Shadow King

Shadow King


caption=Cover of "X-Men" #78 (vol. 2, Aug. 1998). Art by German Garcia.
character_name=Shadow King
species=Human Mutant
publisher=Marvel Comics
debut="Uncanny X-Men" #117 (Jan. 1979)
creators=Chris Claremont
John Byrne
alliances=Dark X-Men
aliases=Amahl Farouk, Jacob Reisz, Ananasi, Cypher, Karma

The Shadow King is a fictional character that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics.

Publication history

Created by writer Chris Claremont and illustrator/co-writer John Byrne, the character first appeared in "Uncanny X-Men" #117 (Jan. 1979) as a telepathic mutant named Amahl Farouk.

Amahl Farouk returns years later in "The New Mutants" #34 (Dec. 1985), revealed to be possessing Karma since issue #6. Later appearing throughout "Uncanny X-Men", the character does not first refer to himself by the name of Shadow King until issue #266 (Aug. 1990).

"X-Treme X-Men" and "X-Men: True Friends" has developed/retconned the Shadow King into being actually a creature of the ethereal plane that has existed since the dawn of humanity; an astral demon preferring to enslave the bodies of psi-sentives, grow them into morbid obesity, and utilize their mental capabilities to enslave others to its whims.

Fictional character biography

The Shadow King exists as an entity of pure psychic energy that feeds on the hatred of humanity. It manifests itself on the physical plane by possessing the bodies of human beings. In the 1940s, Shadow King works with Baron Strucker and the Nazis in a scheme to mystically replace the King of England with a Nazi sympathizer.

Years later, Shadow King assumes the guise of crime lord Amahl Farouk, and leads a street gang that includes a young Storm, in Cairo, Egypt. He encounters another telepath, Charles Xavier, and the two engages in a psychic battle on the astral plane, that kills Farouk's physical body, however, Shadow King shifts his astral form to another plane. The encounter with an evil mutant encourages Xavier to later form the X-Men, a team dedicated to combating criminal mutants. ["Uncanny X-Men" #117]

Shadow King eventually possesses the psionic mutant Karma. Storm and the New Mutants are able to reach Karma's true mind, who is able to purge the Shadow King from her body, confining him once more to the Astral Plane. ["New Mutants" #6-34] Shadow King then possesses the body of FBI agent agent Jacob Reisz, hunting down Storm, and taking over the minds of the numerous mutants living on Muir Island. The Shadow King battles Charles Xavier once more and is defeated and thought killed, though the battle left Xavier once again wheelchair-bound and his son David comatose. ["Uncanny X-Men" #253-280]

The Shadow King reappears later and takes over the African tribe that had worshipped Storm as a goddess, and in the end, is defeated by Psylocke. After Psylocke's death, the Shadow King is released from his prison and attempts to turn Rogue into his new Shadow Queen ["X-Treme X-Men Annual 2001"] , hoping to gain her current ability to enter dreamtime. However, Rogue recalls the psionic abilities she had gained from Psylocke and uses them to defeat the Shadow King.

When Jamie Braddock brings Psylocke back from the dead, the Shadow King escapes, due to the cosmic whim created by the Scarlet Witch, finding himself in another universe where he takes control over Professor Xavier and his team of X-Men, dubbing them the "Dark X-Men". Later after the world is shifted back to normal, the Shadow King and his mindcontrolled X-Men team travels back into Earth-616. The Shadow King attempts to kill Captain Britain with the controlled New Excalibur but is defeated once again by Psylocke. The Dark X-Men tries to free their Xavier from his prison and are assisted by Lionheart, whom the Shadow King attempts to take control. ["New Excalibur" #19] However, Lionheart has a device that prevents this and places a collar on the Dark Xavier that seals the Shadow King in that body, and then stabs Dark Xavier in the chest, killing him.

Other versions

Age of Apocalypse

In the "Age of Apocalypse" storyline, the Shadow King is an agent of Apocalypse, seen manifested as a cloudy face inside of a bottle in Apocalypse's sanctum.


In an alternate universe, the Shadow King has conquered the Hellfire Club. ["Excalibur" #21-22]

Mutant X

In the "Mutant X" dimension, Shadow King merges with Professor Xavier to form an evil being.

Ultimate Universe

In "Ultimate Marvel" series, Shadow King appears as Storm's lover and the leader of the group of thieves that she and Lady Deathstrike belongs to. Storm sends him into a coma after unintentionally electrocuting him when she used her powers to summon lightning for the first time. As a result, his mind is sent to another dimension where he encounter the Brood and becomes the Shadow King.

In other media


* Shadow King appears in two episodes of "" (1992-97), voiced by Maurice Dean Wint.

* Shadow King appears in episode 4 of the 2008 "Wolverine and the X-Men" animated series, voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson.

Video games

*Shadow King is one of the three primary villains in the video game "X-Men Legends" voiced by Dorian Harewood.


*Shadow King is a figure in the Mutant Mayhem set from Marvel HeroClix.


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