Warlock Chronicles #3
Issue(s): Warlock Chronicles #3
In return, Mephisto tells them that the Cosmic Containment Units that the Goddess has are all actually sentient. We've known that the Cosmic Cube eventually became sentient (e.g. Kubik) but it was thought that the Cosmic Units lost their sentience when in that form. Instead, Mephisto says that they are actually "pre-sentient".
Further, the Units are generally thought to be less powerful than the Infinity Gems (when combined). Their supposed limitation is that they are unable to affect souls. However, Mephisto says that the Cosmic Units really can affect souls; it's just that they retain enough sentience while in their Unit form and choose not to affect souls. This restriction could be overcome by force of will. So this seems to be the Goddess' plan: to get billions of followers to overwhelm the (pre-)sentience of the Containment Units.
But they still don't know for what purpose. So Warlock returns to Monster Island and his Eternity Orb to try again to get information from Eternity. He finds Eternity engaged in an activity with Infinity that i'm not sure we should be seeing in a Code book.
It's been noted that Starlin seems to go out of his way to reduce or eliminate Quasar's role in these Infinity crossovers. But he does seem to embrace Infinity, who was originally introduced in Quasar and came with a qualifier in Quasar #26 that she was not (or did not seem to be) related to the Infinity of the Infinity Gems. The line in Quasar #26 made it seem like Gruenwald was (belatedly) trying to be careful about stepping on Starlin's toes, but Starlin's subsequent use of the character suggests that he didn't think that was necessary.
Anyway, Warlock doesn't just sheepishly back out of the room. He persists in asking Eternity about the Goddess, even though Eternity has already told him that he wasn't concerned about her.
They kick Warlock back to Earth, but something in the conversation may have given him an idea. He returns to Thanos, gives Thanos the Soul Gem, and causes the gem to absorb Warlock's soul.
In the process, Thanos learns Warlock's plan as well.
I said at the beginning of this event that the Warlock books contained things a little more core to the story. This is the prime example. It's here that we see Thanos accepting Mephisto's bargain. It's here that we learn about the Cosmic Containment Units. It's here that Warlock gives Thanos the Soul Gem and gets sucked into the Soul World. Unlike a lot of other events in tie-ins, none of this will be repeated in the core Infinity Crusade books. They'll fill you in, and you can still follow the main series without this, but if you want to see exactly what happened you need to read this. It's the most crucial of the tie-ins. There's still a very good argument to be made that the core Infinity Crusade series should have been given more purpose and filled in with the information here and that the vast, vast majority of the tie-ins should have been ditched altogether. But in terms of going with what was actually published, if you're feeling inclined to read Infinity Crusade without wading into the tie-ins, you may still want to pick up this one. Add in Tom Raney's art and you've got some nice cosmic stuff, and while it's mainly a talky issue, there are some fun threats exchanged between Mephisto and Warlock.
Last issue we saw Mephisto switching between his John Romita Jr. form and his more classic John Buscema form. In this issue he uses both of those forms again (although his JRJR version is smaller than usual) and he uses a couple of other forms, including Tim Curry in Legend (as Tuomas notes in the comments, this was previously seen in Silver Surfer/Warlock: Resurrection, and actually he appeared this way in Ghost Rider #19 too)...
...and this multi-eyed ogre thing.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Takes place between Infinity Crusade #3-4. Warlock will be seen in the Soul World in Warlock and the Infinity Watch #20, so that takes place after this.
Crossover: Infinity Crusade
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Given what the Goddess's plan is eventually revealed to be, I've never understood how Eternity and Infinity could dismiss it as no concern of theirs.
Posted by: Thanos6 | December 6, 2016 4:56 PM
I missed this issue in real time and will try to get it. I was avoiding all tie-ins because they usually sucked. Thanks fnord.
Posted by: Grom | December 6, 2016 7:03 PM
Mephisto's Tim Curry form seems to be the same as the "boss form" you mentioned in your review of "Silver Surfer/Warlock: Resurrection".
Posted by: Tuomas | December 7, 2016 4:05 AM
On the last page of Silver Surfer #83 Thanos is wearing the soul gem (and has a weird squashed head, but that's beside the point) and he gets the soul gem in this issue, so perhaps this one should go before that one?
Posted by: Benway | December 7, 2016 5:51 AM
Agree, Benway. I should have placed that issue based on where it ended, but i got tempted by the fact that the majority of it expands on a scene from Infinity Crusade #3.
Thanks for reminding me of the previous appearance of that form, Tuomas. For what it's worth, we also saw it in Ghost Rider #19.
Posted by: fnord12 | December 7, 2016 9:36 AM
I love this art! Like Grom, I will pick this up if I see it. That infinite-loop panel manages to emulate classic "cosmic" style without being straight-up pastiche.
Posted by: cullen | December 7, 2016 8:52 PM
I never thought a concept like Infinity could be this sexy.
Posted by: Multiple Manu | December 23, 2017 2:10 PM
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