Who Is Adam Warlock, and Why Is He Important in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 3’ and the MCU?

'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3' has just introduced one of Marvel's strongest characters of the comics, Adam Warlock.

Isabel Cara

The third and last, installment of Guardians of the Galaxy is finally here, and with it the debut of an important character that is already causing doubts and expectations, especially because of the actor who will play him: Will Poulter. But who is Adam Warlock and why is he important in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3? Here is everything you need to know so you don’t arrive at the premiere without a clue.

Who Is Adam Warlock?

Adam Warlock is a superhero who has been part of Marvel Comics since 1967 after being integrated into the Fantastic Four comics, in issues 66 and 67, by the ingenuity of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, according to information from IGN. However, in his beginnings he did not have a defined name, and was simply referred to as “He;” it was with writers Roy Thomas and Jim Starlin that he obtained his identity and origin, who found his inspiration in the musical Jesus Christ Superstar, so they presented Adam Warlock as a messianic savior.

Marvel’s site tells us that Adam Warlock was premeditatedly designed to be the perfect hero, with superhuman strength and cosmic powers that would make him the great protector of the universe to save it from aliens… and internal dark forces. A group of scientists from Earth, who called themselves The Enclave, was responsible for the development of Warlock and his abilities, as well as for the creation of an army of invincible and powerful humans (very similar to what happened with Captain America if we remember his first movie).

Adam warlock comics mcu story1 - who is adam warlock, and why is he important in 'guardians of the galaxy 3' and the mcu?

However, during his creation, Warlock realized that his creators wanted to use him and his companions as weapons of world domination, so he decided to rebel and escape from Earth because he did not consider it ready for someone with his power and complexity.

One of the most important characteristics of Adam Warlock is his ability to be reborn after a certain period. In the comics, he’s been able to resurrect several times after being part of great battles, such as the one he fought against a creature known as Man-Beast on a planet known as Counter-Earth, where, precisely, he earned his name Warlock from a human geneticist (known as the High Evolutionary), as well as his nickname Adam, from the society he saved. Both Counter-Earth and the High Evolutionary are also making their debut in this new Guardians of the Galaxy installment.

Each time he was reborn, Warlock gained even greater cosmic power, which he managed to magnify when the High Evolutionary provided him with one of the Infinity Stones (that’s right, the ones Thanos used to wipe out half the galaxy’s population): the Soul Stone. In fact, according to the comics, Adam Warlock should’ve appeared much earlier in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as he was one of the main aids against Thanos and the chaos he unleashed with the Infinity Gauntlet. In the comics, he and some of his friends, including members of the Guardians of the Galaxy such as Gamora and Drax the Destroyer, are the ones who protect the Gauntlet and the Gems to prevent another villain from taking over their power.

Adam warlock comics mcu story2 - who is adam warlock, and why is he important in 'guardians of the galaxy 3' and the mcu?

What Are Adam Warlock’s Powers?

To begin with, and because of the way he was developed by The Enclave, Adam Warlock possesses basic superhuman abilities, such as super strength, super speed, endurance, and flight powers, as well as the ability to absorb and channel cosmic energy and convert it into something he calls “quantum magic.” His regenerative powers (or resurrection, as mentioned before) are also part of his abilities; for this, his body is encased in a cocoon inside which his wounds are healed, and his strength is recovered.

Thanks to the Soul Stone, Warlock can absorb the soul of other creatures, although this power has not been used for good by all versions of the character in the Multiverse. In fact, in other alternate versions, Warlock goes crazy and gets a new personality and name: Magus. His strength allowed him to occupy all six Infinity Stones after the events of the comic book series The Infinity Gauntlet, released in 1991, proving that he is indeed one of the most powerful Marvel Universe creatures in existence.

Adam warlock comics mcu story4 - who is adam warlock, and why is he important in 'guardians of the galaxy 3' and the mcu?

Who Are Adam Warlock’s Main Friends and Rivals?

Adam Warlock’s crusades in the Marvel Universe have been extensive, so it is not surprising that he has met many of the best heroes and worst villains that have appeared in these comics, in addition to the Guardians of the Galaxy and Thanos himself. His main archenemy is, without a doubt, the Man-Beast, which is a wolf genetically altered to have a humanoid form and who was the first to finish him off in a public execution. This creature ceased to exist sometime later because Warlock used the power of the Soul Stone to turn him into a wolf, although the change was only temporary. After all, the Man-Beast managed to return sometime later to become an enemy of Spider-Man and Thor.

Magus, his evil counterpart from another dimension, is also one of his main enemies; he meets him through one of his cosmic journeys when he encounters the Universal Church of Truth, which Magus ruled after altering his own timeline. With Thanos himself, Warlock has had a very “love and hate” relationship, as although they are generally on opposite sides, there have been times when they have decided to work together to face even greater threats; however, Thanos is also responsible for one of Warlock’s first deaths, something this character has never forgotten.

On the allies’ side, the character struck up a good friendship with several of the Avengers, including the Hulk, Spider-Man, Mar-Vell, Silver Surfer, and Doctor Strange, whom he met in various crusades and epic moments. However, his main friends will always be the Guardians of the Galaxy, especially Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, and two other characters who have only appeared in the comics: Pip the Troll and Moondragon; later, after the events of The Infinity Gauntlet, he would also become friends with Star-Lord, Groot, Rocket, and Quasar.

Adam warlock comics mcu story3 - who is adam warlock, and why is he important in 'guardians of the galaxy 3' and the mcu?

Why Is Adam Warlock Important in Guardians of the Galaxy 3?

As we have already seen, the story of this character is closely related to that of the Guardians of the Galaxy. He is introduced similarly as happened with the character of Namor in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, that is: he is introduced as an enemy of the Guardians before he becomes their ally. In fact, some comics support this “evil” inclusion of Warlock in the story of the Guardians, this character being one of their worst nightmares for several volumes.

The only thing that is known for sure is that actor Will Poulter is perfect to give life to this character from now on. His charisma matches perfectly with the tone of the Guardians‘ saga and he looks quite similar to his comics iteration with his characteristic golden skin and, apparently, the Soul Stone embedded in his forehead (although we still don’t know if it’s the Soul Stone we already saw in Avengers).

Although phases 4 and 5 haven’t settled on an overall huge story, we’ve seen some characters that make sense to connect with Adam Warlock, such as Pip and Eros (aka Starfox, aka Harry Styles) introduced in Eternals. As a matter of fact, in the comics, Starfox’s place of death is Knowhere, home of the new Guardians of the Galaxy. So, it’s likely we’ll get to enjoy the great Will Poulter as Adam Warlock in the upcoming MCU projects.

Story originally published in Spanish in Cultura Colectiva