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Warlock #11: Review

Feb 1976
Jim Starlin, Steve Leialoha

Story Name:

How strange my destiny Part 2

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Warlock #11 Review by (April 10, 2018)
Thanos refers to himself here as the Dark Side. Could this be a sneaky reference to Jack Kirby's Darkseid who he somewhat resembles in looks and villainy?

Matriarch or a version of her will return in the 2008 Guardians of the Galaxy series leading a Magus-free Universal Church of Truth.

Magus will be recreated much sooner in 1992's Infinity War.

The In-Betweener may have been created for the sole purpose of corrupting Warlock into Magus but he'll get over it, and continue doing other stuff. He'll be seen next in Dr Strange (1974) #26-28 with another scheme to achieve cosmic balance.

Warlock's selficide will be seen from the other side in Avengers Annual #7.

Thanos and Gamora will be back in #15 with more on the stellar genocide plan.

Meanwhile #12 concentrates on Pip in an adventure involving the voluptuous Heater Delight. #13-14 will see Warlock battling the Star Thief. And the pair will recombine for #15.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Warlock #11 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This issue is again split into chapters. And because the issue is labelled as part 2 of last issue's story then the chapters start at 4.

Chapter 4: Escape into the inner prison

We're in a big time loop. Magus is the evil future self of Adam Warlock who went back in time and is now trying to ensure that Warlock does become him. Thanos has his own reasons for wanting to help Adam avoid his fate. He sent his agent Gamora to help, and eventually joined the struggle himself. Along the way Warlock gained a 'pal' in Pip the Troll.

The 4 of them are on Thanos' space ark Sanctuary when Magus teleports in with his Death Squad. Battle commences but the Squad are under strict orders not to kill Warlock. Adam is scheduled in less than 1 hour to meet the In-Betweener who will take him to another dimension where, as Magus remembers, he will be gradually changed into his evil future self.

But Thanos has a plan which involves sending Warlock through his time machine. However their numberless foes block the way. Thanos needs to conserve his energy for later so he urges Warlock to use his Soul Gem to steal the souls of their enemies. Adam is loath to do this because such souls live on in his mind to remind him of his actions. Thanos offers counter-arguments. If he doesn't do it then *he* will live on inside the Magus to witness what *he* does. Gamora and Pip will be killed. The victims of Magus' Universal Church of Truth will be on his conscience. And the Gem itself wants to be let loose.

Succumbing to the cumulative pressure Adam unleashes the Gem's power and all the Death Squad die. Magus gloats that Warlock has just revealed that he is *already* well on the way to being evil. But Thanos blasts him out of the way and sends Adam through the time machine. And Pip follows ...

... into a Steve Ditko-esque realm which Adam says is his 'kismet trail', a representation of his fate. In order to erase Magus from existence he has come here to commit cosmic suicide. But the In-Betweener arrives before he can do anything.

Back on Sanctuary Magus realises that Thanos had lead him to this by leaving the ship's defence screens down (last issue). He wanted the attack so that Warlock would be rushed into making a decision before he realised what it really meant. Thanos reveals that he did this because Magus, though evil, is a powerful agent of Life. But Thanos worships Death and needed Magus out of the way. And the 2 titans clash.

Chapter 5: The strange death of Adam Warlock

The In-Betweener, servant of Chaos and Order, claims to have been created for the sole purpose of turning Warlock into Magus. Adam says he won't go without a fight, but his nemesis says he can't be fought. He exists between life and death, good and evil, reality and illusion, logic and emotion, god and man. As such he can't be affected by anything. Warlock tests this theory but his foe is immune to the Soul Gem and a 2-ton hunk of rock.

The In-Betweener assures Adam that his fate has a noble purpose. He says that the universe needs Magus as a champion of Life to balance Thanos the advocate of Death. So he hopes Warlock will wait peacefully through the 5 minutes until the appointed time.

Magus and Thanos are still fighting in Sanctuary. They both know that Magus was designed as champion of Life to stop Thanos' ambition to destroy all the stars in the universe for his love Death. Their battle wrecks half of the space ark. In the other half Gamora escapes into space as the safer option (without a spacesuit?).

Adam realises that In-Betweener can't take him before the fated moment. So he has 5 minutes to achieve his goal. He stands on a path which represents his timeline, which at this point splits into 5 futures. 1 of them becomes black a short way along, which is obviously the 1 that leads to Magus. So Warlock uses his Soul Gem to purify that path to brightness. And then uses the Gem again to destroy it.

Meanwhile Magus is beating Thanos. But now he starts to fade away. And vainly tries to reach the time machine to stop Warlock before he does what he just did.

Meanwhile (again) Adam is rushing down another of his future paths which is extremely short. He thus chooses this 1 to be what happens, and now must ensure that the Warlock at the end of it will be in no position to *ever* become Magus. And he gets there before In-Betweener is 'allowed' to take him.

Adam now materialises some months in the future where future-him is dying. Future-Warlock recognises present-Warlock and realises this must be the moment he remembers. F-W says everyone he loves is dead and everything he has strived for is ruined. He welcomes death. P-W absorbs f-W with the Soul Gem. And the universe is reborn without Magus ever having existed.

Thanos and Gamora meet in (the still half-destroyed) Sanctuary, and he tells her that only they and Warlock and Pip will remember Magus and the recent events. Privately the mad Titan exults that now there is no champion of Life to stop him wiping out all the stars in the universe, and hence all life.

Warlock and Pip reappear on Homeworld. But it appears that another Church has arisen using the same symbol as the Universal Church of Truth. And they see the woman who was the Matriarch. But she seems still to be the prostitute she was before Magus made her temporal head of his religion.

Steve Leialoha
Steve Leialoha
Jim Starlin
Jim Starlin (Cover Penciler)
Alan Weiss (Cover Inker)
Layouts: Jim Starlin. Letterer: Tom Orzechowski.
Editor: Marv Wolfman.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Plus: In-Betweener, Matriarch.

> Warlock: Book info and issue index

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