Marvel Premiere #1-2
Issue(s): Marvel Premiere #1, Marvel Premiere #2
They have a philosophical discussion before the Evolutionary continues with his project.
His goal is to create a new race of men that are not genetically coded towards war. However, the Man-Beast has been lying in wait, and he infects the Counter-Earth with his evil.
Warlock helps the Evolutionary fend off an attack from the Man-Beast's evil New-Men, and then volunteers to go to Counter-Earth to help save the people and lead them towards good so that the Evolutionary doesn't have to destroy them. The High Evolutionary gives Warlock a gem before he leaves for Counter-Earth.
This will turn out to be a soul gem, one of several cosmic artifacts that become the focus of many Marvel epics (mostly by Jim Starlin).
The High Evolutionary has become far more powerful since he turned his evolutionary beam upon himself at the end of his Tales To Astonish appearance, but he's returned to his previous physical form as opposed to the transcendental state we last saw him in. He refers to his body as a 'metal shell' so it's possible there's nothing physical inside his armor.
Warlock falls to Counter-Earth and is found by a group of children, who give him the name "Adam".
The Man-Beast sends Ani-men after Warlock...
...and they show up at the same time as the children's parents, who aren't too happy to see their kids hanging around with a yellow-skinned weirdo. Warlock uses the power of his soul gem to turn the parents away.
The Biblical parallels in the writing are of course obvious, but the Man-Beast's infection of the High Evolutionary's planetary creation seems closer to Tolkein's Silmarillion. In any event, it's all very heavy handed, but you have to admire the ambition of the series.
Once again, the protesters of the 60s are given a bad rap. The High Evolutionary, while acknowledging the evil of those who abuse the power of political office, also calls those who protest the abusers "mindless" and "destructive". It's worth thinking about the High Evolutionary's point of view as a stuffy and privileged scientist of the 1950s instead of necessarily assuming it's Thomas/Marvel's point of view.
Gil Kane's art is very unconventional. On the one hand, it is sketchy and flat. But it also has a 'futuristic cartoon' vibe. I don't really like it, but i guess i can see how some people do.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: The Soul Gem will eventually be shown to be sentient, so i'm tagging it as a Character Appearing.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (14): show
This take on Warlock was probably inspired by then-popular Broadway shows like "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Godspell".
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 13, 2011 10:51 PM
Maybe the gem on Warlock's forehead was intended to be an allusion to Buddhism as well?
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 30, 2012 3:20 AM
Those intense shadings under the nose on the 2nd panel, and below that funky full page lying down angle with those oddly posed running people in the background... Gil Kane alert!
Posted by: Mike | March 21, 2015 11:00 AM
Its not the worst I've seen of Gil Kane. At least Adam Warlock's upside-down so we don't get a true "Kane nose shot".
Posted by: Ataru320 | March 21, 2015 5:49 PM
Just to balance out the commentary, I love Kane and wish he did more for Marvel.
Posted by: cullen | March 21, 2015 9:16 PM
I like me some Kane too, but is the HE sweating through his helmet in that last panel?
Posted by: PeterA | July 28, 2015 3:38 PM
This was as epic at the time in its way as the original Kirby(Lee) worldbuilding at the beginning of Marvel.
I think artistically ever since Kirby ended his permanent presence at Marvel, and even after he returned briefly before leaving for good, Marvel had wrestled with having a house style based in large part on the work of an autodidact. Kirby's un-anatomy was something other artists could ignore in their own action poses, but his highly distinctive version of technology, odd shading and equally odd Kirby Krackle as some call it meant that Marvel always risked losing a big part of its following if its universe suddenly stopped looking the way it used to.
It took a very long time for the actual look of the Marvel Universe to really divorce itself from Kirby. Probably the only part of the continuity that did so rapidly and early was Spider-Man, due to Ditko's own highly distinctive work and then on the incredible popularity of the Spider-Man character.
Posted by: Flying Tiger Comics | March 12, 2017 1:53 AM
Roy Thomas confirmed in Alter Ego #149 that Gil Kane co-plotted these issues.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | November 30, 2017 7:40 PM
whether or not you like Gil Kane notwithstanding, his pencil art benefits greatly here from Dan Adkins' inks IMO.
Posted by: Holt | January 14, 2018 6:40 PM
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