How Guardians of the Galaxy 3 Sets Up an Adam Warlock Marvel Movie

Does anyone still working at Marvel Studios have a personal passion for Adam Warlock, the big golden guy played by Will Poulter in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3? There aren’t many signs of them doing so yet — and that will be an important question for the character’s future.

While Guardian 3 finally brought Adam Warlock — Messiah, Avatar of Life, head of the Universal Axiom Church — to the screen after numerous teasers (in Firstly And Second Guardians movie), James Gunn is the only Marvel director to show interest in the character to date. With Gunn’s move help run DC’s superhero movie projectleft behind his Guardians series and end of story in the original lineup, his entire cast of characters is now capable of being drawn. That means someone else will have to decide who will be the focal point of any future Marvel Cinematic Universe story featuring the Guardians, and it’s up to Adam Warlock to be cast. into them. It makes Chap 3Marvel’s approach to the character seems like a smart, well-calculated play.

From humor to universe

Adam Warlock (played by Will Poulter), a yellow humanoid with yellow and red armor and a red cape, strides through a building in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.  3

Photo: Jessica Miglio/Marvel Studios

The film introduces the young and unhappy Adam Warlock, primarily as a comic book character. (That doesn’t really make him stand out from the rest of the Guardians.) He’s literally unfinished: We’re told that the film’s villain, highly evolved (Chukwudi Iwuji), brought Adam out of his creative cocoon “too early”, making him malleable and a bit childish. Adam has almost Superman-level strength: He can fly, he doesn’t need any kind of special equipment to survive comfortably in the vacuum of space, he’s incredibly strong and fast, and despite Although he is clearly not invulnerable, he seems to have recovered very well. fast. But in this first appearance, he’s a jerk, naive and easily led.

The events of the film begin to take Adam out of that direction, but with so many other central characters better established, getting the backstories and rewards of previous installments, Chap 3 There is not much time for him. He gets the quick shorthand equivalent of a standard traumatic superhero origin story, and then he’s done. This puts him in a place where Marvel Studios can continue to develop him into the kind of top-notch hero he has become in the comics—or we may never see him again. Gunn and Marvel seem to be leaving those options open entirely.

For fans of the golden-skinned cosmic wanderer, a Silver Age Marvel character created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1967, it will be interesting to see how the MCU establishes potential elements. lead to a story starring Adam Warlock. lines, without actually committing to anything in particular. And that’s likely because there will be a lot of complicated decisions involved in turning any character’s comic book adventure into a blockbuster, the way Marvel Studios usually does with legacy characters. his long life.

Is Adam Warlock a Villain?

Adam Warlock, Gamora, Drax, and Thanos discuss how they must work together, and Drax will smash Thanos later in Infinity War #2 (1992).

Image: Jim Starlin, Ron Lim/Marvel Comics

Adam Warlock started out on the villain team in Guardian 3, but he’s got a long history as a Marvel hero. Sometimes he collaborates with Guardians of the Galaxy, sometimes with other characters. (He had a long relationship with Hulk in the 1970s, when Hulk went to space.) More often, he works with his own team of astronauts. He’s had lots of little adventures, like fighting pirates in space or High Evolutionary’s Genetically Modified Wolf Creature Man-Beast. But many of his biggest arcs involve his arch nemesis Thanos, and trying to keep the Infinity Stones away from him, or working with him to keep the Infinity Stones safe. from other powers.

A longtime nemesis of Adam Warlock and an opposing theme, Thanos is one of the villains that has given the hero the most purpose in the Marvel franchise. Comics legend Jim Starlin, who created Thanos, was also one of Adam Warlock’s biggest supporters and developers during his early years, along with Marvel writer and editor Roy Thomas . In their comics, Thanos is obsessed with (and entangled in a romance with) Death, while Adam Warlock represents life, and the two are often at odds — except in the stories where they’re in conflict. must work together to save the universe.

It’s hard to imagine that the MCU will bring back Thanos or the Infinity Stones, though that’s easy enough in the franchise’s current time-jumping, multiverse exploration environment to pull in another Thanos. into the plot, and the Infinity Stones are theirs. eternal nature. But they’re both a central part of the MCU’s most fan-favorite storylines, so a return to that well would risk undercutting the MCU’s most popular and successful plot — and it looks like Marvel ran out of ideas.

Adam Warlock’s Other Biggest Adventures Involved In Entanglement Universal Church of Truth, a galactic organization originally focused on worshiping its other arch-villain, Magus — and destroying planets that refuse to obey. And exploiting those storylines will lead to their own major problems when it comes to the story of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Should Marvel Take Religion?

Adam Warlock trembles with pain on a flaming cross-shaped platform surrounded by cosmic energy in Incredible Hulk #177 (1974).

Then there is a story where Adam died on the cross and rose again after…
Image: Gerry Conway, Herb Trimpe/Marvel Comics

With the MCU heading towards a larger, messier, more cosmic direction with Stage Five and Six, it’s an open question whether Marvel Studios wants to move away from the kind of at least slightly socially relevant plot that appears in the Captain America movies, around the current political debates about war. drone warfare, government surveillance of civilians, and foreign adventurism. Given America’s current political divide over faith-based politics, there’s certainly a lot of potential involved in Adam Warlock’s plot, which often revolves around belief and religion, both overt and metaphorical. . (In one of his first major arcs, the Senior Evolutionary sent Adam to Earth to try to bring the populace back to moral and ethical life—and he was crucified, after that revived.) But Marvel also has every reason to avoid commentary or topic religion as much as possible, and to let Adam Warlock focus on fighting oppressive churches and fanatical believers.

That’s not necessarily an issue. Like any MCU version of a Marvel character, Adam Warlock has been significantly updated and changed for the screen — in Guardian 3His origin and creator has changed as much as his personality.

Also, the stone on his forehead seems to be purely a decoration in the MCU. In the comics, it’s one of the Infinity Stones – Soul Gems, which gives him the power to suck the souls of his enemies, making them a part of him forever. It’s possible the whole idea was scrapped in the post-Infinity Saga MCU – if nothing else, it could make him feel too much like Vision, who also has the Infinity Stone on his forehead.

And while Adam Warlock’s future in the MCU seems unlikely, the way Marvel releases or introduces some of his longtime teammates suggests that someone in the company wants him to have a future in the MCU. The end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 specifically frees up some of the character’s traditional partners, while also giving him his first forays into their relationships – but again, without any of the usual Marvel teasing that everything was actually planned or scheduled.

[Ed. note: Some very broad end spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 ahead.]

How the MCU Sets Up a Movie About Adam Warlock

Adam Warlock tells Gamora and the troll Pip how happy he is to be saved from Thanos and transported into the peaceful world inside the Soul Gem in Marvel Two-in-One Annual #2 (1976).

Image: Jim Starlin, Joe Rubinstein/Marvel Comics

Like so many long-standing Marvel heroes, the comic book version of Adam Warlock has had various teammates over the years, but his core circle includes a few Guardians of the original flavor of the MCU: The Destroyer Drax and Gamora. Both ended loosely in the finale of Chap 3, with Drax looking as if he needs some direction and a new set of buds, and Gamora at peace with her Ravager friends, but clearly free to roam the galaxy and do whatever no nonsense she wants. Another longtime Adam Warlock companion, Pip the Troll, was recently introduced to the MCU in a Eternals . post-production. Even the end of Gamora’s relationship with Peter Quill could have been part of that setup, as she ended up becoming Adam Warlock’s lover.

Another longtime ally of the character, Moondragon, has never appeared in the MCU — but classically, she’s romantically linked to Mantis, who ends Guardian Vol. 3 by going into space to find herself and decide what she wants as a person. (This sounds like an open invitation to a romantic arc if Disney doesn’t.) upset about same-sex relationships of any kind.) Moondragon is also the daughter of Drax in comic book chronology, though that happens through a lot of twists and turns that aren’t part of the MCU — at least not yet.

We can assume any return to the screen by Adam Warlock will change him quite a bit from the figure of Christ, who died multiple times to save entire planets in the Marvel Comics continuum, then revived many times. Regardless of his MCU future, it will need a creator like Gunn, someone who is more willing to back Adam Warlock out of an interest in the character’s Marvel history and who has a visionary that makes sense for him. his place in the MCU. Or will it require remarkable fan enthusiasm for Adam, which seems unlikely, given how minimalist his personality and sub-plot is on this first outing. . In a series as colorful and complex as the Guardian movies, adding a super guy trying to figure out who he wants to be and who he wants to be with doesn’t exactly cross the scale in one way. Exactly.

For now, it seems Marvel is being careful with Adam Warlock – smart not to invest significant resources in a character tied to the space adventure genre which is mostly a spin-off of the adventures. save Earth as the center of the MCU, but don’t write about him completely off either. His Chap 3 arc, going from a childish, easily led servant, always seeking the approval of the highly evolved One to Guardian of the Galaxy, mirroring the story of Rocket Raccoon, without any level of detail. or any similar emotional commitment. But it’s a full arc that leaves him with a finished story—or leaves him poised to take center stage in a future Marvel Phase. Almost all the pieces for an Adam Warlock story are on the board. It remains to be seen whether anyone is invested enough to pick them up.


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