Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Adam Warlock is a fictional character who is published by Marvel Comics. Although the character was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, his most prominent appearances were written and (in some cases) illustrated by Jim Starlin. He first appeared in Fantastic Four #66 (1967).
Warlock is an artificially-created human who was "born" in a cocoon at a scientific complex called "The Beehive". The goal of his creators, the Enclave, was to create and subsequently exploit the perfect human. While in the cocoon, he became aware of his creators' plans for him. He awoke from the cocoon and rebelled. Having not had a childhood or parents, Warlock was lacking in maturity and restraint. (At this point, he was also lacking a name; for his first several appearances, Warlock simply went by "Him".) Warlock came into conflict with the Fantastic Four and Thor; during his encounter with the latter, he was killed when he attempted to force Thor's sometime paramour Sif to become his mate.
Warlock was revived and his behavior improved when he met the being known as the High Evolutionary. Under his guidance, Warlock's life was given direction and purpose, though to this day he remains arrogant and aloof. Warlock also came into possession of the Soul Gem at this point. The Soul Gem, one of the Infinity Gems, allowed Warlock to sense the souls of others and draw them into a dimension contained within the gem.
Warlock was then transported to Counter-Earth, an attempt by the High Evolutionary to create a utopian society out of the framework of the original Earth. Unfortunately, it had fallen under the influence of the nefarious Man-Beast , a wolf that had been genetically modified into humanoid form by the High Evolutionary. In the process of ending the Man-Beast's regime, Warlock's narcissism led him to another death, this time by crucifixion. He was, again, revived later.
Shortly, Warlock came into conflict with the Magus, a future incarnation of Warlock himself and leader of the Universal Church of Truth, a quasi-religious militia which conquered and ruled a thousand worlds with an iron fist. Warlock travelled through time to the moment when he would become the Magus and stole his future self's soul, retroactively preventing him from ever existing.
Subsequently, this came to pass, and Warlock died once more, stealing his own soul during a fight with the mad Titan Thanos. He briefly returned as a figure of flame at the close of the battle, turning Thanos to stone, before returning to the Gem.
The Infinity Gauntlet
Warlock's soul resided in the Soul Gem for several years, until Thanos was restored to life by Death itself. Thanos, having obtained the Infinity Gauntlet (a glove bearing all of the Infinity Gems) and become omnipotent, exiled the Silver Surfer and Drax the Destroyer to the world within the Soul Gem. After sending the pair back to their physical bodies, Warlock's soul left the Soul Gem and inhabited a recently-deceased corpse, which metamorphosed into Warlock's new body. Warlock was instrumental in Thanos' defeat here as well, and in the end obtained the Infinity Gauntlet for himself.
Warlock was soon forced to separate the Infinity Gems among separate bearers, the cosmic powers of the universe having prevented the Gems from functioning as one after Thanos' gross misuse of their power. Warlock kept the Soul Gem for himself, and split the rest of the gems among the members of the Infinity Watch. Warlock's temporary possession of the Gauntlet had had unforeseen consequences; in attempting to control his emotions to better wield the Gauntlet, he had purged all good and evil from his soul. As a result, these aspects took on physical form: the evil half became a new incarnation of the Magus, while the good half became the self-styled Goddess. Both attempted to gain control over the universe, and both were thwarted and exiled to the world of the Soul Gem, where they had no substance and (Warlock assumed) would pose no threat to anyone.
Some months later, Warlock was killed (again) by the alien vampire called Rune ; the Infinity Watch disbanded and the Gems disappeared into a parallel universe, the "Ultraverse ", where Warlock found himself reborn. Warlock eventually returned to the Marvel Universe, and encountered Thanos and the former members of the Infinity Watch a number of times more. He received a miniseries shortly thereafter, in which he fought the reanimated corpse of Captain Marvel.
Upon learning that the Enclave were attempting to use the process that created him for a third time (the second attempt being Kismet, he subverted the process, creating an illusionary world within her mind as she was being born to teach her morals and prevent the Enclave having a chance to use her power.1
Infinity Abyss and further adventures
Warlock's next major appearance was in the Infinity Abyss mini-series. Warlock was found to be living in an intergalatic Insane Asylum, encased in another self-generated cocoon. Warlock was reincarnated with a slight different appearance after a clone of Thanos asked Moondragon to revive him. Warlock assisted in preventing a universal crisis against Thanos' clones, and ended up watching over Atleza, a being posed to keep the cosmos from falling into the Infinity Abyss. He also engaged in a relationship with Gamora. Later, Warlock, being outside the cosmos then was able to convice Thanos to restore the Marvel Universe after he destroyed it after receiving ultimate power, assisted Thanos in his first reformed quest, and most recently assisted She-Hulk.
- Although the character was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Jim Starlin is considered to be the definitive Adam Warlock creator.
- Starlin's Warlock was one of the series that got Scott McCloud interested in comics during his high school years.
- The "Starlin Issues" have been reprinted several times by Marvel Comics, while other issues of the Warlock book (The Counter-Earth saga) have to this date not been reprinted.
- This is out of sequence of publication. It was published after both Infinity Abyss and his guest appearance in She-Hulk. It's placed earlier because the Encalve were killed off in Fantastic Four several years before Infinity Abyss was published.
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