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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Adam Warlock Key Comic Books Part 2

Welcome to Part 3 of this Adam Warlock key comic books series. If you missed Part 2, just click the link to check that out.

So, we got some key issue changes that Overstreet has recently noted for a certain Guardians of the Galaxy member. We also have one that could be in danger of a future 1st appearance change as well concerning a certain Warlock villain.

Here's a hint: Often times, we are our own worst enemy. I think you know who I'm talking about after that. So, let's get to it, shall we?

Origin of Adam Warlock continues
1st issue to 1st self-titled series

1st self-titled series or solo series in that regard. This issue here continues the origin story of Adam Warlock from Marvel Premiere #1 and #2.

That's probably why CGC and Overstreet also note it as an "Origin" for the character, but it is confusing if you don't really know the character. As we should know, HIM is the 1st incarnation of this character. Adam Warlock is the 2nd incarnation.

There are other times this character goes through incarnations, but I think that's just being overtly analytical. And that's fine, but I think the next major incarnation of significance is when he becomes Magus or meets him. Just my opinion though, and we'll get to Magus purty soon.

So in this issue, the High Evolutionary contemplates whether or not to destroy Counter-Earth, but Adam Warlock convinces the dude not to. Warlock is returned to Counter-Earth where he meets the Man-Beast disguised as the Prophet.

Man-Beast tells Warlock that he will destroy him unless our hero allies himself with the Man-Beastie.
This is the 1st issue to Adam Warlock's very first headlining solo comic.

It does not do that great and is briefly cancelled after issue #8 in 1973. Only when Jim Starlin takes up the character of Adam Warlock in Strange Tales #178, is the character brought back to life.

Starlin's revival and contribution is instrumental in the character's development and eventual popularity. He introduced supporting characters such as Pip the Troll, Gamora, Magus, and would, of course, eventually bring his big bad Thanos into the mix and forever link the two together in the world of cosmic comics.

He isn't hailed as the "Cosmic King of Comics" without a reason. However, he did not write this issue nor any until issue #9. The Power of Warlock or simply known as Warlock #1 has the cover date of August, 1972.

1st appearance of Magus
1st Universal Church of Truth
Warlock begins in title
Magus Saga begins

Don't know the Magus? Well, Magus is the future self of Adam Warlock gone wrong. Hey, with all that power, can  you really blame the guy for going nutzo?

Actually, Lord Chaos and Master Order decided to get the In-Betweener to whisk Adam Warlock away when Chaos and Order sought a need to challenge Thanos as The Champion of Death with A Champion of Life.

Chaos and Order then bombarded Warlock with the simple truth of there's no good or evil but just the struggle between life and death. When Warlock finally gave into the ideal, he went insane.

That tale isn't told in this issue of Strange Tales #178 just to be clear. Just giving you some back info on the dude.

Right now this is considered the 1st appearance of Magus, but in truth, he only shows up as a floating face in this issue quite a bit. Apparently that counts.

Magus will show up fully in the next key issues that follow this listing, and it has to do with the character of Gamora.

This issues also has the 1st appearance of the Universal Church of Truth. This star spanning religious empire was headed by Magus, and he was also the Church's object of worship as well. Rightfully, so! February, 1975 is the cover date of Strange Tales #178.

1st appearance of Pip the Troll
Soul Gem claims soul for 1st time

Pip the Troll. Anyone who read the Infinity Gauntlet in the early 90s remembers Pip the Troll. That's the title where I was first introduced to Adam Warlock and Pip.

Actually and obviously, Pip the Troll has been a very long time supporting character for Adam Warlock, and he makes his first appearance in this issue of Strange Tales #179. Another creation of Jim Starlin, Pip the Troll is the comic relief side kick of sorts.

Once a prince from the planet Laxidazia, Pip Gofern was mutated into his present form after a night of drinking with Laxidazian trolls. Trolls were considered a degenerate and lowlife species on his planet, and it seemed the booze was enchanted.

Pip was exiled, but he would meet Adam Warlock and become his ally against the Magus. Later, Pip would become a loyal member of the Infinity Watch.

Strange Tales #179 sees the Soul Gem claim its 1st soul, and that poor fella was Autolycus, leader of the Black Knights and also a member of the Universal Church of Truth. 

In terms of 2nd appearance of Magus? The comic retells Adam's encounter with Magus in issue #178.

Strange Tales #178 just has some astral projection or spiritual form of Magus's face or head floating in space in front of Adam Warlock. Sure the head of Magus is shown in 2 panels in this issue, but I don't think that's enough to keep it safe as a 2nd appearance in current standards.

This comic has the cover date of April, 1975.

1st brief or cameo appearance Gamora?
Intro Gamora

Before, this was considered the 1st appearance of Gamora, but I think it might be changed soon. Gamora shows up in 5 panels in this issue so it might be changed to cameo or brief appearance. Other 1st cameos or brief appearances have about 5 or 6 panels as well.

Right now Overstreet is still noting it as "Intro Gamora" and hasn't really deviated from that. CGC and CBCS are still noting this comic as the 1st appearance of Gamora.

This is just to let you guys know of the 1st appearance situation concerning the character of Gamora. The very next listing in this series has recently changed it's notation in the newest Overstreet.

Gamora isn't named in this issue and Strange Tales #180 has the cover date of June, 1975.

1st full appearance of Gamora
1st meeting of Warlock & Magus

If you haven't yet noticed in the new Overstreet, they are now noting Strange Tales #181 as the 1st full appearance of Gamora. It's not Warlock #9 like some eBay listings are now toting.

CGC and CBCS are not noting the change just yet, but I think they might cave in soon as well. I have this issue in the 2nd appearances list, so I'll need to delete or make corrections to this issue that's featured there.

So far this new change hasn't quite taken off yet, so this issue is still being over-looked in the market. Personally, I think it sucks.

Appearances instability in this comic market is gonna end up pissing more people off than making them happy. Another reason why I think collectors are going to eventually end up getting frustrated in the long run. Well, I should say near future.

Gamora is named in this issue and has been long connected to Adam Warlock as a supporting character for him. As we all know by now, she is played by the lovely Zoe Saldana in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie franchise and was created by Jim Starlin.

Although some sources say that the real first face to face meeting between Adam Warlock & Magnus is in Warlock #9, I think the pair first meet each other near the end of this issue right here. I've included an image of the panel in which this happens in issue #181, so you guys can see for yourself.

Not really saying it's all that a big deal or anything. Well, it isn't to me, but for some, it just might be. We aren't called comic fanatics without a reason, right? Strange tales #181 has the cover date of August, 1975 and this one may be one to consider snagging in high grades really, really soon.

Origin of Magus
1st full appearance of Magus?
Comic series resumes again
1st Adam Warlock & Magus battle

I put a question mark next to 1st full appearance of Magus, because I have no clue what the future certainty is concerning his 1st appearance in Strange Tales #178. He is shown as a floating face in that issue after #178. The issues after #178 are cameos until this issue.

This issue may be considered his 1st full appearance in the very near future. Of course, I have no power over this, and Overstreet or CGC just might disregard a 1st full for this issue also.

I'm just saying what's a possibility of the future for this over-looked key since it is happening to Gamora. It may not be over-looked or under-valued for long. Hey, I'm just giving you the heads up, and who knows?

Regardless, this issue has the origin of Magus which should be a Magus key to consider anyways.

Also, this is when the 1st Adam Warlock solo series is revived by the master, Jim Starlin. It was canceled in 1973 with issue #8.  For even more key issue goodness, Warlock #9 has the very first face to face battle between Magus and Adam Warlock.

On a side note here, I think this issue may also be considered the 2nd appearance of Gamora pretty soon since things are beginning to change for that character's 1st appearance. So, definitely an Adam Warlock key issue to consider snagging.

Warlock #9 has the cover date of  October, 1975, and the story contained in this issue is continued from Strange Tales #181.

Alright, there you have a 1st full appearance change that recently just happened in the market for Gamora and others that, perhaps, has a good chance of changing for the character of Magus in the near future. He makes what would appear as spiritual form appearances from Strange Tales #178 through #180.

He does finally show up in the flesh in Warlock #9 though. Warlock #10 is when we see the character fully.

I'm not one of those fans in some comic forum making a huge deal about what should be a 1st appearance or not. Like anyone has come up with a standard for what constitutes a 1st appearance in comics.

Anyways, we got a few more left so click the PART 3 link to continue onward.


  1. Hey TCM,

    I can only confirm the Gamora thing. I was really disappointed with her brief appearance in ST 180 so I immediately tracked down the following issue. As a matter of fact I had this experience quite a lot in comics. Mantis of the Avengers is a fine example as is the Taskmaster. They only appear in one panel in their first appearance and basically thats not the real deal. Still, people hang these comics in the sky. Beats me.

    Max Rebo

    1. The appearances chaos in comics is getting boring and ridiculous in my opinion. Overstreet did a great job through the years, but they are human though.

      However, the real problem is trying to make up for mistakes and calling an issue a 1st brief or 1st cameo and first full app. When it comes to that, it's open season.

      Seriously, we have a guideline for grading but really none on what constitutes a 1st appearance vs. a full appearance vs a brief appearance or cameo. So you got challenges here and there.

      HAHAHA, and I get hate mail for supposedly ruining the values on some books? Crazy market we are in.

  2. hey TCM nice article and good to get to know more about warlock. I tried to send this from my phone but says it didn't go through if it did you can delete one of the three. getting ready for show in char this june which I hope you are as well. looking through my cgc collection wondering which you would hold on too for investment to put in vault and which you would sell
    avengers 1 1.5
    avengers 4 5.5
    first vision 6.5
    hulk 2 3.5 rest
    hulk 5 6.5
    hulk 102 9.4
    hulk 180 6.5
    hulk 181 5.5
    FF 52 6.5
    JIM 83 2.0
    JIM 85 3.0
    aSM 300 9.2
    first electra 9.4
    cap 100 7.5
    anyway was bored and all appreciate ur opinion hell you got me started on collecting

    1. Avengers 1 in 1.5? LOL! What does this comic look like? I know people still pay for this, but I wonder what is left of the paper... Out of that nice list I would only sell Avengers 4, Hulk 2 & 5, because I don' t consider them being big key books.


    2. Damn ace and avengers 4 is one of my favorite comic. Lol. JW

    3. Wow JW...tough call with that list. I'd be hard pressed to sell any of them. I do have concerns for a few issues though.

      Avengers #57 1st Vision is going down across the board currently. Demand may have just fizzled for the meantime, but I'd definitely keep an eye out on that one. Cap Civil War is coming soon so who knows if interest will pick up again for the Vision.

      Same with Black Panther as well. I'd keep an eye out for that one. As much as I love the Incredible Hulk #2 and the 1st Green Hulk appearance, the copy you have is a resto grade.

      I'd be hard pressed to sell it though to be honest. I do have that one...a resto grade as well...but lower but I have problems letting it go.

      I love Elektra and she will be in Daredevil Season 2 coming this year, but I'd be watching that one as well to see how it performs until and after then.

      Dang JW, some hard choices. I think Vision would be the only one I'd consider dumping soon since it is not performing too well at 6.5 grade. Well, to be honest, it's just hovering at around $200 zone now and peaked in the $300 zone close to and during movie release hype.

      Maybe the Incredible Hulk #2 3.5 resto grade also. Just my opinion...but with that list, it really boils down to which you're more a fan of in terms of keeping.

  3. This is exactly why I asked for your version on a key issue list for HIM. So much confusion out there on this series and it will only get worse, when or if warlock is announced to be in a movie. Much Thanx!!

    1. No worries Wayne. Yeah, a lot of debate about Adam Warlock since the character did evolve or was revamped several times. Hopefully, I can clear some things up, but I'll probably make things more confusing on some things as well. Tried my best though.

  4. Hey there Mayhem. Just a note to let you know that I recently picked up the new Overstreet Guide and was really dissapointed on some of the price in readers or lack thereof. Man your in depth research on issues of importance is in a different stratosphere than any thing Overstreet has to offer. You would think that with all their advisors making comments on what's being actually sold for way higher than guide price they would reflect it in the guide values. They don't seem to have their pulse on what's actually going on in the real world and are way behind on price fluctuations. Why can't they publish a quarterly magazine on new updated prices and current market trends similiar to their now defunct Overstreet companion. That was really useful. Thanks for your ear on my rant.