MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The Guardians of the Galaxy return to the big screen this May and they’re introducing Adam Warlock, one of Marvel’s premiere cosmic superheroes in Vol. 03. In order for you to prepare for Warlock’s debut, comics guy JV Tanjuatco strongly recommends the original series by Jim Starlin dedicated to the superhero, and here’s why:
Cosmic Shakespeare – By the time Starlin took over, Warlock had already become a “Space Jesus” (he even get crucified and resurrected!) saving a parallel Earth from evil. Now a wandering savior, he finds himself embroiled in a literal “To Be or Not To Be” situation – encountering the Magus, his evil future self. Tortured by this fate, he struggles to change it.
The Art – Starlin’s cosmos-filled backgrounds littered with planets and stars made for a visceral experience. His style felt ahead of its time (especially considering Warlock was published during the later 1970s) with his creative use of panel storytelling and hyper detailed renderings that were similar in style to George Perez, John Byrne, and Bob Layton. He gave his fight sequences several panels to breathe and were packed with kinetic impact. It helped that he was both the writer and the artist to make it all feel very dynamic.
Insightful Social Commentary – Like the best science fiction stories, Starlin injects his early Warlock stories with just the right amount of socio-political relevance despite its intergalactic trappings. The Magus holds billions in his thrall through religion. His Universal Church of Truth espouses peace, love, and kindness to others and would genuinely make the galaxy into a utopia but in practice, uses force to push people to convert. Starlin even satirizes the legal system, pointing out that the system is flawed and rigged particularly against those considered “undesirable.”
Wild Science Fiction Concepts – Aside from dark future versions, Starlin had an abundance of insane ideas he brought to life! A voracious vampiric gem that devours souls against the owner’s will! A comatose man with mental powers who can manipulate the laws of physics! Starlin blew readers’ minds with each issue.
Standout Cast – Warlock had great supporting characters to play off; along with the Magus, Thanos stole the spotlight with his malevolence. Gamora made her first appearance in these pages, hinting at her potential as the deadliest woman in the galaxy. And Pip the Troll lightened things whenever things got too ominous.