Characters Appearing: Adam Warlock, Darklore, Meer'lyn, Soul Gem
Warlock Chronicles #1
Issue(s): Warlock Chronicles #1
This issue picks up after the Goddess banished Warlock in Infinity Crusade #1. He's found in another dimension by a wizard with an eyepatch named Darklore and his companion, a fairy named Meer'lyn.
Warlock is unconscious, but his Soul Gem reveals itself to be sentient and able to communicate, and it tells Warlock's story. So this issue is largely yet another recapping of Warlock's history. We've had so many of these recently - when Warlock first resurfaced in Silver Surfer, in Infinity Gauntlet, and multiple times in the Infinity Watch series. I get that every issue is someone's first and that this is technically the first issue of a series, but it's really overkill (and yes i'm bitter because Marvel has given up on footnotes to boot). You might think that since the recap is done from the perspective of the Soul Gem that we'd get a new perspective on things or get some new information...
...but it's largely just a normal dry retelling, right down to keeping the bearer of the Reality Gem a secret.
The Gem then tries to take over Darklore. Warlock was "one of the few" beings that retained their freewill while holding the gem, and the Gem doesn't think that Darklore will be as strong.
According to the little that the Soul Gem says of the other Infinity Gems, i would assume that they're all sentient. So you'd think that when they were combined as the Infinity Gauntlet, they'd really be able to control whoever was holding them. But Thanos and Nebula both had freewill as far as i know. So did previous bearers Gems (who, granted, were mostly Elders of the Universe and the like).
The Gem does seem to take possession of Darklore, but then Warlock wakes up and takes it back.
Meer'lyn and Darklore are currently on an Important Quest to overthrow a tyrant in another dimension, but Darklore agrees to send Warlock to his acquaintance, the mystery holder of the Reality Gem. However, when Darklore tries, they find that there is a rupture in the "very nature of reality itself". And that's where the issue ends.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Takes place after Infinity Crusade #1.
Crossover: Infinity Crusade
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
fnord, I'm afraid you have it backwards. Darklore is the mage, Meer'lyn is the fairy.
Posted by: Thanos6 | November 30, 2016 4:02 PM
Eh, whichever! Thanks Thanos6.
Posted by: fnord12 | November 30, 2016 4:07 PM
In regards to the status of the Infinity Gems - The Ultraverse stories attempt to explain the origin of the gems. I know Fnord won't be covering them. However, I loved all the stories involving the Avengers & Loki.
"Following the cancellation of the Infinity Watch series, the one-shot title Rune/Silver Surfer depicts the Gems being stolen by the extradimensional vampire Rune and dispersed throughout the Ultraverse. The Asgardian god Loki enters the Ultraverse and collects the Gems, also discovering the existence of a seventh Gem, "Ego". Loki learns that the lonely omnipotent suicide whose essence became the Gems was the gestalt being known as Nemesis. The Ego Gem, possessing the Avenger Sersi, merges with the other Gems to reform Nemesis and battles the Avengers and Ultraforce before being dissipated once again."
Posted by: clyde | November 30, 2016 4:34 PM
Also, for what it's worth, Darklore is apparently based on a character Starlin created in the 80's for Pacific Comics called Darklon the Mystic; Darklore looks like an older version of Darklon, and the Mystic Arcana handbook even gives Darklore the same backstory as Darklon, albeit without mentioning character or place names from the Pacific series.
Posted by: Thanos6 | November 30, 2016 4:45 PM
Darklon is a Warren character, actually. He had about a half dozen Starlin stories and a single non-Starlin story, all published in Eerie Magazine in the 1970s and early 1980s. Pacific Comics republished the Starlin stories by themselves later on. Starlin later revisited the character in 'Breed III.
Interestingly, "Darklore" is established by Starlin himself as the name of one of Darklon's ancestors. This Darklore is a _very_ obvious expy of Warren's Darklon.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | November 30, 2016 8:20 PM
Something about the seven Infinity Gems that many people overlook is that Nemesis, the being formed when all seven are together, is not and never was the GOD who committed suicide out of loneliness. Instead, Ultraforce/Avengers #1 specifically describes Nemesis as being an "operating system" that was never meant to function without another entity controlling it. So, the seven Infinity Gems combined don't form GOD, only Nemesis. This is an important distinction but I suppose it really doesn't matter since neither Nemesis nor any of the Infinity Gems are likely to ever appear again.
Posted by: Don Campbell | December 1, 2016 2:24 AM
I haven't read any of the Ultraverse comics, but that origin story for the Gems seems to have been retconned away by Jonathan Hickman. An important plot point in his New Avengers and Secret Wars is that each parallel universe has its own set of Infinity Gems (though in some of them they take a different form than gems), and they only work in their own parent universe, outside of it they're useless. So Gems that originate in the Ultraverse wouldn't work in the 616 universe, and vice versa.
And I'm sure the Gems will reappear in the comics soon enough. Their increasing prominence in the Marvel movies will probably tempt the comic writers to use them, so by the time Avengers 3 (aka Infinity Gauntlet: The Movie) hits the screens, I'd be suprised if the Gems weren't back in business.
Posted by: Tuomas | December 1, 2016 4:33 AM
The Infinity Gems only working in the 616 universe was a Kurt Busiek idea from JLA/Avengers, from a great scene where Darkseid gets the Infinity Gauntlet only to realize that the gems don't work in the DC Universe.
JLA/Avengers ended up being canon to DC because of a JLA story that came out after it (or at least it was canon until the New 52 reboot), but I'm not sure what the consensus is regarding whether or not it's canon to Marvel.
Posted by: Red Comet | December 1, 2016 10:53 AM
Annoyingly, Warlock Chronicles was never translated in Dutch. So I always figured the purple hand that grabbed Warlock in Infinity Crusade #1 was Thanos.
Posted by: Berend | December 1, 2016 11:43 AM
The Infinity Gems that were in the Ultraverse were mostly brought there by Rune from Marvel Reality-616. The seventh gem, the Ego Gem, was found in the Ultraverse where it had been for millennia (of more) and it was implied (but never explicitly stated) that it had been brought to the Ultraverse in order to keep it separate from the other six Infinity Gems. And all of the Infinity Gems did function in the Ultraverse. Maybe the reason why the Infinity Gems don't work in alternate Marvel realities is if those realities already have their own sets of Infinity Gems? If so, then the fact that the Ultraverse was (retroactively) a Marvel reality without its own set would be why the 616 set worked there.
As for the Infinity Gems reappearing in the reborn Marvel (Comics) Multiverse, I don't know how likely that is. Jonathan Hickman had six of them destroyed, presumably to demonstrate how momentous his end-of-the-multiverse storyline was and I'm not sure how any writer could explain that away.
Posted by: Don Campbell | December 1, 2016 7:48 PM
Couldn't they have been recreated along with everything else when Franklin and the Molecule Man were making universes?
Posted by: Thanos6 | December 1, 2016 8:29 PM
Would this work better just prior to Infinity Crusade #2? Infinity Watch and Thunderstrike take place at the same time as IC#1, while this starts a few hours after Warlock was zapped and has no direct point of crossover.
Posted by: Benway | December 1, 2016 9:39 PM
@Thanos6: I suppose that would depend on what point in Reality-616's history Franklin and the Molecule Man chose as to where they would recreate that reality. As I recall, the Infinity Gems shattered quite some time before the Final Incursion and I don't know if it has ever been revealed how much the people of the Prime Earth remember of the last eight months on Earth-616 before the end. So, if nobody remembers any of the incursions, then maybe the Infinity Gems were never destroyed but if more than a few incursions are remembered then the gems would have been destroyed by then and probably would not have been recreated.
Posted by: Don Campbell | December 2, 2016 5:33 AM
@Don Campbell- Maria Hill justified the Kobik mess by pointing to the incursions and Scott Lang remembered sleeping with Tombstone's daughter when he thought the world would end, so presumably the Earth was recreated at a point after the gems were destroyed.
Posted by: Michael | December 2, 2016 7:38 AM
But Franklin also brought back all the people who had died before the final incursion, like Nightmask and Starbrand. So even if people remember the incursions, it seems that materially the 616 universe was rebooted as it was before the incursions began. So there's no reason why the Gems wouldn't have been brought back too.
Posted by: Tuomas | December 2, 2016 10:55 AM
@Benway, Warlock is found by the purple hand in the middle of Infinity Crusade #1, before the Goddess brings all of her recruits together. That scene is repeated at the beginning of this issue. So seems like this takes place during Infinity Crusade #1 same as the others.
I generally try to not drive myself crazy trying to fine tune the placement of the tie-ins, because they are all happening roughly at the same time. Unless there's a direct dependency or reference the placement of the tie-ins is kind of random.
Posted by: fnord12 | December 2, 2016 10:59 AM
Wandering pretty far off topic regarding the present day fate of the Infinity Gems, guys.
Posted by: fnord12 | December 2, 2016 11:08 AM
Fnord - Would you be able to move the comments to the forum & we can continue the discussion there? I'm interested in all aspects of the Infinity Gems - past, present, & future.
Posted by: clyde | December 2, 2016 11:34 AM
Just feel free to continue it there. The conversation starts off more or less relevant until it was getting into an extended back and forth on the post reboot stuff, so i just didn't want it to keep going and drown out discussion that's actually about this issue.
Posted by: fnord12 | December 2, 2016 11:41 AM
Interesting to see the Soul Gem talking again for the first time since the 70s! As for the possession angle, I guess it takes time for the gem to take somebody over, but even so I think it may have influenced Thanos and Nebula without them realising in order to get Warlock back out there and wearing it again. When the Silver Surfer and Drax confronted Thanos when he had the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos could have destroyed them easily and in any number of ways, but instead zapped them into the Soul Gem, allowing them to tell Warlock what was going on. The Soul Gem benefitted more than Thanos did.
I don't think the other gems are sentient. It seems to me that if the gems are one being split into six parts, then the Soul Gem is where it's soul is housed and is the only sentient part. The Mind Gem might have the capacity to think, but no animation or self-interest; more like a computer.
I haven't read later revisions by other writers, but do enjoy thinking about what Starlin was intending with this issue.
Posted by: Benway | December 8, 2016 1:04 PM
fnord, my apologies if you've addressed this before, but given that the Soul Gem can talk, has a personality, etc., should it get its own tag?
Posted by: Thanos6 | December 8, 2016 1:58 PM
I was going to question Benway's comment that the other gems aren't sentient by pointing to the "forced us to adopt host bodies through which to act" which seems to imply that maybe they all are. But since Thanos6 is right that i should be tracking the Soul Gem if it is sentient, i've suddenly found myself vigorously agreeing with Benway so that i don't have to track all the other gems. ;-)
I've tagged what i think are all the Soul Gem appearances where Warlock or Thanos was holding it. But i could use some help with the period where Warlock was dead. The point of confusion is that the Gardener is said to have stolen the gem from Warlock's grave in Hulk #248, but the Gardner has the Time Gem in Thanos Quest (In-Betweener has the Soul Gem). The Supreme Intelligence seems to have the actual Soul Gem during the early part of Englehart's Silver Surfer run (beginning with issue #7?). So did Gardener never have the actual Soul Gem? Did he swap with Supremor at some point? And then the In-Between wound up with it after Silver Surfer #15-18?
Posted by: fnord12 | December 8, 2016 4:47 PM
I just take it that it uses plural to refer to itself after being split as it is in bits, but that only one bit is the soul. My interpretation. And it's less work to just track the one confirmed sentient gem! ;)
I can't help on your question, as I have big gaps, though I'd be interested if anyone else can help.
Posted by: Benway | December 8, 2016 6:09 PM
Misformatted my closing bold tag, but it looks like you guessed what i was saying, Benway! Fixed it.
Posted by: fnord12 | December 8, 2016 6:23 PM
Comments are now closed.
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