Warlock #9 (Oct. 1975).
Cover art by Jim Starlin.
|First appearance||(as Him) Fantastic Four #66-67 (Sept.-Oct. 1967)
(as Adam Warlock) Marvel Premiere #1 (April 1972)
Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
Roy Thomas and Gil Kane
|Alter ego||originally Him; changed to Adam Warlock|
|Team affiliations||Guardians of the Galaxy
|Abilities||Superhuman strength; stamina; agility; endurance; flight;
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 (cover-dated Sept. 1967) (in cocoon form) and #67 (Oct. 1967) (in humanoid form), and was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
Debuting in the Silver Age of comic books, the character has appeared in over four decades of Marvel publications, and starred in the popular titles Marvel Premiere and Strange Tales; five self-titled volumes and several related limited series. Adam Warlock has been associated with Marvel merchandise including clothing, toys, trading cards, animated television series, and video games.
- 1 Publication history
- 2 Fictional character biography
- 3 Powers and abilities
- 4 Other versions
- 5 In other media
- 6 Collected editions
- 7 References
- 8 External links
1960s to 1970s
The character debuted in Fantastic Four #66-67 (Sept.-Oct. 1967) in a story written by Stan Lee and pencilled and co-plotted by Jack Kirby. After a second appearance as "Him" in Thor #165-166 (June–July 1969), writer and then Marvel editor-in-chief Roy Thomas and penciler Gil Kane significantly revamped Him as the allegorical Messiah Adam Warlock in Marvel Premiere #1 (April 1972).
In 2009, Thomas explained he had been a fan of the soundtrack to the musical Jesus Christ Superstar and sought to bring the story to comic books in a superhero context: "Yes, I had some trepidation about the Christ parallels, but I hoped there would be little outcry if I handled it tastefully, since I was not really making any serious statement on religion... at least not overtly."  Choosing to use a preexisting character while keeping the series locale separate from mainstream Marvel Earth, he created Counter-Earth, a new planet generated from a chunk of Earth and set in orbit on the opposite side of the sun. Thomas and Kane collaborated on the costume, with the red tunic and golden lightning bolt as their homage to Fawcett Comics' 1940s-1950s character Captain Marvel.
In a 2009 retrospective survey of the character, writer Karen Walker said the series
"... continued the story of Adam's attempts to drive the [fallen-angel figure the] Man-Beast out of Counter-Earth, but drifted toward standard superhero stories with pseudo-Biblical references injected into them. Warlock spends much of his time trying to convince the High Evolutionary not to destroy the planet, and the rest of his time battling the Man-Beast and his minions. Although the concept of a superhero savior was still present, it often came across as forced, and certainly contradictory to the idea of a pacifistic savior. It's questionable whether the concept could really work in a medium driven by physical conflict."
Writer-artist Jim Starlin revived Warlock in Strange Tales #178-181 (Feb.-Aug. 1975). Warlock's adventures became more cosmic in scope as Starlin took the character through an extended storyline referred to as "The Magus Saga."
The reimagined title continued the numbering of The Power of Warlock and began with Warlock #9 (Oct. 1975) and ran seven issues. The bimonthly series was initially written and drawn by Starlin, but was eventually co-penciled and inked by Steve Leialoha. Some plot threads were concluded in Marvel Team-Up #55 (March 1977), Avengers Annual #7 (Nov. 1977) and Marvel Two-in-One Annual #2 (Dec. 1977).
Starlin, in a 2009 interview, recalled,
"I had quit [the cosmic superhero series] Captain Marvel over a dispute at that point, but I settled the dispute with Marvel and I was going to come back [to that title]. But [a different team was in place]. So Roy [Thomas] asked me [what character] I wanted to do. So I went home that night and pulled out a bunch of comics. I came across, in the Fantastic Four, Him, and came back the next day and said that's who I wanted to do, and that night I started working on it... I had basically taken Captain Marvel, a warrior, and turned him into sort of a messiah-type character. So when I got to Warlock, I said to myself, 'I got a messiah right here to start off with; where do I go from there?' And I decided a paranoid schizophrenic was the route to take."
Artist Alan Weiss recalled in a 2006 interview there was a "lost" Adam Warlock story, which if completed would have been reminiscent of the Jonathan Swift novel Gulliver's Travels. Portions of it were printed in the second volume of Marvel Masterworks: Warlock. The remainder of the artwork was lost in a New York City taxicab in 1976.
Warlock's adventures were reprinted, with new Starlin covers, in the six-issue limited series Special Edition on Warlock (Dec. 1982 - May 1983). This reprint series was itself reprinted, with yet another set of new Starlin covers, as Warlock vol. 2 (May-Oct. 1992).
Although regarded as deceased, Warlock made a brief appearance in a Marvel Two-In-One #63 (May 1980).
Eleven years later, Starlin revived the character and two members of his supporting cast in the miniseries Infinity Gauntlet #1-6 (July-Dec. 1991). This plot development was a continuation of a larger storyline that began with the resurrection of Thanos in Silver Surfer vol. 3, #34 (Feb. 1990).
Following the events of the The Infinity Gauntlet, Warlock and several compatriots starred in the series Warlock and the Infinity Watch. Initially written by Starlin and drawn by Angel Medina, it ran 42 issues (Feb. 1992 - Aug. 1995). Its plots tied directly into the limited series Infinity War (June-Nov. 1992) and Infinity Crusade (June-Dec. 1993).
Warlock starred in several limited series, including Silver Surfer/Warlock: Resurrection #1-4 (March–June 1993); The Warlock Chronicles #1-8 (July 1993 - Feb.1994); and Warlock vol. 3, #1-4 (Nov. 1998 - Feb. 1999), by writer-penciler Tom Lyle. The character was featured in the intercompany crossovers between Marvel Comics and the Malibu Comics "Ultraverse" in the one-shot Rune / Silver Surfer (April 1995 in indicia, June 1995 on cover); Rune vol. 2, #1-7 (Sept. 1995 - April 1996), and the two-issue Ultraverse Unlimited (June and Sept. 1996).
Following the unrelated, 1999-2000 series Warlock vol. 4, featuring the alien cybernetic character Warlock of the New Mutants team, Adam Warlock co-starred with Thanos in the limited series The Infinity Abyss #1-6 (Aug.-Oct. 2002); Marvel Universe: The End #1-6 (May-Aug. 2003; first four issues biweekly); and Thanos #1-6 (Dec. 2003 - April 2004). A version of the character starred in the four-issue limited series Warlock vol. 5 (Nov. 2004 - Feb. 2005), by writer Greg Pak and artist Charles Adlard. After appearances in Annihilation Conquest: Quasar #1-4 (Sept.-Dec. 2007) and Annihilation Conquest # 1-6 (Nov. 2007 - April 2008), he was a key character in Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2, #1-25 (July 2008 - April 2010), The Thanos Imperative #1 (June 2010) and the Ignition one-shot (May 2010)
Fictional character biography
Creation, Metamorphosis, and Death
Him's cocoon is recovered by the High Evolutionary, who declares that he will be known to humans as "Warlock" and enlists his aid in ridding Counter-Earth of the evil Man Beast. The High Evolutionary gives Warlock a green soul gem (also referred to as the "soul jewel") to help him in this fight. When he arrives on counter-Earth, he has amnesia and only recalls that he is known as "Warlock". Thinking that this is his surname, one of four youths who find him and become his companions, rechristens him "Adam". After the Man Beast's defeat, Warlock leaves Counter-Earth.
Warlock opposes the Universal Church of Truth, an intergalactic religious empire presided over by the Magus. With the help of Pip the Troll, the assassin Gamora, and Gamora's employer, Thanos, Warlock discovers the Magus is himself from the future, driven insane by the use of his Soul Gem and the In-Betweener. Warlock chooses to alter his timeline by visiting himself a few months into the future and stealing his own soul, preventing the Magus and the Universal Church of Truth from ever existing.
While fighting off the Stranger's attempt to steal the Soul Gem, Warlock discovers the existence of five other gems. Thanos has gained possession of these gems and plans to use them to blow up Earth's sun. Warlock returns to Thanos' vessel to find Gamora dying and Pip's mind destroyed by Thanos. He steals their souls to end their suffering. Warlock enlists the aid of the Avengers, Captain Marvel, and Moondragon to battle Thanos. When Thanos mortally wounds Warlock and leaves him for dead, Warlock's soul is taken by his earlier self. The cosmic entities Lord Chaos and Master Order intervene, causing the gem to release Warlock's soul. A newly empowered Warlock turns Thanos to stone and returns to the Soul Gem. Inside the gem, Warlock finds a peaceful world where he lives in harmony with Pip, Gamora, and others whose souls the gem had stolen.
When Thanos once again gains the gems and steals the soul of the Silver Surfer, Surfer convinces Warlock, Pip, and Gamora to leave Soul World and help defeat Thanos. Thanos has assembled the six gems into the Infinity Gauntlet, and Warlock leads a group of Earth's superheroes against him. Warlock obtains the Gauntlet, but in a subsequent hearing attended by the various cosmic beings of the universe such as Eternity and Galactus, is deemed unworthy of it by the Living Tribunal, in part because of the threat of him eventually becoming the Magus. He keeps the soul gem for himself and gives one gem each to Pip, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Moondragon, and a reformed Thanos — the group being called the Infinity Watch.
During Warlock's temporary possession of the Gauntlet, he purges all good and evil from his being, leaving him entirely a creature of logic. The "moral" aspects of his persona in turn take on physical forms — the evil half becomes a new incarnation of the Magus, while the good half becomes the self-styled Goddess. Warlock, aided by an army of superheroes, eventually defeats each in turn, and absorbs them into the Soul Gem. The Watch then battles to protect the soul gem from Count Abyss, a powerful entity who has no soul of his own. After finally defeating him, the infinity gems are stolen by Rune, an extradimensional vampire. The Infinity Watch disbands and Warlock goes to track down Rune. Following the discovery of a seventh gem, Warlock and the gems are returned to the main Marvel Universe.
Warlock is reborn in a new body to aid a multitude of superheroes that team with Thanos to defeat several rogue clones of the Mad Titan. Warlock reappears in time to convince Thanos to give up the power of the Heart of the Universe. Warlock later assists in Thanos' attempt at redeeming himself.
Warlock is incapacitated by the backlash of souls killed during the "Annihilation" war, and re-enters hibernation in a cocoon. The superheroines Quasar and Moondragon awaken Warlock hoping he will help the Kree fight off the Phalanx. Once the Phalanx is defeated, Warlock agrees to join the hero Star-Lord in a new version of the Guardians of the Galaxy. In an attempt to repair some damage to Spacetime, Warlock becomes the Magus. He is killed shortly after. His cocoon is under the watch of the Annihilators.
Powers and abilities
As Him, the character possessed superhuman strength; speed; durability; stamina; agility and the ability to manipulate cosmic energy for energy projection, flight and recuperation (e.g. creating a cocoon for self-preservation and regeneration). However, Him sacrificed the majority of these powers by prematurely emerging from his cocoon in order to defend the High Evolutionary from an assault by the Man-Beast. In compensation, the High Evolutionary gave Him the Soul Gem. The Gem possesses a consciousness of its own and demonstrates a vampiric hunger for the life energies of organic beings. It contains an idyllic pocket universe that hosts all the souls the Gem has ever taken. The latest version of Warlock uses "Quantum magic" and can manipulate energy; create force fields; teleport; travel faster than light and detect or produce wormholes and other irregularities in space on a cosmic scale.
He has the power to devolve the followers of Man-Beast into the animals from which they evolved, as well as revert the Brute into Counter-Earth Reed Richards. This power comes from his soul gem.
The Magus is Adam Warlock's future, evil self who has traveled to the past and rules a religious empire called the Universal Church of Truth. The Magus guides Warlock through a series of actions that will eventually result in him becoming the Magus. Warlock resists, and avoids becoming the Magus with the aid of Thanos. When Warlock successfully chooses a different future - suicide - the Magus ceases to exist.
Warlock is later resurrected and acquires the Infinity Gauntlet, a powerful artifact. He uses it to expel his evil psyche, which takes physical form as the Magus. The Magus wages war on Warlock and other superheroes in an attempt to gain the Infinity Gauntlet for himself, but fails. After the Magus is defeated, he is trapped in a soul dimension as a phantom.
The Magus escapes the Soul Gem in an immaterial form. He absorbs the life energies of others to regain his physical form and power, and schemes to usurp the cosmic power of Genis-Vell. Genis defeats the Magus and reverts him back to an energy form. The Magus then retaliates against Genis's friends and allies. The Magus wounds Moondragon and then heals her, revealing that she is destined to become his slave.
In an effort to repair damage to spacetime, Warlock "stitches" a tear with an alternate, stable timeline- the timeline where he became the Magus, causing his immediate transformation. Magus then takes control of the Universal Church of Truth and fights the Guardians of the Galaxy.
The Goddess is the embodiment of Adam Warlock's goodness, created when he uses the Infinity Gauntlet to remove the quality from himself. She appears as a central figure in the 1993 limited series Infinity Crusade. She assembles a collection of cosmic cubes and forges them into a Cosmic Egg. Using its power, she recreates Counter-Earth, dubbing it Paradise Omega. Embarking on a crusade to eliminate sin, the Goddess uses telepathy to control spiritual beings across the universe, recruiting them to her cause. When Warlock and Earth's other heroes learn she plans to destroy all sin by destroying anything capable of sin, they rally against her. She is defeated when her followers learn her true goal, and is absorbed into the soul gem.
In other media
- Adam Warlock is featured in The Super Hero Squad Show episode "Fate of Destiny!", voiced by Dave Boat.
- Adam Warlock and the other Guardians of the Galaxy appear in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes episode "Michael Korvac" voiced by Kirk Thornton.
- Adam Warlock makes a non-speaking cameo appearance in the animated direct-to-video film Planet Hulk.
Adam Warlock has appeared as part of Marvel's OverPower collectible card game, Upper Deck's Marvel Vs. collectible card game and HeroClix collectible miniatures game, a Target exclusive Marvel Legends action figure, and a Marvel Universe 3 3/4" figure. He was the 90th issue in the Classic Marvel Figurine Collection.
- Marvel Masterworks Warlock (hardcover):
- Volume 1 (collects Marvel Premiere #1-2, Warlock #1-8 and The 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, The Avengers Annual #7, Marvel Two-in-One Annual #2, 320 pages, June 2009, ISBN 0-7851-3511-1)
- Essential Warlock Volume 1 collects Marvel Premiere #1-2, Warlock #1-15, The Incredible Hulk #176-178, Strange Tales #178 - 181, Marvel Team-Up #55, Avengers Annual #7, and Marvel Two-in-One Annual #2, 567 pages, 2012, ISBN 0-7851-6331-X)
- DeFalco, Tom; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2008). "1960s". Marvel Chronicle A Year by Year History. Dorling Kindersley. p. 124. ISBN 978-0756641238. "Adam Warlock was an artificial being created by scientists to be the first of an invincible army. Simply referred to as "Him' in his early appearances, Warlock later rebelled sgainst his creators in Fantastic Four #66."
- Sanderson, Peter "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 155: "Roy Thomas and artist Gil Kane allowed 'Him' to meet another Lee-Kirby character, the godlike High Evolutionary."
- Walker, Karen (June 2009). "The Life and Death (and Life and Death) of Adam Warlock". Back Issue (TwoMorrows Publishing) (34): 3.
- Walker, p. 4
- Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 156: "Adam Warlock received his own bimonthly comic book in August , written by Roy Thomas and pencilled by Gil Kane."
- Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 166: "Adam Warlock rose from the dead to defeat Man-Beast and his New Men on Counter-Earth in issue #178 of Incredible Hulk."
- Walker, p. 5
- Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 168: "Adam Warlock returned in a new series, taking over Strange Tales for four issues...The original Warlock comic book would return with issue #9 in October ."
- Kingman, Jim (September 16, 2004). "Warlock: The Magus Saga". Comics Bulletin. Archived from the original on February 9, 2013. Retrieved February 9, 2013.
- Manning, Matthew K.; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2012). "1970s". Spider-Man Chronicle Celebrating 50 Years of Web-Slinging. Dorling Kindersley. p. 97. ISBN 978-0756692360. "The spirit of the recently deceased Adam Warlock...reduced Thanos to a statue of hardened granite."
- Walker, p. 6
- Best, Daniel (2007). "The Legendary 'Lost' Warlock". Adelaide Comics and Books. Archived from the original on February 9, 2013. Retrieved February 9, 2013.
- Manner, Jim (February 2011). "Whatever Happened to Warlock Number 16?". Back Issue (TwoMorrows Publishing) (46): 8–12.
- Warlock Special Edition (1982-1983) at The Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comics Creators. Note: The Grand Comics Database uses the title Warlock (Warlock Marvel, 1982 Series), which is at odds with subsequent UHMCC volume numbers.
- Warlock (II) (1992) at The Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comics Creators
- Manning, Matthew K. "1990s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 254: "With the help of Dr. Strange, Warlock amassed a small army of heroes in order to confront Thanos head-on at his headquarters."
- Cowsill, Alan "1990s" in Gilbert (2012), p. 192: "Marvel's cosmic heroes joined forces with Spider-Man, Adam Warlock, and a host of earth-based heroes to retrieve the Infinity Gauntlet from Thanos."
- Warlock (III) (1998-1999) at The Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comics Creators
- Warlock(IV) (Mutant Alien) (1999-2000) at The Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comics Creators
- Lee, Stan (w), Kirby, Jack (p), Sinnott, Joe (i). "What Lurks Behind the Beehive?" Fantastic Four 66 (Sept. 1967)
- Lee, Stan (w), Kirby, Jack (p), Sinnott, Joe (i). "When Opens the Cocoon!" Fantastic Four 67 (Oct. 1967)
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Lee, Stan (w), Kirby, Jack (p), Colletta, Vince (i). "A God Berserk!" Thor 166 (July 1969)
- Thomas, Roy (w), Kane, Gil (p), Adkins, Dan (i). "And Men Shall Call Him... Warlock!" Marvel Premiere 1 (April 1972)
- Thomas, Roy (w), Kane, Gil (p), Adkins, Dan (i). "The Hounds of Helios" Marvel Premiere 2 (May 1972)
- Thomas, Roy; Conway, Gerry; Isabella, Tony (w), Trimpe, Herb (p), Abel, Jack (i). "Triumph On Terra-Two" The Incredible Hulk v2, 178 (Aug. 1974)
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Starlin, Jim (w), Lim, Ron (p), Beatty, John (i). "Games and Prizes" The Thanos Quest 2 (1990)
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- Starlin, Jim (w), Medina, Angel (p), Austin, Terry (i). "Judgment" Warlock and the Infinity Watch 1 (Feb. 1992)
- Starlin, Jim (w), Medina, Angel (p), Austin, Terry (i). "Gathering the Watch!" Warlock and the Infinity Watch 2 (March 1992)
- Starlin, Jim (w), Grindberg, Tom (p), Williams, Keith (i). "True Believers" Warlock and the Infinity Watch 19 (Aug. 1993)
- Starlin, Jim; Lim, Ron (2006). Infinity War. Marvel Comics. p. 400. ISBN 978-0785121053.
- Starlin, Jim; Lim, Ron (2008). Infinity Crusade. Marvel Comics. p. 248. ISBN 978-0785131274.
- Ulm Chris; Danko, Dan (w), Flint, Henry (p), McKenna, Mark (i). "Into Infinity" Rune / Silver Surfer 1 (April 1995)
- Arcudi, John (w), Gustovich, Mike (p), Williams, Keith (i). "Win, Lose, Draw!" Warlock and the Infinity Watch 42 (Aug. 1995)
- Ulm, Chris (w), Byrd, Mitch (p), Florimonte, Thomas (i). "Purgatory" The Curse of Rune 4 (Aug. 1995)
- Herdling, Glenn (w), Medina, Angel; Wyman, M. C. (p), Aiken, Keith; Alexandrov, Steve; Collazo, Hector; Hudson, Don (i). Avengers/Ultraforce 1 (Oct. 1995)
- Ellis, Warren (w), Pérez, George (p), Neary, Paul; Thibert, Art; Branch, Ken; Jensen, Dennis; Kesel, Karl; Pérez, George; Riggs, Robin; Statema, John; Vey, Al (i). "Becoming More Like God" Ultraforce/Avengers 1 (Fall 1995)
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Abnett, Dan; Lanning; Andy (w), Craig, Wesley (p), Craig, Wesley (i). "Other Worlds, Other Wars" Guardians of the Galaxy v2, 18 (Nov. 2009)
Abnett, Dan; Lanning; Andy (w), Craig, Wesley (p), Craig, Wesley (i). "Seconds Out" Guardians of the Galaxy v2, 19 (Dec. 2009)
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|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Adam Warlock|
- Adam Warlock at the Marvel Universe wiki
- Adam Warlock at The Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comics Creators
- Adam Warlock at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on March 13, 2012.