Him/Adam Warlock

Last character from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (if I missed somebody, let me know in the usual place), again from one of the mid-credits scenes. In this one, we see a disgraced Ayesha called to respond of her failure to the Sovereign rulers, only to answer with a new creation of hers, a new specimen more powerful than any other Sovereign, another step to total perfection who will exact her vengeance on the Guardians of the Galaxy…and she calls him Adam. We briefly see him inside his incubator (no actor or stuntman is credited for that), ready to get out…hopefully for Vol. 3. This future antagonist and most surely future ally of the Guardians is Adam Warlock, one of the most relevant cosmic characters in the Marvel Universe, briefly hinted at also in Thor: The Dark World and Guardians of the Galaxy, as something that James Gunn confirmed to be his cocoon appeared in the Collector‘s museum. Now that he actually made an appearance, it’s safe to say that his origins have been changed a lot from his original incarnation…let’s see together how.

On Earth, a group of scientists collectively known as The Enclave put together their remarkable knowledge and intellect to create the next step in human evolution, the perfect being that would have embodied the pinnacle of human science. The result was Him, a golden-skinned man who was imbued since his artificial birth with pure perfection in every aspect of human nature…including morality. Him immediately sensed that the true purpose of his creators were anything but noble, as they planned to use him to submit the entire world to their ambition, and exploiting a moment of distraction created by the arrival of the Fantastic Four, he rebelled to The Enclave and escaped their lab, the Beehive, to seek his destiny in the stars. Him, however, was caught in the middle of a meteor shower, and saved and brought back to Earth by Uatu the Watcher, curious of this new “godling”. Him, who was surely good-hearted, but totally inexperienced in relating to other beings, started travelling the world, until he met a woman he chose to be his bride: Lady Sif from Asgard. Unable to properly relate to her, Him just abducted her, announcing he would have made his mate of her…something that clearly angered Sif, as well as it angered Thor God of Thunder, who didn’t turn out to be very understanding. Thor went to the saving and confronted Him, beating him half to death. Unable to do anything against his opponent’s might (and unable even to understand why he was being beaten, actually), Him created a protective cocoon around himself, a husk which he could heal himself in, ready to be reborn, evolved further in order to adapt himself to the threat he had succumbed to. His presence and unique nature didn’t go unnoticed, and the High Evolutionary took possession of his cocoon, patiently waiting for it to hatch; the immortal geneticist was fascinated by Him’s constant evolution, and he wanted to contribute to it. When Him got out of his husk, the High Evolutionary offered himself as a mentor: he renamed Him “Adam”, as he was the first of his kind, “Warlock”, as he would have been feared for his power; he also gave him the Soul Gem, one of the all-powerful Infinity Gems, that Warlock appointed to his forehead. He also gave him a purpose.

Among his many experiments, the High Evolutionary had created Counter-Earth, a planet inhabited by doubles of Earth’s inhabitants and by the New-Men, beasts turned humanoid hybrids by the geneticist’s work; one of said animals, a wolf named Man-Beast, had imposed a dictatorship on the planet, and the population needed a savior…a savior that the High Evolutionary suggested Adam could be. Warlock accepted the task and went to Counter-Earth, where he immediately befriended four local teenagers, Jason GreyEllie and Eddie Roberts, and David Carter. This marked the beginning of a years-long conflict among Warlock and Man-Beast, a conflict during which the latter even killed the golden hero, who however returned through his cocoon as he had done before; eventually, Warlock managed to defeat Man-Beast, and dedicated himself to erasing his evil presence from the entire planet, becoming the first superhero on Counter-Earth. With the help of Professor Doom (a good counterpart of Earth’s Doctor Doom) and of a travelling Hulk, Warlock inflicted a definitive victory on his enemies by using the Soul Gem to de-evolve the evil New Men, making Man-Beast and his men come back to their animal form. After that, however, instead of staying and enjoying the gratitude of his many devoted followers and his friends, Warlock left Counter-Earth, claiming that other planets needed his help in the universe. In his many travels, he eventually stumbled upon the Universal Church of Truth, a tyrannical and violent cult led by the impossibly powerful warlord known as Magus. Warlock tried to oppose him to free the worlds subjected to him, but Magus proved to be too strong for him alone; plus, much to Adam’s horror, Magus revealed himself as an alternate version of Warlock himself, coming from a possible future. Seeking to destroy an evil born within himself, Warlock allied himself with Pip the Troll, the warrior Gamora and the evil but (this time) helpful Thanos the Mad Titan: while Magus tried to manipulate Warlock into becoming him, Thanos helped him and sent him to the future, where he could erase the timeline Magus was from. When he came back to his own reality, however, Warlock had to face Thanos himself, who revealed his true colors and made his move to steal the Soul Gem from him…

Him, or Adam Warlock, is a good-hearted and well-meaning creature, an artificial man designed to be perfect in everything, body, mind and soul. Extremely powerful since his birth, Warlock increases his abilities and powers every time he puts himself into his regenerative cocoon, that makes him evolve to best the last threat that overpowered him: he possesses superhuman strength, speed, stamina, durability, agility, reflexes and senses; he can fly and he can heal himself from pretty much every injury, thus being virtually immortal; he’s extremely sensitive to the universe’s energies, which he can absorb and manipulate freely, being the master of the so-called Quantum Magic (which allows him to cast a number of spells with the most different effects, from teleportation to energy blasts to telekinesis to infinite others); he’s an empath and a telepath, he possesses a superhuman genius and he’s a master martial artist, truly reuniting in himself the best of everything humans can be. At first naive and inexperienced, Adam Warlock is now a wise philosopher and a serious protector, a committed hero whose cosmic awareness allows him to be present wherever in the universe he’s needed, some sort of universal savior who continuously seeks a place which he can truly belong to.

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