X-Men Just Ruined Professor X's Greatest Victory | Screen Rant

Warning: contains spoilers for New Mutants #22!

One of X-Men's most epic battles in history happened between Professor Xavier and the Shadow King... but did Charles really defeat his greatest enemy single-handed? In New Mutants #22, it is revealed that Amahl Farouk, the mutant who the Shadow King has been possessing since the 1930s, actually helped Professor X destroy the Shadow King on the astral plane. With the recent revelation that Amahl Farouk and the Shadow King are two separate entities, more details about their intertwined identity and history with Charles have been revealed.

Professor Xavier and the Shadow King have a long and sordid history, dating back to a trip to Cairo, Egypt, after Charles' then-fiancé Moira MacTaggert ended their engagement. After confronting the frightening Shadow King on the astral plane, Xavier was able to  defeat him, almost at the cost of his own life. However, a piece of Amahl Farouk lived on in the astral plane and would continue to return to do battle with Xavier and his X-Men. This initial battle with Farouk, considered perhaps Charles' greatest solo victory, is seen as a defining point for Professor X, where he realized that there were dangerous mutants in the world, set on harming humans and further causing distrust of mutants.

Related: X-Men: How Krakoa’s Failings Are One Villain’s Path To Victory

Krakoa's crew of young New Mutants begin their fight in earnest against the Shadow King in the recently released New Mutants #22 by writer Vita Ayala, artist Rod Reis, and letterer Travis Lanham. The team has finally realized that Amahl Farouk, who has been acting as a mentor to some younger mutants, is pursuing a dark agenda born of his own traumatic childhood. It is illuminated that during Professor Xavier's first battle with the Shadow King, he only won because of Amahl Farouk's own efforts to fight back against the demonic influence internally. This battle was what prompted Charles to create the X-Men, so finding out that he did not defeat the Shadow King alone robs the hero of one of the few iconic victories credited to him rather than his students and allies.

It is implied that since Amahl and Shadow King are actually two separate entities, and Amahl is a complex mutant at heart, he was actually integral in Charles' defeat of the Shadow King. Of course, this means that if Amahl had been a weaker host for the Shadow King, or had not fought against him, Charles might not have been powerful enough to defeat him alone. This revelation could deal a blow to the mutant community's view of Professor X as an Omega-level psychic, since it means he did not in fact defeat the ancient entity single-handed.

As the New Mutants engage in battle with the Shadow King, more details will continue to emerge about the complex dynamics that exist between Shadow King and Amahl Farouk. This will hopefully shed more light on how Farouk helped Xavier beat the Shadow King in their initial clash. While the revelation in New Mutants #22 might have added a caveat to Professor X's greatest victory, it does open up the possibility that Farouk could be redeemed. Professor X's mission in founding Krakoa was to create a nation for all mutants, and once he learns that Farouk worked with him against the Shadow King, it's possible he'll be able to win over his former enemy to the X-Men's side, rebuilding a relationship with the powerful ally he never knew he had.

More: Why X-Men's Professor X No Longer Needs a Wheelchair in the Comics

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