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Warlock #15: Review

Nov 1976
Jim Starlin, Jim Starlin

Story Name:

Just a series of events

Review & Comments

4 stars

Warlock #15 Review by (April 17, 2018)
The expanding universe doesn't work as described here but that's irrelevant because Warlock's apparent giant size will turn out to be an illusion. That also explains why he runs into other beings the same size as himself.

The online Unofficial Appendix to the Marvel Handbook calls Marr Garr a R'Malk'I from the C'lehr'ee system, and his goons are Mandos.

Drax was previously in Captain Marvel #42-44 where he blamed CM for his lack of purpose since Mar-Vell supposedly killed Thanos in CM#33. But when he learned that Thanos was back he flew off happy to chase him again. It is presumably as part of that hunt that he attacks Gamora here.

The Soul Gem says "I am 1 of the 6." This is the 2nd indication of the 6 stones that will be known as the Infinity Gems. The 1st was in CM#45 where we were introduced to another of '6 Soul Gems strewn across the stars' with different powers, that 1 affecting minds ie what will be called the Mind Gem. But in their next few apps they will just be referred to as the 6 Soul Gems.

This is the last issue of this series.

Warlock revisits the Solar System in Marvel Team-Up #55 and finds that he's returned to normal size. He tangles with Gardener and Stranger each of whom has another of the Soul Gems. Then a flashback in the much later Marvel Two-In-One #62 will show him finding Counter-Earth apparently gone and seeming to kill High Evolutionary with his Soul Gem, thus fulfilling 1 of this issue's prophecies. (But MTIO#62 will reveal that HE just took a bodiless godlike form he had assumed before.)

Then in Avengers Annual #7 where Adam will take the souls of Gamora and Pip into the Soul Gem as they die at the hands of Thanos (more prophecies from this issue). Thanos will gather the 6 Soul Gems to kill all the stars, but a combination of Warlock, Captain Marvel, Moondragon and the Avengers stops him. Thanos leaves Warlock heavily injured, and then Adam's earlier version from #11 arrives to absorb him into his Soul Gem to stop him becoming Magus. Adam meets Pip and Gamora in there, and all the enemies he's absorbed who are now friendly.

The story continues in MTIO An#2 as the others plus Spider-Man and Thing pursue Thanos who still has the Gems. In the end Warlock pops out of his Soul Gem for a brief while and turns Thanos to stone.

Strangely Drax isn't involved in any of the above but in CM#58 he finds Thanos' stone body, assumes CM is to blame again and goes after him but they get involved with the other Titanians in CM#58-62.

In MTIO#63 Mark Gruenwald will clear some things up. He picks up an alien char Sphinxor who narrated part of Strange Tales #178 and gives him a behind the scenes role in Warlock's life. Sphinxor works for some guys called the Beyonders who want him to bring Counter-Earth to them. He figured he'd better get Warlock out of the way so he turned his Soul Gem vampiric while he was in his cocoon between his 2 runs of adventures. Then he made him think he was huge in this issue. In the MTIO#62 flashback he made Adam think Counter-Earth was destroyed and blame High Evolutionary. Now in #63 he *has* taken Counter-Earth.

That is the 1st mention of the Beyonders who will go on to eventually destroy the multiverse, leading to Secret Wars III.

In Marvel Graphic Novel #1 The Death Of Captain Marvel Thanos will welcome Mar-Vell to the afterlife.

But eventually Thanos will be brought back to life in Silver Surfer (1987) #34, and Warlock, Gamora and Pip will be resurrected in #46, leading up to Infinity Gauntlet.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Warlock #15 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
At the end of last issue Adam Warlock returned to the Solar System to find that he had grown larger than the whole system. The explanation given was that he had been in a part of the universe (the Herculean Galaxy) that was expanding at a much greater rate than the Milky Way. His huge bulk isn't affecting our world because he still has the same mass, he's become nebulous.

As he muses that he can never go home again he tells us that he won't miss Earth so much as Counter-Earth on the opposite side of the Sun. The High Evolutionary created that planet and sent him there to save it's inhabitants from the Man-Wolf. Adam became their Messiah and saved them. (See Marvel Premiere #1-2 and the 1st run of this series #1-8.) But now he resigns himself to leaving his adopted world and searching for somewhere else to call home.

Meanwhile Thanos and his agent Gamora have rebuilt the space ark Sanctuary, damaged in the fight with Magus in #11. Thanos now gets on with his scientific work and Gamora gets bored. So he sends her out to find Warlock and become his bodyguard. Thanos' plans require him alive. Gamora agrees because she finds Adam 'intriguing'. When she's gone Thanos' thoughts reveal that now he won't have to continue hiding his true work from her. She wouldn't approve of his plan to kill everyone in the universe by destroying all the stars.

Warlock comes across 3 big aliens forcibly removing an old man from his spaceship. Adam of course stops them. Then he's greeted by Marr Garr a plant-like being who represents Interplaneteur Inc. The old man Lamilm Gor owes them money. He can't pay so they're taking his spaceship. It's not their problem that this will leave him drifting in space. Warlock lets Gor get back in his craft and tells him to go find some money. Adam will keep the aliens from pursuing him immediately.

Gamora is flying her spacecraft looking for Warlock. She is actually suspicious of Thanos, despite her loyalty to him for saving her life (see #10). She hopes Warlock can give her some clue how he fits in to her master's plan. But suddenly Drax the Destroyer appears in her 'windscreen' accusing her of being a Thrall of Thanos. And as he crashes into the spaceship it explodes.

At this point Adam is on a dead world ejected from it's solar system. He complains that he no longer has any purpose to his life. He thinks himself alone but his soliloquy is interrupted by an aged alien mystic who tells him life is its own purpose, and then something about interacting with other life and expanding out into the universe to become part of the all.

But Warlock says he knows he's destined to die soon (see #11) and wants to make his mark on the universe before that happens. The alien poo-poos that idea, and tells Adam he will die alone killed by Thanos and himself (see #11 for that last bit). But before that he will see Gamora and Pip the Troll die, and he will cause the death of the High Evolutionary. He will be the most hated person in space. He advises Adam to look beyond the body to the spirit. And then disappears. Warlock thinks this means he should investigate his Soul Gem.

We have 1 more of our regular characters to look in on. Pip the Troll is on the planet Degenera in a sleazy bar where he looks through the sack containing today's pilferings. But he's interrupted by Constable Trueheart who has noticed that the recent spate of robberies started when Pip breezed into town. Pip distracts his attention by pointing out several more likely crooks, at the same time relieving him of various valuables. He also unfastens the cop's belt so that when Pip waltzes off with his gains Trueheart's trousers fall down.

Warlock's last port of call is an Earth-like planet. He lands in a jungle away from habitation. Here he can deal with his Gem without fear of harming others. It has proven a defensive and offensive weapon, including eating souls. In Strange Tales #180 he discovered that he could no longer survive without it. But now he temporarily removes it from his brow so he can communicate with it man-to-gem.

He concentrates and forms a mental link. And the Gem responds by welcoming him into its warm embrace, appearing to grow larger and swallow him up. It has been waiting for this moment. Adam has constrained its hunger for souls, his morals restricting those he allows it to consume to the basest villains. Now the Gem will control Adam's body and it will be free. But Warlock says he will be free or dead. And the Gem lets him go.

This was all part of Adam's plan. He chose an isolated area so that if he died the Soul Gem would have no other host to latch on to. And then he threatened to will himself to die, and the Gem could tell he had the willpower and intention to do it. So it freed him to save itself.

Jim Starlin
Jim Starlin
Michelle Wolfman
Jim Starlin (Cover Penciler)
Jim Starlin (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski.
Editor: Archie Goodwin.


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