Adam Warlock

Adam Warlock

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Adam Warlock
250px Warlock 9 Adam Warlock
Cover of Warlock #9 (Oct. 1975). Art by Jim Starlin.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance (as Him) Fantastic Four #66-67 (Sept.-Oct. 1967)
(as Adam Warlock) Marvel Premiere #1 (April 1972)
Created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
In-story information
Alter ego Him
Team affiliations Guardians of the Galaxy
Infinity Watch
Abilities Superhuman strength, stamina, agility, endurance, flight,
Energy manipulation

Adam Warlock, originally known as Him, is a fictional character that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character first appeared in Fantastic Four #66 (Sept. 1967) (in cocoon form) and #67 (Oct. 1967), (in humanoid form) and was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.


  • 1 Publication history
  • 2 Fictional character biography
    • 2.1 The Magus and Thanos
    • 2.2 Infinity Gauntlet, Infinity War, Infinity Crusade, Infinity Watch
    • 2.3 Infinity Abyss, Marvel Universe: The End, Thanos Series
    • 2.4 Annihilation Conquest
  • 3 Powers and abilities
  • 4 Bibliography
    • 4.1 Collected editions
  • 5 In other media
    • 5.1 Video games
    • 5.2 Television
    • 5.3 Toys and collectibles
  • 6 Notes
  • 7 References
  • 8 External links

[edit] Publication history

Following his debut as “Him” in Fantastic Four #66 (Sept. 1967), the character reappeared in Thor #165-166 (June-July 1969). Writer Roy Thomas and penciler Gil Kane significantly revamped Him three years later as the allegorical Messiah Adam Warlock in Marvel Premiere #1 (April 1972). This launched a feature, set on the artificially created planet Counter-Earth on the far side of the sun, that ran in the following issue before spinning off into its own title, Warlock. With the cover logo “The Power of Warlock”, the series ran through issue #8 (Aug. 1972 – Oct. 1973).

Following a guest appearance in The Incredible Hulk #176-178 (June-Aug. 1974), Adam Warlock received a new series again as a feature under writer-artist Jim Starlin. In the critically acclaimed storyline “The Magus Saga”,[1] begun in Strange Tales #178-181 (Feb.-Aug. 1975) and continuing into Warlock, revived for issues #9-15 (Oct. 1975 – Nov. 1976), Starlin wrote, penciled (eventually co-penciling with Steve Leialoha), and initially self-inked an epic arc involving Warlock in war with a corrupt, religious space empire, his demagogue future self, and the cosmic supervillain Thanos. Following an unrelated adventure with Spider-Man in Marvel Team-Up #55 (March 1977), in a story by writer Bill Mantlo and penciller John Byrne, the Magus Saga and its repercussions culminated in a two-part Starlin story in The Avengers Annual #7 and Marvel Two-in-One Annual #2 (both 1977), in which Adam Warlock, Thanos, and supporting characters Gamora and Pip the Troll died. Warlock had a very brief, quasi-resurrection as a soulless shell in the final issue of a three-part story in Marvel Two-in-One #61-63 (March-May 1980), by writer Mark Gruenwald and penciller Jerry Bingham, which introduced the character Her (later Kismet).

After Starlin resurrected Thanos in the ongoing series Silver Surfer, the writer, with successive pencillers George Pérez and Ron Lim, did likewise with Adam Warlock, Pip and Gamora in the six-issue limited series The Infinity Gauntlet (July-Dec. 1991). Warlock experienced repercussions of that event in Silver Surfer, vol. 2, #60 and Doctor Strange vol. 3, #36 (both Dec. 1991).

Warlock again headlined his own series with Warlock and the Infinity Watch, initially by writer Starlin and penciller Angel Medina. It ran 42 issues (Feb. 1992 – Aug. 1995), the first 31 written by Starlin and the following by Richard Ashford (one issue) and John Arcudi through the finale, with Pat Olliffe the primary penciller after Medina, and Mike Gustovich on the final two issues. An all-reprint four issue mini-series titled Warlock (vol. 2) was published the same year. During this time, Warlock was one of the primary characters in three mini-series: the Starlin written, six-issue The Infinity War (June-Nov. 1992), the Starlin written-and-drawn, four-issue Silver Surfer / Warlock: Resurrection (March-June 1993), and the Starlin-written, six-issue The Infinity Crusade (June-Nov. 1993).

Warlock also starred in a short-lived companion series, The Warlock Chronicles #1-8 (July 1993 – Feb. 1994), by Starlin and a variety of pencillers. This was followed by a non-Starlin, four-issue mini-series simply titled Warlock (vol. 3, Nov. 1998 – Feb. 1999), by writer-penciller Tom Lyle. An unrelated short-lived series titled “Warlock” was then published (1999-2000), which featured the alien mutant from the The New Mutants. Yet another mini-series followed, showcasing the original Warlock and simply called once again Warlock (vol. 5, Nov. 2004 – Feb. 2005), by writer Greg Pak[2] and artist Charlie Adlard.[3]

Warlock also appeared in four issues of intercompany crossovers between Marvel Comics and the Malibu Comics “Ultraverse”: the one-shot Rune / Silver Surfer (April 1995 in indicia, June 1995 on cover); Rune vol. 2, #6-7 (1995); and Ultraverse Unlimited #1 (June 1996).[4]

[edit] Fictional character biography

“Him” is an artificially created human, “born” in a cocoon in a scientific complex called “The Beehive”, located on Shard Island in the Atlantic Ocean. The goal of his creators, the scientists of the Enclave, is to create and subsequently exploit the perfect human for their own gain. The Fantastic Four investigate Him’s creation, but they escape when the complex begins to self-destruct. When Him is born he abandons his masters and departs Earth for space.[5] Him, however, is caught in an asteroid shower and saved by the alien being the Watcher, who sends Him back to Earth. Him discovers the Asgardian goddess Sif and decides to take her as his mate, which incites the fury of the Thunder God Thor. Him subsequently escapes Thor by creating another cocoon around himself.[6] Warlock is later transported to Counter-Earth, a copy of the original Earth created by the being, the High Evolutionary. The High Evolutionary sends Warlock there to stop the Man-Beast, a wolf that he previously genetically modified into humanoid form. The High Evolutionary also gives Him his new name — Adam, for being the first of his kind; and Warlock, because men would fear his power — and the Soul Gem that would influence his life. Warlock fights several battles against the Man-Beast, and is eventually crucified and left to die by the Man-Beast. Warlock, however, once again enters a cocoon and re-emerges in a more powerful form to defeat his foe with the aid of the Hulk.[7]

[edit] The Magus and Thanos

Several months later on a desolate planet, Warlock laments his failure to accomplish lasting good. He then learns of an intergalactic menace known as the Magus, a tyrant who rules a religious empire known as the Universal Church of Truth, which conquers worlds and offers a simple choice to humanoids – convert or die. Warlock sets out as an avenger and savior of worlds and battles the Church, meeting two life-long companions: Pip the Troll and the assassin Gamora.[8] Warlock eventually learns that the Magus is the evil, alternate future incarnation of himself. The Magus subtly guides Warlock through a series of actions that will eventually result in him becoming the Magus. This plan is thwarted, however, by the Titan Thanos who provides Warlock access to a dimension where he destroys all but the shortest of his future timelines. The Magus — unable to stop Warlock as locked in battle with Thanos — then ceases to exist. Warlock traveled to the future where he stole his own soul to prevent his metamorphosis into the Magus. Warlock attempted communication with the Soul-Gem, and resisted an attempt at bodily possession by same. Warlock then goes on to battle a comatose human whose consciousness has evolved into a being known as the Star Thief, who threatens to undo reality.[9]

Thanos then reappears, and unknown to Warlock had secretly aligned himself with the hero so as to be able to discreetly siphon the energies of the Soul Gem. Thanos then combines with the energies of the other Infinity Gems to power a weapon that is capable of destroying a star. Thanos then plans to painstakingly snuff out every star in the universe as a gift to Death. Gamora discovers Thanos’ intentions and attempts to kill him, but is mortally wounded herself. An unsuspecting Pip the Troll is also killed when returning to Thanos’ vessel.

Gamora lives long enough to warn Warlock, who absorbs the souls of Gamora and Pip and then travels to Earth and enlists the aid of the Avengers, Captain Marvel and Moondragon. After attacking and dealing with Thanos’ mercenary fleet, most of the Avengers and Moondragon storm Sanctuary I, Thanos’ vessel. Warlock and Captain Marvel confront Thanos directly and are closely followed by Thor and Iron Man. Captain Marvel destroys the weapon’s launcher, but Thanos then kills an attacking Warlock. Warlock’s soul is stolen by his temporally-displaced previous self. Thor holds off Thanos while Iron Man destroys the weapon itself, and an enraged Thanos then defeats the remaining heroes. The cosmic entities Lord Chaos and Master Order intervene, and via a subconscious message draw Spider-Man and the Thing into the battle. Spider-Man frees the fallen heroes, and then makes contact with the Soul Gem, releasing the spirit of Warlock, who then turns Thanos to stone; Warlock’s spirit then returns to the gem.[10]

The Thing later encounters Her, who is created by the Enclave to be the female equivalent of Him. Wanting to find Him to mate, Her accompanies the Thing, and with the aid of the hero Starhawk, Moondragon, and the High Evolutionary, the pair find Warlock’s grave. While Warlock’s body is intact, his spirit is gone.[11]

[edit] Infinity Gauntlet, Infinity War, Infinity Crusade, Infinity Watch

Years later, the Silver Surfer witnesses the resurrection of Thanos by Mistress Death, who feels that Death needs a champion once again. A revived Thanos decides to collect the Infinity Gems, which he takes from the In-Betweener and the Elders of the Universe. Thanos then combines the gems on his left glove to create the Infinity Gauntlet, which allows him to exceed the power he once possessed with the Cosmic Cube.[12]

Thanos’ revival, however, forces Warlock — who brings Pip and Gamora — to return to the corporeal world. Thanos honors Death by erasing half the population of the universe, and then goes on to defeat the entire cosmic hierarchy (e.g., Galactus, the Celestials, Eternity) as Death watches. A group of Earth’s superheroes — guided by Warlock — battle and almost defeat an overconfident Thanos for possession of the Infinity Gems, who then loses the Gauntlet to the space pirate Nebula, who claims to be his granddaughter. Nebula then undoes all of Thanos’ changes, only to then lose the Gauntlet shortly after to Warlock.[13] Although Warlock wields the Gauntlet, he is deemed by the entity the Living Tribunal as being unworthy to do so as he is an artificial being. Warlock then divides the gems among his companions, who are dubbed the Infinity Watch. The group includes Warlock, Pip, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Moondragon, and a reformed Thanos.[14]

Warlock’s temporary possession of the Gauntlet has unforeseen consequences, as in attempting to control his emotions, Warlock purges all good and evil from his being, leaving him entirely as a creature of logic. The “moral” aspects of his persona in turn took on physical forms – the evil half becomes a new incarnation of the Magus, while the good half became the self-styled Goddess. Each attempts to gain control over the universe, but are defeated by Warlock and an army of Earth’s metahumans, and eventually absorbed into the Soul Gem.[15]

[edit] Infinity Abyss, Marvel Universe: The End, Thanos Series

Warlock next appeared in an intergalactic asylum, encased in a self-generated cocoon, and after being reincarnated with a slightly different appearance assists in stopping a crisis instigated by several warped Thanos clones.[16] It is finally resolved when Warlock helps establish a young girl as the new Balancer of the Universe. Warlock finally enters into a romantic relationship with Gamora, and the two of them guide and watch over the child. Warlock next makes a cameo appearance in Marvel Universe: The End where he convinces his friend Thanos to put the Universe back after destroying it. He later assists Thanos when the Mad Titan tries his hand at redemption.[17]

Warlock and Gamora are next seen requiring the services of the superheroine She-Hulk.[18]

A new, female version of Warlock was then created by the Enclave, and despite the group’s machinations is guided by the original Warlock to achieve an understanding of the human condition.[19]

[edit] Annihilation Conquest

180px Adamwarlok Adam Warlock

magnify clip Adam Warlock

Panel from Annihilation Conquest #6 (April 2008). Art by Tom Raney & Scott Hanna.

Incapacitated by the backlash of souls slain in the intergalactic conflict of Annihilation, Warlock returns to his cocoon to heal. He is prematurely awakened months later by the heroines Quasar and Moondragon in concert with the alien Kree Supreme Intelligence,[20] and learns he is the prophesied “Savior of the Kree” who will deliver that race from the malevolent Phalanx. Warlock, however, has been awakened from his regeneration too early. In addition to being disoriented, he now wears a new costume reminiscent of the Magus. Warlock is later possessed by the robot Ultron, who as Adam attacks heroine Mantis and places her in a coma. Ultron is eventually driven out of Adam’s body by the entity Warlock, a member of the Technarchy. Adam’s soul – stored in the quantum bands of Phyla-Vell, is then returned to his body. Warlock plays an instrumental role in destroying Ultron in a final battle, and then expresses interest in joining hero Star Lord in forming a team to deal with galactic threats.[21]

Following this he joins the modern version of the Guardians of the Galaxy.[22]

[edit] Powers and abilities

As Him, Warlock possessed superhuman strength, speed, durability, stamina, agility, and his body has certain cosmic energy receptive cells giving him the ability to manipulate cosmic energy to enhance physical strength, speed, endurance, telepathy and cosmic awareness, and powers of recuperation (capable of creating a cocoon around himself for self-preservation and regeneration). The energy could also be used for energy projection of concussive blasts, flight, and to detect natural space-warps in order to traverse interstellar space.

Once Him became Warlock and acquired the Soul Gem, he no longer used many of his cosmic-based abilities and often relied on the Gem’s power in combat, as he was able to utilize it for an even wider variety of energy manipulations. The Soul Gem is host to the Paladin of the Soul Gem, and has been known to act in the interests of self-preservation by drawing the soul from Warlock’s opponents. He possessed a green “Soul Gem” which adhered to his forehead and allowed him to manipulate various energies. This gem appeared to possess a consciousness of its own, and demonstrated a vampiric hunger for the life energies of organic beings, and in later days the gem’s personality repeatedly attempted to exert its influence over Adam Warlock’s mind. While he wore the Soul Gem, Warlock could not remove it, as it had secretly siphoned off the majority of his own life energy, and his ability to manipulate cosmic energy was severely limited. When Warlock himself was absorbed by the gem, it was discovered to contain a pocket universe in which the gem’s victims coexisted peacefully in a pastoral valley. Warlock later took control of all six Soul Gems, now called Infinity Gems, which he wore on the Infinity Gauntlet, and later retained possession of one Infinity Gem.

Years later when reemerging from the Soul Gem, Warlock appeared to have enhanced abilities in terms of both his physical capabilities, cosmic awareness and capacity for metaphysical manipulations, such as his granting of enhanced strength to Gamora and Pip in their new bodies. Warlock can, however, now create force fields around himself and others, manipulate metaphysical energy, travel faster than light and detect wormholes and other irregularities in space.

Warlock is an accomplished self-taught philosopher.

[edit] Bibliography

  • Marvel Premiere #1-2 (April – May 1972)
  • Warlock #1-8 (August 1972 – Oct. 1973; cover title: The Power of… Warlock)
  • Strange Tales 178-181 (March-June 1975)
  • Incredible Hulk Vol. 1 ##176-178
  • Warlock #9-15 (Oct. 1975 – Nov. 1976)
  • Marvel Team-Up Vol. 1 #55
  • Avengers Annual #7
  • Marvel Two-in-One Annual #2
  • Fantasy Masterpieces #8-14 (July 1980 – Jan. 1981; reprints only)
  • Special Edition on Warlock #1-6 (Dec. 1982 – May 1983; reprints only)
  • Warlock vol. 2, #1-6 May-Oct. 1992; reprints only)
  • Warlock and the Infinity Watch #1-42 (Feb. 1992 – Aug. 1995)
  • Silver Surfer / Warlock: Resurrection #1-4 (March – Jun. 1993)
  • Warlock Chronicles #1-8 (July 1993 – Feb. 1994)
  • Warlock vol. 3, #1-4 (Nov. 1998 – Feb. 1999)
  • Warlock vol. 5, #1-4 (Nov. 2004 – Feb. 2005)

Note: Warlock vol. 4 starred an unrelated character, a mutant alien from New Mutants

[edit] Collected editions

The stories have been collected as part of the Marvel Masterworks series:

  • Marvel Masterworks Warlock (hardcover):
    • Volume 1 (collects Marvel Premiere #1-2, Warlock #1-8 and Incredible Hulk #176-178, 273 pages, January 2007, ISBN 0-7851-2411-X)
    • Volume 2 (collects Strange Tales #178-181, Warlock #9-15, Marvel Team-Up #55, Avengers Annual #7, Marvel Two-in-One Annual #2, 320 pages, June 2009, ISBN 0-7851-3511-1)

[edit] In other media

[edit] Video games

  • Adam Warlock appears in the video game Marvel Super Heroes: War of the Gems.

[edit] Television

  • Adam Warlock appears in the first season of the Silver Surfer TV series.

[edit] Toys and collectibles

  • Adam Warlock has appeared as part of Marvel’s OverPower collectible card game and HeroClix collectible miniatures game and as a Marvel Legends action figure .

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Silver Bullet Comics (Sept. 16, 2004): “Comic Effect” (column by Jim Kingman): “The Magus Saga”
  2. ^ Warlock Stories: Greg Pak talks “Warlock”, Comic Book Resources, July 18, 2004
  3. ^ Adlard Warlock & Walking Dead Pt 1,, September 2, 2004
  4. ^ Jeff Christiansen’s The Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Rune
  5. ^ Fantastic Four #66-67 (Sept.-Oct. 1967)
  6. ^ Thor #165 – 166
  7. ^ Hulk #176-178 (June-Aug. 1974)
  8. ^ Strange Tales #178-180
  9. ^ Warlock #9-15 (Oct. 1975 – Nov. 1976)
  10. ^ Avengers Annual #7 (Nov. 1977) and Marvel Two-In-One Annual #2 (1977)
  11. ^ Marvel Two-in-One #61-63 (March-May 1980)
  12. ^ The Thanos Quest #1-2 (both Sept. 1990)
  13. ^ The Infinity Gauntlet #1-6 (July-Dec. 1990)
  14. ^ Warlock and the Infinity Watch #2 (March 1992)
  15. ^ The Infinity War #1-6 (June-Nov. 1992) and The Infinity Crusade #1-6 (June-Dec. 1993)
  16. ^ Infinity Abyss #1-6 (Aug.-Oct. 2002; published bi-weekly)
  17. ^ Thanos #1-6 (Dec. 2003 – April 2004; two issues bi-weekly)
  18. ^ She-Hulk 2004 #7-8 (Nov.-Dec. 2004)
  19. ^ Warlock vol. 5, #1-4 (Nov. 2004 – Feb. 2005). Note: It is unclear as to whether these events are set in mainstream Marvel continuity.
  20. ^ Annihilation: Conquest – Quasar #4 (Dec. 2007)
  21. ^ Annihilation Conquest #1-6 (Nov. 2007 – April 2008)
  22. ^ Rogers, Vaneta. Greeting the Guardians: Adam Warlock, Newsarama, May 9, 2008

[edit] References

  • Adam Warlock at the Comic Book DB
  • Adam Warlock at the Grand Comic-Book Database
  • Adam Warlock at The Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comics Creators
  • Adam Warlock at Don Markstein’s Toonopedia
  • Wolk, Douglas. “The Dark Mirrors of Jim Starlin’s Warlock”. Comic Art #8

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