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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Adam Warlock Key Comic Issues Part 3

Alright, here we are at Part 3 to this Adam Warlock key comic issues series. This Part 2 link will bring ya back in case you missed it. Otherwise, here's the last batch of Adam Warlock keys.

Origin of Gamora and Thanos

Although some sources note that Warlock #9 is the 1st appearance of the In-betweener, he is only shown in a one panel cameo in that issue. In Warlock #10, the In-Betweener only shows up in a splash page of sorts and one panel in the story, "Enter the Redemption Principle".

So basically a cameo also, and that is the story that tells Gamora's origin and her ties to Thanos. What I did forget to note about the previous issue Warlock #9 is that issue begins the 2nd Thanos Saga, and I think it is the 1st time Warlock and Thanos meet.

Back to the key issue at hand, though. Warlock #10 reveals the origin of Gamora and Thanos and how they are connected to each other as I've already mentioned in a High Grade Alert a while back concerning this comic.

Thanos adopts Gamora and saves her while Magus destroys the rest of her people known in Marvel Comics as the Zen Whoberis. Because of this, Gamora has a burning hatred for Magus, whom Thanos also wanted to destroy.

Warlock #10 has the cover date of December, 1975.

1st full appearance of In-Betweener
Death of Magus

Since Warlock #9 and #10 only have cameos, this issue here should be considered the 1st full appearance of the In-Betweener. The character does show up quite often (15 panels, intro splash page, and total of five pages).

Once again, not sure if that guarantees a 1st full appearance, but he is prominent in the actual story. In-Betweener arrives to fulfill his plan of kidnapping Adam Warlock to turn him into the Champion of Life in this issue.

Of course, In-Betweener would also later end up driving Warlock mad and turning him into the Magus, in which that story is detailed in Warlock #9. However, Adam Warlock is determined to thwart these events from happening.

Adam Warlock and Thanos team up to fight the Magus in this issue. Warlock also struggles to change the events of him being taken by the In-Betweener and thus erasing Magus from existence.

Magus supposedly dies in this issue but we all about deaths in comic book. Warlock #11 has the cover date of February. 1976.

Last issue
Soul Gem reveals it is sentient

I debated about putting this one up on here, but it is somewhat important. Aside from this being the last issue to Adam Warlock's first solo and headlining comic series, Warlock #15 sees the Soul Gem speak to Adam for the first time.

This issue also has the Soul Gem reveal to our hero that it is just one of six. Dun-Dun-Dun!

So may not be a huge deal, or maybe it might be. Dunno, so I'll let you all decide for yourselves. Warlock #15 has the cover date of November, 1976.

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1st appearance of the Gardener
1st appearance of the Power Gem
1st appearance of Time Gem

When it comes to sources online, there's a lot of confusion about where the Infinity Gems first appeared. Even in the comics, it's still confusing because the Infinity Gems just didn't pop up as such in a single comic.

The whole gem mess actually evolved. Even the Soul Gem wasn't first named the Soul Gem. Actually, it wasn't named in it's 1st appearance in Marvel Premiere #1.

Only until Warlock #2 was the gem called a Soul-Jewel. Issue #4 refers to it as a gem but still calls the item a "Soul-Jewel". Pic below is from Warlock #2.

The first time this item is actually called the Soul Gem is when Starlin puts his stamp on the world of Adam Warlock, and that issue is Strange Tales #178. Even the 1st appearances of the other gems  are referred to as Soul Gems.

This issue here sees the first appearance of two other Soul Gems (known as Infinity Gems later). It's really not clear which one the stranger has pictured above. Some sources say it's the Reality Gem (yellow) and some say it's the Time Gem (orange). Some say it's the Power Gem.

So I don't exactly know about which gem the Stranger has in this issue. However, it is pretty clear that the Gardener has a red gem.

Although, some sources even say that the Gardener held the Time Gem in this issue but the thing looks pretty darned red to me. I don't know about you but that ain't no orange.

However, don't go by color when it comes to early appearances of the Infinity Gems in comics. They were changing all the time.
We know that the Gardner had the Time Gem in this comic, because of two important comics. One is Avengers Annual #7.

Let's take a gander at the panel in Avengers Annual #7 concerning the Infinity Gems.

The panels show a recap of how and from whom Thanos acquires the Infinity Gems from. They are still all referred to as Soul Gems in this issue.

But back to the point. Look at the panel that reads, "The fifth he found on Earth's moon recently abandoned by a man known only as the Gardener. Well, Marvel Team Up #55 did take place on the moon, the Gardener uses his gem to help Warlock & Spidey fend off the Stranger, and then the Gardener leaves the gem because he feels he corrupted by using it as a weapon.

Before then, he used the gem to...well, garden. Take a look at the gem Thanos finds, however. It is red and that don't look orange.

Then again, take a look at the panel right before it - The one about Xiambor. Sources say that's the Space Gem, but that ain't no purple. Looks like the Time Gem if the Stranger indeed had the Reality Gem, but even the panel before that one has a gem the same color.

So, I can't really tell what colored gem the Stranger has in this issue, but the one the Gardener has in this issue ends up being the Time Gem since Thanos clearly reveals this in the much later Thanos Quest #2 comic book. Marvel Team Up #55 has the cover date of March, 1977.

Death of Adam Warlock
Death of Pip & Gamora
1st appearance of all 6 Infinity Gems

They once fought as allies against the Magus, but in this issue Adam Warlock and Thanos are enemies. Thanos returns and has gathered all six Soul Gems and used the energies from each to create some giant synthetic Soul Gem to snuff out the stars with.

Bring in some Avengers goodness into the mix and we've got another epic cosmic battle between good and evil. Pip and Gamora die in this issue and so does Adam Warlock...kind of.

The  three heroes souls end up in the Soul Gem where Warlock finds peace...sort of. We all know all three characters return to the world of comics, but it would be a while.

I did post the panel where it recaps how Thanos acquires the infinity gems (Soul Gems), but I'll post the image where they all appear together for the 1st time in this comic below.

This image is taken from this comic book, same for the one featured in the Marvel Team Up #55 listing. Both panels are from  Avengers Annual #7 and it was released August, 1977.

2nd Thanos Saga Ends
Burial of Warlock, Gamora, & Pip

I dunno if this is really that big of a deal for a key. Sure the 2nd Thanos saga ends with this issue, and the heroes in the Avengers Annual #7 bury Warlock, Gamora & Pip. Sources also say that the 1st appearance of Master Order and Lord Chaos is in this issue, but I've no idea if that's just a cameo or not.

In the end, Adam Warlock reappears briefly from the Soul Gem and traps Thanos inside a husk of stone. Warlock returns inside the Soul Gem.

The next time Thanos would return is in Silver Surfer #34. Marvel-Two-In-One Annual #2 was released December, 1977.

Infinity Gauntlet #1 comic
Return of Adam Warlock
1st issue to classic 6 issue series

Okay, the resurrection of Pip the Troll, Gamora, and Adam Warlock happens in this series. How this happens is sort of explained in issue #1.

However, Adam Warlock does not fully reappear in the really real Marvel Universe until issue #2 of the series. Warlock is instrumental in defeating Thanos in this comic series, and this series culminates from the 2 issue Thanos Quest comic series prior to it.

Some are arguing that Thanos Quest has the 1st appearance of the Infinity Gauntlet, but I've read and reread and read and reread the comic series and see no Infinity Gauntlet. That series does see the Mad Titan recollect the gems though.

The Thanos Quest series does also have Thanos decide that individual names should be given to the gems since they hold different powers. Once the names are given, they turn to their specific colors.

The Infinity Gauntlet is first seen in Silver Surfer #44, cover date December, 1990. Infinity Gauntlet #1 has the cover date of July, 1991.

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Alright, I'm gonna cut this off at Part 3. If you want another key issue for Adam Warlock, it's Warlock & The Infinity Watch #1. The team was created by Jim Starlin and Angel Medina and continues the events of sorts after Infinity Gauntlet.

Warlock and his brood are tasked with the mission of keeping the Infinity Stones or Gems protected, so begins the premise to the team and comic series. Also, and just to throw out there, the first appearance of the High Evolutionary is in Thor #134 of the 1st series or volume.


  1. Damn warlock
    10 I gave to my niece two years ago because she likes the cover. JW

  2. Heroes con just around the corner again it seems like JW

    1. Soooooooo pumped about THAT!!!!

    2. Heroes con is the shit!!, sry Mayhem…..

  3. Oh man, so confusing... my head aches! But let me get this straight: all 6 Infinity Gems first appear in Avengers Annual 7, but the Gauntlet with the Gems first appears in Silver Surfer Vol. 3 Nr. 44. Right? Now, which one is the key...???

    Max Rebo

  4. Hey yo,

    sorry, my mind is still on that spectacular Justice League Dark Special. As a matter of fact I wanted to ad Madame Xanadu 1, a 36 page special from 1981 where she first stars in her own series. Should be cheap to snag right now and rise, if just 5 to 10 bucks.

    Speculation Jones

  5. Happy New Year!
    So I have been wondering. How do you think "movie" books will hold up in the future compared to historically significant books (or popular artist or classic cover)? Say, twenty years from now do you think a movie related book will perform better than, for example, Spidey 39 (first Romita), or a Silver Surfer 4, or a Batman 251. None are first appearances, but do hold a level of popularity among comic art fans. Will movie books gain/lose popularity or demand? Will these classic cover books gain/lose?
    Thanks for your input! Awesome website you have going here.

  6. TCM, I'm new here and wanted to thank you for putting this list together on Warlock appearances. Ive been a huge fan of Starlin/Thanos/Warlock since I was kid and the only one Im missing is the Marvel team up 55.

    Who would of thought that this cosmic saga from decades past would be feature films...?

    Im on the hunt, thanks!