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Shadow King

Appearing in "Psi War!"

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  • Savage Land boat
  • 'Jinguchi Maru' freighter

Synopsis for "Psi War!"

Continued from last issue...

The X-Men find themselves caught in the middle of a terrible storm at sea. Storm attempts to control the raging weather but it’s beyond even her abilities. They are rescued by a Japanese ship out on a government mission. The captain of the ship welcomes the X-Men aboard but tells the group that they are unable to make radio contact until the ship returns to Japan.

While at the school, Jean - who believes the X-Men are dead - is leaving for a vacation. As she departs, Lilandra considers how someone so young can go through so much grief. She then checks in on Charles, who is still reeling over the (supposed) deaths of his students. He tells her how he keeps on thinking of the beginning, when he decided to dedicate his life to peace between humans and mutants.

Many years earlier, when he and Moira MacTaggert (then Moira Kinross) were in love, he was drafted into the military. She promised to wait for him, but after being injured in combat and while recovering in the hospital, Moira would send him a “dear John” letter explaining that she had married someone else. Upon his release from the hospital, Charles spent time wandering the globe in bohemian fashion until he found his way to Cairo.

One day, he was robbed by a young female pickpocket -- a girl that Charles would later recognize as his future student Ororo (Storm) -- and chase after her. He would easily stop her with his mental powers, but sensing latent mutant abilities within her, he opened his mind to probe further, and was then struck down by an unexpected psychic attack. Frightened, young Ororo fled.

Upon recovering from the attack, Xavier tracked it to a nearby cafe where he would encounter a rival telepath named Amahl Farouk. Farouk used his own abilities to take control of the local thieves cartel and proposed an alliance with Xavier. Recognizing the man as evil, Charles refused and so Farouk engaged him in a psychic duel. Farouk transported their psyches to the astral plane where they would combat each other. His own power was great enough that when he landed a blow on Xavier’s psychic avatar, a wound manifested on his physical body.

Realizing he could not win against Farouk in a direct assault, Xavier held back. Farouk assumed Xavier was ceding defeat and gloated that while his physical form would experience an instantaneous death, his psyche would suffer eternal torment. As Farouk closed in, Xavier concentrated all his might into one explosive assault.

In the material world, Farouk (at least his physical form) keels over and drops dead. As attendants surround him to see what happened, Xavier casually sauntered away. Xavier finishes his recollection by telling Lilandra that afterwards he devoted his life to combating evil mutants but was shortly thereafter crippled by the alien Lucifer[1].

With the X-Men seemingly dead, Xavier does not know what to do next. Lilandra invites him to join her when she returns to the Shi'ar empire, and he accepts.

Later at JFK Airport, Jean Grey runs into her “erstwhile” roommate Misty Knight. Jean tells her she’s heading for the Greek Islands for a vacation while Misty relates that she and her colleague Colleen Wing are heading off to Japan on a mission. Misty's flight is about to depart, so she quickly bids Jean farewell, telling her to give Scott a kiss for her the next time they see each other. With Misty hurrying away, Jean doesn’t have time to explain that (as far as she knows) Scott and the X-Men are dead.


  • Farouk and the Shadow King would likely have been more cautious had Xavier given his name. They learned in 1936 of "Charles Xavier" as a powerful future enemy, in X-Men: True Friends.
  • Despite the Beast's assurance in X-Men #114 that the other X-Men have died, it seems strange that neither Xavier nor Jean (two of the world's strongest telepaths) did not attempt to use Cerebro to search for the other X-Men, just in case. Based on the past use of their powers, to say nothing of Cerebro, they ought to have been able to determine the X-Men were in fact alive quite easily. That however would have prevented the planned upcoming storyline developments.
  • Although it was hinted at in her previous appearances, this is the first issue in which it is explicitly stated that Moira had a past romantic relationship with Xavier.
  • While it was probably not planned at this point, Amahl Farouk's remark that Xavier's psychic "death" will outlast the expiration of his physical form explains his later return as the disembodied Shadow King.
  • Misty Knight refers to Phoenix as an "erstwhile roommate" in this issue. The first story chronologically that depicts Misty and Jean Grey as roommates is Classic X-Men #2, after Jean retires from the X-Men in X-Men #94. Jean apparently moved back into the X-Mansion when released from the hospital after shuttle crash in X-Men #101, as she packs her things there after the apparent deaths of her teammates in Classic X-Men #21.
  • Jean is flying to vacation in Kirinos, depicted in Classic X-Men #24.

See Also

Recommended Reading

  • X-Men #114 - Phoenix tells Professor X the X-Men are dead.
  • X-Men #114 - #116 - X-Men's entrance into and adventure in the Savage Land.

Links and References


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