Barry Reese

Pulp Writer Extraordinaire

adam_warlockEvery Wednesday, I focus on a character from adventure fiction (film, comics & prose) that I simply adore. This week we’re talking about: Adam Warlock.

Created way back in 1967 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Warlock made his debut in Fantastic Four # 66. Originally known as Him, Warlock was an artificial humanoid created by a scientific think-tank known as The Enclave. Turning against his creators, he battled both the Fantastic Four and Thor before fleeing Earth. Arriving on the world known as Counter-Earth, Him became Adam Warlock and aided the High Evolutionary in battling the Man-Beast. During this time, he gains possession of a green gem that becomes embedded in his forehead. This Soul-Gem is one of the legendary Infinity Gems and grants him additional powers. After becoming a sort of cosmic martyr to free Counter-Earth, Warlock embarked on a series of cosmic adventures that saw him befriend Gamora and Pip the Troll. He became a frequent enemy of the Mad Titan known as Thanos and eventually gained control of the mighty Infinity Gauntlet, which made him the most entity in the universe. He separated the gems, giving one each to various friends and allies, who were briefly united as Warlock and the Infinity Watch.

Warlock has died several times, each time being resurrected out of a giant cocoon. Each incarnation has slightly different powers and personality. After one such recent revival, Adam joined the Guardians of the Galaxy and aided them in several major conflicts before apparently dying once more.

Given his history, it’s inevitable that Adam will return.

Jim Starlin has been the main chronicler of Adam’s adventures and he’s done the best job of capturing the hero’s inscrutable  nature and doomed outlook. He’s very much cut from the Michael Moorcock mold of hero — he’s got a dark destiny and knows it but fights on despite this. His romance with Gamora was lovely to watch unfold and it’s a damned shame that Marvel has driven what looks like a permanent wedge between them.

I’ve bought virtually every Adam Warlock appearance they’ve ever done and will gladly continue to do so, as long as the stories maintain the high quality of those that came before.

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