N is for Nerd – S01E01 – A is for Adam Warlock

Aug 21, 2017

A is for Adam Warlock

The owner of the Soul Gem, lover of cocoons, the golden god himself- A is for Adam Warlock, This week on N is for Nerd.

This week we will dive into the “A’s” with the cosmic messiah of Marvel Comics, Adam Warlock.

Publication history

Adam warlock was created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee in 1967. His first appearances were in several issues of Fantastic Four, specifically issues 66 and 67. This is where we get his origin story.

In 1972 he gets a revamp of the character by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane, in Marvel Premier #1. This is the point where he becomes more of a Messiah-like allegory. His costume also changes into more of a red tunic with a yellow lightning bolt.

From there, his story continues in The Power of Warlock which runs for 8 issues with some of this story concluding in The Incredible Hulk Vol 2 #176-178 in 1974.

Jim Starling takes over Strange Tales in 1975 for issues 178-181, and The Power of Warlock just becomes Warlock and runs for 8 more issues.

In 1991 Adam became an important part of the blockbuster mini series Infinity Gauntlet #1-6, after which Adam was given his own team in Warlock and the Infinity Watch, which ran for 42 issues from 1992-1995. The 1992 sequel to Infinity Gauntlet, The Infinity War, which Warlock played a much larger roll in. 1993 has the third installment of the Infinity series as the Miniseries The Infinity Crusade. You may see a pattern here with all this Infinity Talk…

In 1995 he was included in an interesting company crossover with Malibu Comics. The One-Shot Rune/Silver surfer, and two issues of Ultraverse Unlimited in 1996.

In 2002 He and Thanos co starred in the series Infinity Abyss, and Thanos in 2003-2004.

He was also part of Annihilation Conquest in 2007. And joined the Newly formed Guardians of the Galaxy in Vol. 2 issues 1-25 which is the version of the GOTG that most people are familiar with from the MCU.

More recently Adam Warlock has become the Living Tribunal in Jim Starlings The Infinity Finale in 201

Supporting Cast

Thanos Thanos, The Mad Titan. Born on the moon Titan, Thanos was first introduced in 1979 in Iron Man 55.  Thanos was the son of Mentor and Sui-San the Eternals. His brother is Eros also known as Starfox. Thanos and Adam warlock have had a complicated relationship to say the least. They both mutually respect each other, and have been allies as many times as they have been adversaries. At some points Thanos has even killed Adam Warlock.  Most people in the Marvel universe consider Thanos an outright villain. You may be familiar with Thanos from the MCU Movies. He will be one on of the main villains in Avengers: Infinity War.
Thanos is often referred to as the Avatar of Death, and Adam Warlock the Avatar of Life.

Magus – Magus is a complicated character, because essentially Magus is another version of Adam Warlock who has been driven crazy or submitted himself to his darker side.  In one instance, Adam Warlock is driven mad by Lord Chaos and Master Order (the embodiments of Chaos and order in the Marvel Universe) and becomes Magus. He founded The Universal Church of Truth to worship him. Later he is also created when Adam Warlock expelled his goodness and evilness to become a completely logical person. He did this after he obtained the Infinity Gauntlet, and became more or less a god.

Man-Beast – The Man-Beast was created by the High Evolutionary. He is a mutated wolf who was given heightened intelligence and strength.

Gamora – First appearance was in Strange Tales #180 in 1975. She is the Adopted daughter of Thanos, the last of her species, and sometimes love interest of Adam Warlock a member of the Infinity Watch and Guardians of the Galaxy. You should also be familiar with her from the GOTG movies.


Pip the Troll – The unlikely friend of Adam Warlock. Pip the Troll was first introduced in Strange Tales #179 in 1975. He was actually a prince on his home planet of Laxidazia. After a night of drinking with trolls on his planet, he awoke to find himself mutated into a troll like creature himself. He was stripped of his title, and fled to the stars to pursue his hedonistic ways.

Drax the Destroyer –  Drax is another character that was made more popular by the Guardians of theGalaxy movies. His original name was Arthur Douglas, and he and his family were killed by Thanos. Arthur was resurrected and his consciousness moved to a more powerful body, so he would be able to kill Thanos.

Moondragon – Moondragon’s real name is Heather Douglas… hmmm… Douglas? Yes, she was Arthur Douglas’ daughter. It turns out that she wasn’t killed by Thanos. She was found by  Mentor, Thanos’ father and taken back to the planet of Titan. There she unlocked her latent psychic abilities.

The High Evolutionary – The High Evolutionary is one of the foremost experts on genetics in theMarvel Universe, and is constantly working to move things up the evolutionary ladder.

The Infinity Watch – Founded by Adam warlock to protect the Infinity Gems.

Guardians of the Galaxy – Adam was a Founding member of the second version of the team, created by Peter Quill, Star-Lord.

Infinity Gauntlet and Infinity Gems – The Infinity Gems were originally called Soul Gems. They are gems with vast amounts of power. The 6 gems are The Mind Gem, The Power Gem, The Soul Gem, The Time Gem, the Reality Gem, And the Space Gem. The Soul Gem is an important part of Warlocks history. The Infinity Gauntlet is made to house all of the Infinity Gems, and makes the wearer basically omnipotent.

Cosmic Cubes– Cosmic cubes are items that give the wielder power over matter and energy. Sometimes they are not in cube shape in which case they are usually called Cosmic Containment Units.

Powers and Abilities

Being created as he was to be a superior person, Adam Warlock’s bone and muscle tissue is denser than a normal humans. This gives him durability and superhuman strength. He is able to use cosmic energies to enhance his strength, and endurance and to help him heal. He is also able to use cosmic energies to negate things like gravity enabling him to be able to fly. And he is able to find and enter natural space warps, for intergalactic travel. He can also project the cosmic energies as concussive blast.

After leaving his cocoon prematurely, Adam was gifted the Soul Gem from the High Evolutionary. The Soul Gem is one of the powerful Infinity Gems, when defeats someone, their soul is transported to Soul World, a paradise inside the Soul gem. The more souls in Soul World, the more powerful the Soul Gem would become, but the closer to insanity the user may become.

Adam Warlock is also able to produce a strong cocoon around his body to prevent damage to himself, and to regenerate. His physical powers or mental maturity seemed to increase after emerging from his cocoons. Adam Warlock has also been known to be able to resurrect himself, usually coming back more powerful than before.

His Soul Gem would allow him to trap a person’s soul in the “soul world” which would increase his strength, but the more people that he trapped inside the gem, the more he could lose grasp of reality himself.
Warlock has also become an accomplished hand-to-hand fighter over the length of his life.
After the events of Annihilation, he gained Quantum Magic. This allows him to adjust the rules of science and mysticism to manipulate reality. According to the official Marvel handbook, a user of Quantum Magic can perform various magical feats such as fly, conjure clothing, energy blasts, create energy shields, transmutation, and even seal space-time fissures and overlap relativities. Quantum Magic can also be used to absorb magic or souls to recharge.


The Story of Adam Warlock starts in Fantastic Four # 66-67, where the Enclave are trying to produce the perfect being. At this point he is only referred to as HIM. Unfortunately for the Enclave, HIM has a problem with being created to do their evil bidding. HIM destroys the Enclave and their base the Beehive. In Thor 165 we discover that Him had escaped to space, but was snared in a space trap and hit by a meteor, forcing him to once again enter his cocoon. Seeing this the Watcher intervenes, despite his oath of not getting involved, and places the cocoon on a US Space satellite that is bound for Earth. After emerging, Him felt lonely and decided to seek a mate, and chose Sif. Thor obviously is not okay with this. HIM is easily able to thwart the attacks  of Thor and Balder the Brave, and teleports away. Thor follows and attempts a direct attack on HIM, but is again struck down by one of his energy blast. When Thor comes to he realizes that HIM has escaped again with Sif and is determined to get her back and defeat HIM. When Thor encounters HIM again, he succumbs to The Warrior’s Madness, and eventually HIM retreats into his cocoon again, and heads back into the Stars.
In Marvel Premiere #1 we see HIM again. In this issue he meets up with The High Evolutionary orbiting Counter-Earth. The High Evolutionary is made aware of a strange cocoon in space, and summons it to his ship. HIM explains that he must stay in his cocoon to finish his metamorphosis, which the High Evolutionary respects. But HIM is curious of what the High Evolutionary is doing, so he explains how he is creating a new world, Counter-world. After the High evolutionary is done, he is exhausted. This is when his creation the Man-Beast decides to corrupt Counter-Earth. The high evolutionary awakes to find what Man-Beast has done, and they fight. Realizing that he cannot defeat the High Evolutionary alone, he summons his New-Men. Him realizes that The High Evolutionary will not win against all of these creatures, and decides to emerge from his cocoon early to save The High Evolutionary. The Man-beast teleports down to Counter-Earth to continue to corrupt it, and High Evolutionary feels that his experiment has been tampered with and destroyed, so he must destroy the planet. But HIM convinces The High Evolutionary to not destroy the planet and to let him try and stop the Man-Beast. The High Evolutionary agrees, but gifts him with the Soul Gem to help him in his endeavors.

“And now, prepare for Pain, strangeborn – for other sights and senses you have never known before. Do you feel it? The sheer, awful Agony..? That is the merest Fraction of what it means – to be a Man! You could have lived forever… a Creature apart, drifting silent thru the Seas of Space – yet now, you’ll walk the Earth, a Target for the murderous Man-Beast – perhaps for Humankind as well… For, uncanny your sacred Mission – unearthly your weirdling Powers… And, beholding them, Men shall call you Warlock!”

High Evolutionary

When HIM teleports down to Counter-Earth, 4 teenagers find him, and when he comes to, he seems to have amnesia. They ask his name and he says that he remembers that someone once told him he would be called Warlock, and the kids decide to give him a first name. Adam. And so he became Adam Warlock.


After being defeated and killed on Counter-Earth by the Man-Beast, Adam reverts to his cocoon again, only to emerge and defeat the Man Beast with the help of the Hulk.

The Magus, Adam’s Evil future self, tries to manipulate Warlock into situations that would turn him into The Magus. With the help of Thanos, Adam Warlock is able to travel to the future and kill his future self before he turns into the Magus, essentially erasing him and the Universal Church of Truth from existence.

Later Thanos tricks Warlock and is able to take possession of the Soul Gem, and add it to the other Infinity Gems he has collected to create a weapon to destroy stars. Thanos intends on destroying every star to snuff out all life in the universe for Mistress Death.
Adam along with The Avengers, and Captain Mar-Vell The Avengers and Adam Warlock are able to destroy the weapon, but in the midst of the battle, Thanos kills Adam Warlock. Spider-Man accidentally releases Adam Warlock from the Soul Gem. Adam turns Thanos to stone, then returns to “Soul World”.

In the Infinity Gauntlet, the second time Thanos collected the Infinity Gems, he forged them into a gauntlet, giving him near omnipotent power. Adam and other heroes of the marvel universe are barely able to defeat the overconfident Thanos, and Nebula gains the power of the Infinity Gauntlet, only to have it taken from her by Adam Warlock.
Adam then visits the the elders of the Universe, where the Living Tribunal declares Adam unworthy of his recently acquired godhood. While possessing the gauntlet, Adam decides to rid himself of good and evil so that he may be a logical being, and possibly worthy of possession of the Gauntlet. The Bad ½ of Adam become the incarnation of Magus, and the good parts The Goddess, both who later try to control the universe in The Infinity War and The Infinity Crusade.

After the Infinity Gauntlet saga, Warlock forms a team to guard the gems. The Infinity Watch. This included Drax the Destroyer (Power Gem), Gamora (Time Gem), Pip the Troll (Space Gem), Maxam (Takes over the Time Gem from Gamora after a fight with Warlock), Moondragon (MInd Gem) and Thanos (Reality Gem). In the cross company crossover, the character Rune steals the Infinity Gems and brings them to the Ultraverse (Malibu) With the Gems gone, the Watch dissolves

The Infinity Gems gained access back to the Marvel 616 universe by Galactus pulling a vampire skeleton through a dimensional portal (assumed to be Rune)

With Adam Warlock declared to be unworthy of being a God by a jury in a cosmic court The Living Tribunal has declared that the Infinity Gauntlet can no longer be used in the Marvel 616 universe.

Guess what? Magus is back, being the embodiment of Adam Warlock’s “Bad side”. He has 5 Cosmic cubes\Cosmic Containment units he intends to recreate the universe in his image.  After incapacitating the cosmic entity Eternity Magus begins replacing heroes with evil doppelgangers. Galactus and Thanos both on their own decide to find out what this strange energy reading they’re finding is. It turns out to be Magus with some Cosmic cubes. Thanos goes to warn Adam Warlock, but when Galactus discovers Eternity, he tries to revive him. They need Eternity to petition The Living Tribunal into turning the gauntlet back on, because they assume that will be the only way to stop Magus. Warlock is captured by Magus, with the still inactive Infinity Gauntlet, Eternity is revived and the gauntlet is turned back on, making the Magus seem omnipotent. Thanos is able to distract magus longenough for Warlock to gain access to the power of the gauntlet. He’s able to bring forth an amalgamation of Eternity and Infinity who is able to defeat Magus. Unfortunately this took all of Warlocks power, and at the end he is in a coma. Thanos reveals that they tricked Magus by putting a fake Reality Gem in the Gauntlet. This gave they were then able to use against him. We then find out that Magus was vanquished to Soul World, where he is unable to interact with other souls there, because he is only part of a soul.

At the end of Infinity War we see a figure with the Cosmic Cubes that Magus had obtained. It is the “Goodness’ that Adam Warlock expelled from himself in order to be a completely logical god. The Goddess wants to rid the universe of evil. She finds some more cosmic cubes (seriously everyone in marvel comics must just have these things sitting around). She comes up with 30 cubes in total, and forms them into the Cosmic Egg… because, well comic books. The Goddess is able to brainwash heroes who are religions or have had near death experiences to fight for her. She creates a world called Paradise Omega, and appoints Moondragon as the leader of her army or Holy Guard.The Goddess decides to go after Thanos, sensing that he will be a threat, but Adam Warlock ends up saving him. Mephisto makes a bargain with Warlock and Thanos, that he will give them the information he knows about the Goddess, in exchange for a cosmic cube. They agree.
The Goddess has decided the only way to get rid of evil is to get rid of all life in the universe. She reaches out to all of the universe, and destroys everything, cleansing the universe of all evil. Or did she? Suddenly she finds out that it was a ruse. Warlock’s spirit was laying dormant inside of her. He was able to use the Cosmic egg to simulate a fake destruction of the universe. Warlock, Thanos and Professor X are able to defeat the Goddess, and send her to Soul World inside the Soul Gem.

During Annihilation : Conquest, Adam is found by Moondragon and Phylla-Vell (Quasar). The Phalanx were trying to assimilate his cocoon. He is brought out of his cocoon early by Moondragon and the Kree Supreme Intelligence, and when he emerged from his cocoon, he was younger than before.  Later in the story we find out that Ultron is in control of the phalanx. The High Evolutionary is forced, by Ultron, to transfer his consciousness into the body of Adam Warlock. This to kill the hero Adam Warlock, again.
The being Warlock (different than Adam Warlock, aren’t comics great) and the Technarchy show up, because they feel they have a moral obligation to help fight the Phalanx, seeing how the Technarchy created them.
Adam Warlocks’ body is infected with the Techno organic virus, forcing Ultron to flee the body.
Later The High Evolutionary reveals that Adam Warlocks’ soul has been housed in Quasars Quantum Bands. He is restored to his body.
Adam and Phylla-Vell are able to defeat Ultron, after ultron transfers the souls of the fallen Kree into the quantum bands to empower them.

After this, Peter Quill, Star-lord, expresses interest in forming a team to proactively prevent these sort of things from happening again in the future.  This is the construction of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
The Team consisted of Star-Lord, Adam Warlock, Drax the destroyer, Gamora, Phyla-Vell (Quasar), Rocket Raccoon, Groot, and Mantis.

With Their Base of Operation being Knowwhere, they worked closely with the chief security officer there, Cosmo The Space Dog.

This era is the Quantum Magic phase of Warlocks life. During the Annihilation events, the Universe had been damaged. And Adam believes that is the reason he is given these new abilities.
During the event The War of Kings, The Inhumans detonate what they call the T-bomb which created a huge cut in the universe that they referred to as the Fault. If not closed, The Fault could engulf all of reality. Adam is able to close the Fault, but only by expending all of his power by merging two timelines, the normal timeline and one that was being unused, to ensure a future. The future he used was the one where he killed himself to prevent the creation of the Magus. Unfortunatly, while in this weakened state, he is overcome by his darker side, and becomes that which he has tried to prevent. He becomes Magus.
With the help of Krang the Conqueror and a cosmic cube, the guardians go back in time to just before Adam is turned and try to prevent it from happening. Adam, being unable to resist the change that was coming pleaded with Starlord to kill him before he became Magus. To save the universe Starlord did exactly that.

He was later ushered back to the land of the living by request of Thanos’ love Mistress Death.


To Read

  • Fantastic Four 66, 67  -for the introduction and first appearance of HIM. Don’t expect him to play much of a part in the whole story. He really doesn’t come into play till the end of 66.
  • Power of Warlock 1-8  -Learn how he became Warlock instead of just HIM and how he gets the power of the soul gem
  • Infinity Gauntlet 1-6 -because it is awesome
  • Warlock and the Infinity Watch – to see the aftermath of Gauntlet
  • The Infinity War – Want more Magus?  It’s not as good as gauntlet, but still a good.
  • Infinity Crusade  – for the Goddess if you want to read that story, this is honestly the weakest of the Infinity Trilogy, but I still enjoy reading it.
  • Annihilation Conquest – Because it is an excellent story.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – The comics, because Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning are great at cosmic Marvel, and this is Adam Warlock during his quantum magic phase.

Other fun facts

  • When someone is killed by the Soul Gem, the go into a world inside of the Soul Gem that is referred to as “soul world.” There people who were Adams enemies, now seem to be his friends, since they are living in a paradise now.
  • Gamora is in love with Adam warlock
  • The Enclave kidnapped The Things girlfriend Alicia so that she could tell what Him looked like. She was blind and he emitted a glow that made it impossible for them to see HIM. Mostly this just caused the Fantastic Four to get involved in the whole thing.
  • The first time Warlock encountered Magus, Warlock had to travel to the future to kill his future self. If he did not do this, he would have become the evil Magus. Which means for a while Adam was living on borrowed time.



Next time on N is for Nerd. We discuss the king of Wakanda himself. The Black Panther


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