The Shadow King’s origins are hard to determine, partially due to several retcons of his character that are contradictory both in detail and chronology. For many years the Shadow King’s primary human manifestation was a man named Amahl Farouk. It was as Farouk that he originally confronted Professor Xavier, inspiring Xavier to form the X-Men. In his most recent appearances, it’s suggested that Shadow King is an essence of pure psionic energy existing within the Astral Plane and possessing the bodies of those in the living world. Previously, he was portrayed as a disembodied mutant moving from one host to another after his original body had died.