Adam Warlock – The Grand Reunion

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Written By Jake Garner

Over the past few weeks Marvel fans have been graced by Jim Starlin’s Infinity Entity, with the second issue out for release today, on the front page of which there is a rather mighty Thanos looking as monumental as ever. The last time we saw Thanos was during his stint in the ‘Negative Zone’ where Annihilus kept him captive, until death by his own hand that is. Though what can be expected of death for Thanos, the big purple dude from Saturn’s moon always finds a way to cheat it. Really, Infinity Entity is part of the larger ‘Infinity’ picture. What Infinity Entity is in specific in a run up to some sort of conclusion written by Jim Starlin following his Thanos: The Infinity Revelation and Thanos: The Infinity Relativity. It has been heavily suggested that Starlin’s future series The Infinity Finale will be the big wrap up of this saga. Where does that leave Infinity Entity then? It leaves it somewhere between the Finale and the Relativity. Thanos and Warlock’s characters, as they develop through the whole ‘Infinity’, gig seem to be Marvel’s twisted attempt at some interplanetary version of Laurel and Hardy. But enough about the ‘Mad Titan’, back to the chap in question, Adam Warlock. Much like that of Thanos, the damn guy can’t make his presence subtle despite my trying to avoid him here, we last saw Adam Warlock an unwilling member of that very same ‘Negative Zone’. Throughout the opening issue of Infinity Entity we witness a very confused Warlock brought back to life. In an attempt to regain his memories, Warlock crosses paths with the original Avengers. I do like the original Avengers, how they looked initially and the antics they got up to, but quite honestly, Iron Man’s original armour is something of a spectacle that always makes me think he might be going deep sea diving with a group of Victorians. Anyway, as the first issue progresses here Warlock casts aside the old versions of the Avengers for Drax, Rocket and Co. I don’t want to say too much about Infinity Entity #1 at this point for those that missed it last week, so I will leave it there by saying that it’s hella weird, but nonetheless a good read. What I really wanted to do in this article, before I got side-tracked with his most recent appearance, is to look at Warlock as a character and appreciate his cosmic history. Personally, and I understand that there are many others out there too who feel the same, I don’t understand why Warlock isn’t of the same calibre of recognition as some of the most revered Marvel characters such as Spider-Man, Hulk, Iron-Man and Captain America. His story is, personally not forgetting, much stronger and inviting than many other heroes who are ‘favourites’. I’m totally not writing this article to spread the ‘Warlock word’… Yeah right.

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So where did it all begin? Adam Warlock first took to the stage in Fantastic Four #66-67 under the influence of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, I mean seriously, who else right? Warlock was born into the tail end of ‘The Silver Age of Comics’, which is said to be the era between 1956-1970. FF #66-67 was published in 1967 at the end of this marvellous decade, no pun intended. At this point Adam Warlock wasn’t really ‘Warlock’ in the sense of the word. He became an entity somewhere in the distant background of the Marvel Universe, not really making another appearance until Thor #165-166 in 1969. In this two issue stint he was referred to as ‘Him’. The Adam Warlock that we know and love properly came to the fore for the first time in Marvel Premiere #1 in 1972. This issue established him suitably amongst the other heroes, heroines and villains of Marvel. We knew Warlock would be sticking around for good when the very same Jim Starlin recuperated the guy in Strange Tales #178-181 in 1975. It was this encounter with Starlin’s Strange Tales that really transformed Warlock into the cosmic entity that we recognise today. Following this, Warlock continued to make varied appearances throughout the 80s, such as Special Edition Warlock in 1982-1983 and a random entrance in Marvel Two-In-One #63 in 1980. Warlock was still very much an established character, but just simply wasn’t given much page time in comparison with some of his other Marvel buddies. Then came Infinity Gauntlet, a six issue series that brought Warlock head to head with, yes again, the ‘Mad Titan’. This series ran in 1991 and followed on from the resurrection of Thanos in Silver Surfer Vol. 3 #34. This is where the whole ‘Infinity’ fascination started and is still going on in Infinity Entity today, as previously mentioned. Personally for me, the Infinity storyline is one of Marvel’s strongest and its popularity alongside its length, I feel, is evidence of this. Between Infinity Gauntlet and this week’s releases, Warlock has continued to have a firm and substantial presence within the Marvel continuity, becoming a popular figure once again in Jim Starlin’s latest creation. There are many more series, arcs and issues that Warlock has made an appearance in, but the whole list and date section needs to wind to an end now. Warlock isn’t just a set of numerical digits, but instead an awesome character and creation. So who exactly is he?

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At this point I don’t want to just give you a list of all the adventures and endeavours Adam Warlock has encountered, but rather provide an understanding of his origin instead of an account of his death, re-birth and loss of memory, amongst other things (for a fairly minor character in the grand Marvel scheme a lot of s#!t goes down). Let’s face it, everybody loves a good origin story. Well this is Warlock’s. He was formerly created by ‘The Enclave’, a zany group of scientists who strived to create the perfect human being. They awarded Warlock, who at the time referred to himself as “Him”, containing great stamina, speed and superhuman strength. Typical? Not quite. See, Warlock, or “Him” for those who crave accurate terminology, was able to go further than this and actually manipulate cosmic energy to his whim. What turned out to be even cooler than this though was found in the way that Warlock rebelled against his creators, much the say way as Vision did with Ultron. He then went on to have a tussle with Thor that resulted in him leaving Earth to start his cosmic journey through space. As far as storyline goes, this was Warlocks real beginning as he was given the official title ‘Warlock’ by the High Evolutionary whom made a request of the superhuman; to save Counter-Earth, an artificial planet, from the tyrannical grip of Man-Beat. Of course he achieved this. From here Warlock went on to team up with characters such as Pip The Troll and Gamora, daughter of Thanos. For those that don’t know, at one point Warlock was even an ally of Thanos, so yeah, there’s that to think about. In terms of some sort of belated conclusion, Adam Warlock is one Marvel characters I hope, and know others do too, to see more of in the future. Starlin has brought him back into the spotlight, so I thought now was a good time to pay respects as any. All Hail Warlock!

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