“Legion” Brainstorm Session: Who Is The Shadow King?


“Legion’s” big bad was revealed to be the Shadow King. But who the heck is he in the comics and what should you expect in the finale?

Legion has been one heck of a show. You can’t even really describe it as a superhero show or a comic book show. If you know nothing about the character of David Haller, that doesn’t lessen your enjoyment at all.

This week’s episode finally delved into the comic book-side of things, with some dialogue exposition courtesy of Cary and Oliver. They introduce David’s parasite as Amahl Farouk, also known as the Shadow King. Who is apparently well known by both and terrifies them even more.

So who exactly is the Shadow King?

In the comics, as Amahl Farouk, he starts his saga in the 1930s as an ally of Baron von Strucker and Geist as they help Hitler’s rise to power. There’s some craziness involved with bringing Kitty Pryde and Rachel Summers (also known as a host for Phoenix) back and Farouk inhabiting Summers for a while.

Shadow King/Amahl Farouk, photo credit Marvel Comics

It all leads up to the big showdown with Professor X. Well, the first one, at least. It’s kind of lackluster of a reason that they fight: the Shadow King tries to persuade Charles to join his criminal regime and Charles declines. Their fight on the astral plane persuades Charles to create the X-Men, realizing that not all mutants are nice like him (funny, you would think Magneto would have done that…).

His encounters with David Haller/Legion don’t happen until Muir Island where the Shadow King reigns free. Charles discovers that Farouk needs a human host to survive and has Mystique kill his host. There’s another fight on the astral plane that involves the X-Men coming to his aid. He’s defeated and while Charles offers him a chance to survive, he opts to go into a coma instead.

There are dozens more stories he’s in, including Age of Apocalypse and some fun run-ins with the X-Force team.

But it’s easy to say that his comic book history is pretty different than the exposition David gave last night. We still don’t know what exactly the Shadow King is after, and heck if we’ll actually see Professor X this season.

And Legion will make it all worth it.