Warlock and the Infinity Watch #16-17
Issue(s): Warlock and the Infinity Watch #16,Warlock and the Infinity Watch #17
Physical attacks are useless, and Moondragon's telepathy and Adam Warlock's soul blasts are equally ineffective. But Warlock uses a little-used application of his Soul gem, normally used to determine how pure a being's soul is, and the "cold light of truth" it generates does seem to have an effect, although it's not entirely clear from the art what that effect is.
In the aftermath of the attack, Count Abyss himself shows up. This is his first meeting with the team (the audience saw him last arc, but the characters didn't). Abyss demands that Warlock turn over the Soul gem.
Warlock guesses that he's the being with the missing soul that Eternity warned him about last arc. He refuses to turn over the gem, and Abyss leaves for now, vowing to return.
Immediately after that, someone crash lands on Monster island.
For what it's worth, Warlock says that it's "highly unlikely" that the arrival of this figure is Abyss' doing. But Gamora recognizes him as the person from her recent vision, where he was standing over the dead body of Adam Warlock. She suggests that they kill him immediately.
However, we jump ahead a bit for the start of the next issue, and Gamora hasn't killed anyone yet. The mystery figure has been brought inside to a lab. Warlock is wondering if this entity is another of the beings that Eternity warned him about.
Moondragon detects no brain activity from the guy, but he suddenly wakes up after Drax pokes him. He's also supposed to be bulking up, but again i don't think that Tom Grindberg really gets that across.
The guy claims to not remember who he is, and Moondragon says that trying to scan him is "like trying to read the mind of one of the watch", which she can't do, except that the barrier is "artificial" and possibly "some kind of psychic defense".
The mystery man does speak English and knows that he's on planet Earth, and he perks up when Adam Warlock's name is mentioned (Warlock is not present). He agrees to the name Maxam, which was found inscribed inside his belt (although in a language that no one recognizes, which makes me wonder how they read it). The rest of the Watch are suspicious, and wind up in a fight with him.
Maxam's armor seems to look increasingly like Thanos' as the fight goes on, but no one comments on that so it could just be a coincidence.
Maxam is able to defeat the whole team ("better than Hulk-class strength"), although granted Drax gets distracted by dolphins.
But after that Warlock gets involved and knocks Maxam out with a soul blast when Maxam automatically attacks him. When he wakes up, he says that he was filled with blinding hatred when he saw Warlock, but isn't sure why and the moment "seems to have passed". Over the concerns of Gamora, Warlock then offers to help Maxam figure out his mysteries.
I'm normally suspicious when a new character shows up and beats up an entire team, but every character here is one of Jim Starlin's pet characters, so i can't really claim favoritism. The biggest problem on these issues is the art. The situation is exacerbated by the launch of Warlock Chronicles. Angel Medina was the regular artist on this series, with Tom Raney as the relief artist since Medina wasn't able to handle a monthly schedule. Now Raney is going to Chronicles, so we're getting Grindberg in between the Medina issues. And we also had Silver Surfer/Warlock: Resurrection (penciled by Starlin) and we've got Infinity Crusade (penciled by Ron Lim). A part of me is happy to have as much Starlin as possible, but he's being stretched thin and there don't seem to be enough artists to cover it all.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: Next issue, Pip will say that the events of this story happened "just yesterday", so i've pushed this forward in publication time to be closer to Infinity Crusade.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): show
I really don't like this art.
Posted by: Grom | October 18, 2016 7:27 PM
Is "Maxam" supposed to be a riff on Daxam, the planet in the DC universe inhabited by descendants of Kryptonians with Superman level powers?
Posted by: Tuomas | October 19, 2016 4:05 AM
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