There’s something in the Shadows…
(… But before we tell you what it is, you should know spoilers for this week’s Legion are ahead!)
I promised myself I will hold back a little when it comes to singing praises for FX’s Legion show, but I simply can’t resist. Suffice it to say that this week’s installment, which by the way is also this season’s second to the last episode, is the climax of it all. As with the norm of serial television programs, the season finale will probably be reserved to setting up what will come in the future of this amazing TV series.
Now, let’s go to the meat of this article. Some weeks ago, I speculated on who Legion’s big bad mind parasite that’s been plaguing poor David Haller ever since he was but a wee baby. Back then, I told you guys it was probably – again, “probably”, so you can’t blame me for trying – X-Men villain Mojo. Turns out I was wrong: it’s actually the Shadow King that’s been literally inside David’s mind trying to take over his whole being. However, make no mistake by thinking this is just your run of the mill adaptation from the comics. I mean, I don’t know whether Marvel simply didn’t care about what Fox will do with Legion (after all, he’s not what we can call an A-list property) or whether this is a case of catching lightning in a bottle; all I know is that what Fox is doing with the character and show is amazing. You know what? I’ll even say that Fox is on a roll right now, given their success with Logan and this show. But no, I won’t go so far as to say that they’re “elevating superheroes;” What they’re doing is far and away from all those tropes and the poor attempts at reinvigorating the white sausage n’ T & A fest that is the superhero genre. They’re great pieces of cinema and television, period.
So, without any further dillydallying, let’s look at who the Shadow King is. Originally created by legendary X-Men writer Chris Claremont and equally legendary artist John Byrne, the character first appeared in Uncanny X-Men 117. The Shadow King is a telepathic being that has a knack for possessing people, which is similar to how the FX series portrays the villain in the comics. Additionally, both the show and the funny books use the name Amahl Farouk as the antagonist’s other name. And probably the last thing that FX took from the comics is how the Shadow King looks like as this grotesque, obese creature that looks like Jabba the Hutt and Rick Ross’ baby.
But that’s pretty much it for the similarities. The thing is, the comic version of the Shadow King isn’t even a mutant; he’s more an inter-dimensional entity that “feeds on human hate,” which honestly won’t work well on TV. And that’s why Legion is such a great TV show: say what you will about not being faithful to the source material, but I’ll take this iteration of the character any day.
Now I just can’t wait to find out what will happen next. You really are missing a lot if you’re not watching this show.