inhabited by the Shadow King).[1]

Many years later, the Shadow King sought to attack Xavier, still angry that he had been defeated. He was able to take over the New Mutant Karma due to her own mutant ability of possession making her vulnerable.[4] Farouk possessed Karma for many months, and his eating habits made her grow as corpulent as his last host body. When the New Mutants inadvertently discovered Karma under Farouk's possession, they fought for her freedom and won, forcing the Shadow King out.[6]

The Shadow King also chased the de-aged Storm in Cairo.[7] He possessed the body of F.B.I. agent Jacob Reisz as his new permanent host and kept up the search for Ororo. He corrupted the doctor Lian Shen into being his slave and used her and Hounds to hunt the Wind-rider. She was able to escape with the help of Gambit.[8]

Meanwhile, Farouk also began manipulating Moira MacTaggert and the inhabitants of her Muir Island facility. This led to Moira and others on Muir adopting more aggressive behavior patterns.[9] Shadow King attempted to compel Val Cooper into executing Mystique for him, and for a time believed she was successful.[8] Eventually, the outside world took notice of Farouk's activities on Muir. Xavier was recently returned from space, and his X-Men were captured on Muir by Shadow King's thralls. Xavier arranged with S.H.I.E.L.D. and X-Factor to make a strike against Shadow King. Farouk believed he had an edge over his foes, since his pawn Val Cooper maneuvered Jacob Reisz into being FBI liaison to the mission. The King was caught off-guard when Cooper was revealed as Mystique in disguise, and his host body was killed. Farouk jumped into Xavier's son, Legion, on Muir Island, but the X-Men defeated his other thralls. In the ensuing psychic battle the backlash re-injured Professor X's legs and spine, but Farouk was apparently destroyed once more.[10][11]

Shadow King later caused the Psi-War, tricking Psylocke into causing a massive wave of energy that disrupted psionic powers across the world. However, he stretched himself too thin attempting to link with all the minds on Earth and was defeated by Psylocke in her new shadow astral form when she assaulted his personal psionic nexus. The Shadow King then became trapped in Psylocke's mind and was unable to enter the Astral Plane.[12]

When Psylocke perished in combat with the mutant hunter, Vargas, the Shadow King was free again and attempted to attack the X-Men. However, it seemed Rogue's acquired memories were too much for him to handle, and he was defeated once again.[13]

The Shadow King later appeared in Britain possessing an alternate reality Charles Xavier and using that reality's X-Men as his Hounds. He was able to bring the Shadow X-Men back to Earth-616 because of the events of M-Day. He and his Shadow X-Men were defeated by New Excalibur and placed in prison. After an attack on a prison transport failed to free him, he attacked the transport's pilot, Sage. She reflected his mental assault, destroying Xavier's psyche. Soon after, he took control of a guard stationed by the body, and had him utter the word "Psylocke." Psylocke visited the unconscious body and the Shadow King revealed himself. The Shadow King could no longer control Psylocke after her resurrection, so he attempted to get revenge on her by having her watch New Excalibur kill her brother. Psylocke caused the Shadow King's host body to have a stroke, flat-lining him and was just about to plunge her psychic sword into the body when she suddenly disappeared in a flash of light.[14]

Brotherhood of Evil Mutants

The Shadow King later re-appeared in his old Farouk body and approached the journalist Harper Simmons. He gave Simmons footage of X-Force assassinating people so that Simmons would go public with the existence of X-Force.[15] It was later revealed that the Shadow King was working with a new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.[6]

A Man Called X

Following the death of Charles Xavier, the Shadow King managed to collect a portion of his spirit and brought it to the Astral Plane, where Xavier was forced to partake in an endless battle against his dire enemy using their psychic powers as arsenal. After what felt like, or might have been, a thousand years in the Astral Plane,[16] the Shadow King attempted access a network of psychics around the Earth to escape the Astral Plane, but a group of X-Men sought out by Psylocke stopped this plan.[3] These X-Men were lured into the Astral Plane, and Xavier hoped their presence could give him the advantage to put an end to the confrontation.[16] The X-Men ultimately defeated the Shadow King and Fantomex donated his body to Professor X's astral form while his mind remained in the Astral Plane.[17] However, the Shadow King planted a portion of himself in Xavier's mind.[18]

After Proteus was released from the Astral Plane,[19] Professor X, now simply going by X, convinced Psylocke to form a psychic network and draw its power to push back his influence. The Shadow King took advantage of this strategy and accessed the network to escape from the Astral Plane through X's body.[18] After the Shadow King subdued the X-Men, X managed to recover and worked together with Psylocke to create a deeper psychic network, gathering enought power to destroy the monster once and for all.[20]


The Shadow King is a multi-universal ethereal entity extending into each reality as a tendril of its larger self, requiring a host body to exist in the material world.

Telepathy: Shadow King is a telepath of a very high order to the point he has been stated to be a "true Omega Telepath".[21] According to Storm, with the exception of Charles Xavier, Shadow King is the most powerful telepath on Earth and has easily taken over the minds of strong-willed individuals such as Gentle and Black Panther without their knowledge.[22] He has also shown enough capability to mentally control high class telepaths such as Marvel Girl and Psylocke.[23]

  • Astral Form: As an astral form he can only be harmed by attacks able to damage such a form, such as psychically or using certain magical weapons. He has demonstrated the ability to live beyond the death of his physical body.[24]
  • Anchor Host: Shadow King is able to possess other beings while on the astral plane. Although he can influence many individuals telepathically, he typically chooses one host to occupy with his disembodied spirit. This host body effectively becomes Farouk's own. His powers can somehow physically repair damage to the host.[25] Although taking a host gives him more power on the physical plane, it also makes him vulnerable. Killing the Shadow King's host can disperse his astral essence, and it may take months or even years for him to manifest his astral form again.[10]

Strength level

Normal human male with little regular exercise when alive. As an astral entity, Shadow King has no physical strength.[26]


When manifested as a gladiator on the Astral Plane, Shadow King usually appeared armed with Roman weapons.[1]

Discover and Discuss


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 X-Men #117
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #9
  3. 3.0 3.1 Astonishing X-Men Vol 4 #1
  4. 4.0 4.1 New Mutants #6
  5. X-Men: True Friends #1-3
  6. 6.0 6.1 New Mutants #31-34
  7. Uncanny X-Men #353
  8. 8.0 8.1 Uncanny X-Men #266-267
  9. Uncanny X-Men #254
  10. 10.0 10.1 Uncanny X-Men #278-280
  11. X-Factor #69
  12. X-Men Vol 2 #77-78
  13. X-Treme X-Men Annual #2001
  14. New Excalibur #1-8
  15. Uncanny X-Force #10
  16. 16.0 16.1 Astonishing X-Men Vol 4 #5
  17. Astonishing X-Men Vol 4 #6
  18. 18.0 18.1 Astonishing X-Men Vol 4 #11
  19. Astonishing X-Men Vol 4 #7
  20. Astonishing X-Men Vol 4 #12
  21. Uncanny X-Force #34
  22. X-Men: Worlds Apart #1
  23. Nightcrawler Vol 4 #8
  24. New Mutants #32
  25. Uncanny X-Men #266
  26. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 2 #17
  27. All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #9
  28. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 10

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