Warlock and the Infinity Watch #14-15
Issue(s): Warlock and the Infinity Watch #14, Warlock and the Infinity Watch #15
Gamora decides to try to settle things diplomatically.
But it doesn't work out very well...
...and Gamora ends up having to fight the troops.
It's said that Gamora is meant to have Spider-Man level strength, but after she mops the beach with the entire squadron, it's suggested that her strength is more in the Iron Man range. This will later be explained as being a result of the new bodies Warlock created for Gamora and Pip during Infinity Gauntlet, and now Pip is as strong as Spider-Man..
Pip then approaches Gamora to tell her that the others have decided that she can be "top dog" while Warlock is in a coma. Gamora then asks for a demonstration of Pip's teleporting powers. As Pip shows that he can teleport whoever he's in contact with, we get a cameo by Dr. Strange and Rintrah.
Meanwhile, we see that a Count Abyss and Maya are watching Gamora.
Count Abyss had previously thought that the Infinity Gems were only a legend, but as Maya mockingly notes, he was wrong. Abyss isn't interested in all the gems; he's specifically interested in Warlock's soul gem.
Count Abyss will turn out to be the closest this team has to an archenemy, excepting perhaps the Man-Beast.
Speaking of Warlock, Eternity has decided it's time for him to wake up.
Warlock tells Eternity that his "intellect has at last shattered. Just as you predicted it would someday." and that he's given up on caring about rescuing reality. He considers his work to be done now that the Infinity Gems can't be used in conjunction, and "All I crave is comforting oblivion". But Eternity says that events beyond his control are coming, and that he senses that Warlock should play a major role in them. When Warlock refuses, Eternity makes him fight past (and, i guess) future versions of himself.
The phrase used to describe Starlin's previous interpretation of Warlock, "suicidal paranoiac", seems to come from a letter that was published in this issue:
The original incarnation of Adam Warlock was an interesting, almost allegorical type of character, but he often seemed to be too much of a suicidal-paranoid type of character (of the "Hamlet" variety) for my tastes. The post-Soul World Warlock, while having to deal with a taste of omnipotence, seems to have found some inner peace and is more enjoyable to read about.
The writer goes on to suggest that Magneto must be the mystery holder of the Reality Gem, so take his opinions for what you will.
Anyway, the clincher for Warlock comes when Eternity says that Warlock may still transform into the Magus even if he remains in his coma, and that only by accepting the aspects of all of his past selves can he find the inner strength he needs.
And indeed Eternity doesn't give him much of a choice.
After it's done, Warlock tells Eternity that he accepts the necessity of it but will never forgive the indignity. Eternity of course doesn't much care.
But he tells Warlock that there are five beings that Warlock will meet in the future.
Eternity also shows him an orb that looks vaguely similar to Dr. Strange's Orb of Agamotto, and when Warlock wakes up from his coma, the orb is there.
An intriguing set of issues. Issue #14 sort of has the feel of a downtime issue, even though Starlin and Medina get to depict Gamora as a bad ass. And the UN situation is really a set-up for another story. And #15 is explicitly about dropping hints about upcoming stories (including, but not limited to, Infinity Crusade). But both issues do a good job of highlighting the characters' personalities. I like seeing the Infinity Watch forming bonds, as we see both in the Watch agreeing that Gamora makes for a good leader in Warlock's absence and in the little grin that Moondragon and Pip exchange when they're betting on Gamora. #14 also shows the characters all adjusting to their increased powers thanks to the Infinity Gems, each in a way specific to the character's personality. Issue #15 is of course about the character of Adam Warlock in a more heavy handed way, using his past incarnations as metaphors and creating character growth via the astral plane illusions. I prefer the former sort of characterization, but when you're dealing with characters like Eternity and Warlock, the latter makes sense for them. It's nice to have Angel Medina on art; i wish he had been able to do a monthly schedule because he's really great with all aspects of the art. Subtle work with the faces, nice action sequences, and cool trippy cosmic stuff.
Statement of Ownership Total Paid Circulation: Average of Past 12 months = 230,175. Single issue closest to filing date = 244,000.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Adam Warlock's appearance in Cyberspace 3000 #6-8 takes place between the last arc and this one, while he's in a coma. The cameo by Dr. Strange and Rintrah must take place before Rintrah's death in Doctor Strange #51, and therefore before all of Doctor Strange #48-50 as well, and so this arc has been pushed back in publication time. The Infinity Watch next appear in Silver Surfer/Warlock: Resurrection.
Senator Mungon will turn out to be the Man-Beast, but he only appears as part of a recorded newsreel in this story, so he's not listed as a Character Appearing.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): showAdam Warlock, Captain Hammer, Count Abyss, Dr. Strange, Drax the Destroyer, Eternity, Gamora, Maya Teraxtola, Mole Man, Moondragon, Pip the Troll, Rintrah, Soul Gem
I stopped reading comics regularly before we got to these issues. fnord, How do you rate this series? Worth getting the back issues? I love Angel Medina's art.
Posted by: Grom | September 14, 2016 8:30 PM
Who did Starlin intend the five beings Eternity mentioned to be? Eternity claims that they all posed a grave danger to the universe. The being in need of a soul is obviously Count Abyss and the terrible good inside of Warlock is obviously the Goddess. But the others? The being that will touch Warlock's heart would seem to be Maya but how did she pose a grave danger to the universe? (Yes, I know Abyss coerces her into trying to steal Warlock's Soul Gem but that doesn't seem to qualify.) After Starlin left the book, Maxam is revealed to be from the future sent to kill Warlock to prevent him from becoming the Magus- so he would be the being entangled in a web of past and future woes- but it's not clear if that's what Starlin intended. Maybe Starlin intended Maxam to be the being whose trust Warlock would betray. (And how does wanting to kill Warlock to stop the Magus make him a threat to the universe?) So who was the being whose trust Warlock would betray? I've seen two theories. The first is Judge Kray-Tor, who becomes depressed after Warlock uses his soul to stop Count Abyss. The second is Darklore, whose wife falls in love with Warlock. But Adam's known Kray-Tor for years. Besides, does Eternity CARE if Kray-Tor becomes depressed or Darklore's wife falls for another man? Starlin had 16 months to explain who the 5 were and instead spent that time doing everything but.
Posted by: Michael | September 14, 2016 9:53 PM
Captain Hammer has one more appearance in issue 22, so you might want to add him as a Character Appearing.
Posted by: Michael | September 14, 2016 11:18 PM
"The Hammer is my p...."
What's that? Wrong Captain Hammer? Never mind, then.
Posted by: Erik Robbins | September 15, 2016 1:18 AM
I have only cursory knowledge of future W&IW stories, but I would assume Darklore to be the one who Warlock would betray. After all, Darklore is an obvious Darklon expy. I don't think Starlin would go through the trouble of introducing him without thinking of him as one of the five.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | September 15, 2016 8:18 AM
@Grom, yeah if it's not clear from my reviews, i think it's a good run. As Michael notes, Starlin doesn't resolve everything before he leaves. And the non-Medina art isn't always great. And there were probably a lot of people understandably suffering from Infinity Fatigue by this point who avoided these issues. But for me they are a highlight of this era.
Posted by: fnord12 | September 15, 2016 2:38 PM
The five beings in Eternity's prophecy are Count Abyss, Maxam, Maya, Darklore, and Goddess.
The font makes it look like "Mungon," but the senator's name is "Munson." And he has a secret that will change the "characters appearing" list.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | September 16, 2016 11:14 PM
@Walter: fnord mentions the Senator's secret in the entry, but says that since this is just a recorded video, he's not counting him.
Personally, I lean towards Kray-Tor as the betrayed. I didn't think Maya became Darklore's wife until AFTER the defeat of Abyss.
Posted by: Thanos6 | September 17, 2016 12:05 AM
They nerfed Gamora hard in the MCU.
Posted by: CaptainMar-Vell92 | December 5, 2017 6:40 PM
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