By Jim Beard
Powerful and honorable heroes often attract equally-if not more-powerful but heinous foes. The Shadow King not only represents worthy opposition for the merry band of mutants known as the X-Men but also indirectly inspired their organization.
More malevolent force than mutated man, the Shadow King has taunted and tested the ever-changing roster of X-Men through many years but at present sets his baneful eye on the beautiful and resourceful Storm. In the pages of X-MEN: WORLD'S APART #2, on sale November 19, the Queen of Wakanda faces the X-Men's old foe-a telepathic spirit who can literally possess anyone
Does the answer to the Shadow King's ultimate defeat lie in the history of his past sorties against the X-Men? Come with us as we part the shadows for a brief tour of darkness and madness...
X-MEN v1 #117 (1979)
Having recently parted romantic ways with Moira MacTaggert, a young Charles Xavier flitted about the Mediterranean before finding himself in Cairo-and in the presence of one Amahl Farouk, mutant evil incarnate. Their eventual psychic battle took them to the astral plane and after victory on Xavier's part he realized that the world needed a team of noble mutants to forever stand against those that would misuse their inborn gifts.
NEW MUTANTS v1 #34 (1985)
New Mutants Magik and Warlock, concerned for their missing comrades, journeyed into the past and discovered a horrific secret: their friend and fellow mutant Karma had long been possessed by Amahl Farouk, the once and future Shadow King! After rescuing the other New Mutants, the young heroes tumbled headlong into a game of body-jumping, perpetrated by Farouk. Ultimately, Karma squared off against the malicious spirit and drove him back to the astral plane.
UNCANNY X-MEN #280 (1991)
Finally having manifested himself by name as the Shadow King, the telekinetic terror attacked Professor X and the X-Men using the body of Xavier's son David, aka Legion, as a host. A complicated struggle ensued, both on the physical and astral planes, and the Shadow King ravaged Professor X's mind and body. The X-Men rallied though and in the process of disrupting their foe's nexus, the source of his existence, triumphed once again and forced the King to leave the building.
X-MEN v2 #78 (1998)
Returned and more powerful than ever before, the Shadow King extended his dire influence to the entirety of mankind. A transformed Psylocke entered the psionic plane with newfound abilities to free her fellow X-Men but as a result came into direct confrontation with the dimensions evil monarch. The Shadow King attempted to corrupt every mind on Earth but in doing so stretched himself too thin, allowing Psylocke to entrap him. Unfortunately, the heroine then found that to imprison the King meant never using her powers ever again.
X-TREME X-MEN ANNUAL 2001 (2002)
With Psylocke seemingly deceased, Rogue fell under the gaze of the Shadow King and while he attempted to transform her into his Shadow Queen the evil entity also sent the cyborg Reavers against her team, the X-Men. In the Dreamtime, the King explained that using Rogue and the mutant called Gateway he would soon rule all of space and time. By sheer force of will, Rogue rescued Gateway, defeated the Shadow King and imprisoned him much as Psylocke did before her.
Now comes Storm's turn at being tested and tried by the incredible evil of the Shadow King, a trial that continues to play out in X-MEN: WORLD'S APART #2, hitting the stands on November 19. Relive the Shadow King's first appearance in Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited
Check out the official Marvel Shop for everything X-Men!