One of the most mysterious and powerful mutants in existence, the ancient called the Shadow King— sometimes known as Amahl Farouk—has terrorized humanity since the days of early man. The telepathic terror has been a frequent and notably cruel foe of the X-Men in his never-ending quest to rule the astral plane, while enslaving as many people as possible with his superior psionic abilities.
From the Shadows
Lore tells of the Shadow King coming into being when “the first dreams came in night, in the first nightmare.”
There are conflicting accounts of his earlier days, and the Shadow King may have begun as a being of pure telepathic energy, existing only on the astral plane, while connecting to the physical world using a variety of human hosts. It’s also possible he first manifested inside a human and has continued to leap into other “hosts” since the days of his first body’s death. The Shadow King’s exact identity, and earliest trail of existence, remains a mystery.
The first trusted record of the Shadow King starts in 1936, while he was in the physical form of Egyptian “mentalist” Amahl Farouk, and involves him plotting with Wolfgang von Strucker and Nazi scientist Dr. Nikolaus Geist to dispute the lineage of England's royal family in order to install a new king who would be sympathetic to Adolf Hitler. Eventually, his schemes were stopped by Wolverine and two time-traveling members of Excalibur, Kitty Pryde and Rachel Summers.
Decades later, Farouk became a crime lord in Cairo, heading up a secret network of thieves. It is here that he encountered fellow telepath Charles Xavier for the first time. While trying to stop a young Ororo Munroe from stealing his wallet, Xavier was struck by a psychic bolt from the Shadow King. Tracking the source of the psionic attack, Xavier found Farouk in a nearby tavern and learned that the assault on his mind was meant to be a warning shot across the bow, to drive Xavier away from Farouk’s territory.