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The character Adam Warlock began as a gold-skinned being of immense power called only 'Him', created by four scientists seeking world domination, in Fantastic Four #66 & 67. 'He' later re-emerged in the pages of Marvel Premiere to stop the Man-Beast, who threatened to take over Counter-Earth, the alternate but peaceful world on the far side of the Sun created by a character called the High Evolutionary. Given a 'soul gem' of unknown power by the Evolutionary, the character was reborn as Adam Warlock, and the first eight issues of the comic Warlock were devoted to his battles on Counter-Earth. The book was cancelled at that point, and the storyline was concluded in The Incredible Hulk #181.

Then came Strange Tales #178 through 181. Artist/writer Jim Starlin, still hot from his run on Captain Marvel, put Warlock in the thick of all the cosmic strangeness by making him part of the larger storyline surrounding the Death-worshipping villain Thanos. The Warlock series started up again with issue #9, continuing the story, and Adam found himself fighting against an enemy called The Magus. This was a very well-received storyline, and with good reason. Starlin's art is crisp and cinematic, his figures almost balletic in their action poses; and the story itself was full of drama on a space-opera scale.

The comic at this time contained a lot of surprises and a great cast. The Magus turned out to be a future self - a dark version - of Adam Warlock; he found that he had been battling what he himself would become in time, and came to realize that he could not fully destroy the Magus without also killing himself. Warlock's sidekick Pip the Troll was immensely likeable, if roguish and downright Bacchanalian; Thanos was at his evil best, plotting the destruction of the entire galaxy as a gift to his beloved, Death.

The book would end four issues after the end of the Magus saga. Thanos would remain at large, however, and his destiny would be inextricably linked with Adam's. Warlock, Pip, and the lovely green-skinned Gamora, former slave of Thanos, would meet their end in Avengers Annual #7. You can't keep a good Warlock down, though; and the series's main characters would return in such books as Warlock and The Infinity Watch.

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