In New Mutants # 24 remnants of the Shadow King were finally expunged from Farouk’s mind, allowing Amahl to start on a path of recovery and healing.
WARNING: Major spoilers for New Mutants # 24 ahead!
Professor Xavier of Marvel Comics’ X-Men has had his fair share of major villains, but his first ever nemesis, the demonic entity known as The Shadow King, has finally been exorcised from its long-beleaguered host Amahl Farouk in the latest issue of New Mutants. The newest Destiny of X era of the New Mutants has seen forgiveness, accountability, and moving past prior harms come into the forefront of the series, with New Mutants # 24 by Vita Ayala highlighting all the best of what the new mutant nation of Krakoa can be, after Krakoa has failed its young citizens for months.
The Shadow King, originally intrinsically tied to Amahl Farouk, was Charles Xavier’s first ever villain and the main inspiration for him to create his original class of the X-Men. While in Cairo, Xavier was pickpocketed by a young thief, eventually revealed to be a young Ororo Munroe, and while following Storm he came face-to-face with the man controlling her, the crime overlord Amahl Farouk. Xavier and Farouk, calling himself the Shadow King, did battle on the Astral Plane where Charles was able to defeat Farouk, for a time. However, in New Mutants # 14 a massive retcon revealed that Amahl Farouk and the Shadow King are two entirely separate entities, showing that as an emotionally devastated young mutant Farouk was possessed by the multi-dimensional entity known as the Shadow King, setting up his eventual exorcism in the latest issue of New Mutants.
Since joining Krakoa Amahl Farouk has been working behind the scenes to manipulate the New Mutants, especially the youngest members of the group, into feeling as though they are being betrayed and left behind by their new nation. Playing on their insecurities and manipulating them into going behind their mentors backs, leading to the death of Gabby, Farouk has been the primary villain of the last 15 or so issues. While the entity The Shadow King was apparently destroyed back in 2018’s Astonishing X-Men # 12 by Xavier and Psylocke, Farouk has admitted that the entity still has some hold on him while living on Krakoa. Now, in New Mutants # 24 – written by Vita Ayala with art by Danilo Beyruth – it has been confirmed that while in the Astral Plane the New Mutants and Farouk were finally able to permanently remove any lasting psychic influence The Shadow King had over him.
The battle between the New Mutants and the remnants of the Shadow King actually took place in New Mutants # 23, with the “Lost Club” convincing the older class of New Mutants (Karma, Magik, Warpath, and Wolfsbane) that Amahl Farouk was NOT intrinsically evil, and that they could save him on the Astral Plane. Using their combined powers, the New Mutants were able to protect the young innocent Amahl trapped within his own mind, and defeat the shadow of the King. New Mutants # 24 shows the aftermath of this battle, and how Farouk has decided to hold himself accountable and begin to heal. After having the echo of the Shadow King removed from his mind Farouk has decided to leave Krakoa and enter into intense rehabilitation to recover from the centuries of psychic scarring inflicted on him, and the Quiet Council has agreed that this is indeed the best course of action .
Farouk also requests that, once his treatment is completed and he is deemed “healed,” that “he be allowed to add his power to aid David Haller in his work“hinting that Farouk will eventually join Nightcrawler’s team of psychic mutant fighters in the upcoming Legion of X series. New Mutants # 24 focused not only on Farouk’s recovery but also on the healing that has started for the mutants most affected by The Shadow King, Karma and Rahne. The entire issue, including the rebirth of No-Girl into Cerebella and Masque remaking Cosmar’s face into how she views herself, is a beautiful ode to accountability, rehabilitation, and the power of understanding. To see the entire impact of The Shadow King’s final defeat make sure to check out New Mutants # 24 and witness the ultimate change to the X-Men’s oldest villain.
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