CoverWarlock #1, Volume 2
Published by Marvel Comics
November, 1998

Reviewed by Lord Thanos

Script & Pencils: Tom Lyle
Inks: Robert Jones
Letters: Rishard Starkings & Comicraft/WA
Colors: Tom Smith
Edits: Mark Bernardo
Ass't Edits: Lysa Kraiger
Holds The Infinity Gauntlet: Bob Harras
Special Thanks to: Roger Brown, for cosmic inspiration

Original Price: $2.95
Current Value: $2.95

History Behind Issue: Adam Warlock returns in a new mini-series by Tom Lyle!

Plot: She stands alone before the grave of the heroic warrior, Captain Marvel, weeping. Her name is Elysius, former lover of the deceased hero and mother to Genis-Vell known by many as Legacy. In her hands clank two golden bracelets that are not mere jewelry but sources of power, the nega-bands. She speaks to her lost lover's rave in the hopes his spirit will hear.
"I've failed you... FAILED HIM. Mentor and the ruling council of Titan have stripped Genis of his nega-bands. They deemed his self indulgent lifestyle too erratic and destructive to be worthy of carrying on the legacy of CAPTAIN MARVEL. I pleaded with Mentor to give him another chance. The answer was NO. I'm now the guardian of the nega-bands. I thought they'd be safer here with you."

She places the bands atop the tombstone. Tears streaming down her cheeks sheleans against the stone for support, then falls on her knees before it and wails.
"Why did you die and leave me alone?!

She lays across the grave of the man she loved. "He needed you! I needed you. Help us."

Exhausted from emotional turmoil she falls asleep, only to be awakened by small bit of crumbled stone striking her cheek.

"Huh?! What? Oh GODDESS... not...YOUUUGNN!"
A pointed shaft plunges through her abdomen splattering blood everywhere.

Meanwhile, far beneath the surface of this tragic scene on this satellite of Saturn another table unfolds. Mentor, the eternal who rules Titan, watches dispassionately as Adam Warlock looses his renowned self control.

Warlock's fist smashes through the display of Mentor's lab computer. "Just because you don't like what I.S.A.A.C. has to say about your dilemma, you have no right to destroy my laboratory," Adam is enflamed with passion.

"There has to be some way to remove the soul gem, Mentor! I've grown weary of it's vampiric legacy. It's thirst for souls becomes harder to control with each passing day."
Grimly Mentor replies "I.S.A.A.C. says that removal is an impossibility. I believe this to be true." The elder eternal asks Warlock why then he undertook his quest to recover it. The power of the gem is too great for any mortal, our hero replies, as his fist destroys another monitor in the lab. An eyebrow raised in irony, Mentor tells Adam he is not a shining example of control. The golden skin warrior whirls about, face contorted with anger. "You know that I have had to deal with outbursts of emotions as a side effect since I recovered the soul gem!"

The ruler's eyes show resignation and regret. "That, too, appears to be permanent, by the way, Adam."

Warlock scowls "Great! Just GREAT!" He flies off smashing his way to the surface. Mentor calls out after him. "Is this any way for a COSMIC HERO to act?"   The eternal thinks of how both Genis and Adam must learn how to deal with their feelings or be consumed.

As he flies over the surface of Titan, the host of the soul gem broods over Mentor's rebuke. He realizes he is being childish. It occurs to him that if he came more human be might better control his raging emotions. As he begins to search for a place of solitude to contemplate these thoughts, he spots the remnants of the tragedy that played out moments ago. Adam descends to investigate the scene. Elysius is sprawled on the ground impaled by a staff crowned with the likeness of his former ally, Drax. The grave of the once mighty Kree warrior is open, desecrated with rubble strewn about. Warlock is shocked. Who would steal the corpse of Mar-Vell? He knells beside the dead woman inspecting the details for clues. He knows she died in tremendous pain. Examining the face on the staff, Drax! "Why would he do... this?" As he scoops up the body to return it to Mentor, he ponders the perplexity of this puzzle and vows to serve justice! If Drax is the perpetrator then Warlock will need help.

Across the cosmos in an alien dive, Gamora, the deadliest woman in the galaxy, sulks at the bar over her drink. An amorous alien approaches her.  "C'mon baby. You've been looking for me all your life."

Across the room Pip the troll wryly notes the impending trouble to the barkeep.
The beauteous emerald assassin spins about, flinging her accuser aside. The flat of her palm, with laser like speed and accuracy strikes his face, slamming his skull into a near by column shattering it.

Pip explains to the barkeep that Gamora is pining for her one true love. Dead? The bartender inquires. Nope long story retorts the troll. Curious, the alien inn keeper asks the diminutive drunk to share the tale. Pip recounts the history of Adam Warlock with his usual dramatic flare, sacrificing accuracy for sensationalism. He concludes the story with "Last I heard,he was on some kinda quest to get that danged soul gem back. I dunno if he found it or not! Gamora and I haven't heard a thing from Warlock in a looong..."

"Too long Pip, my friend!" says Warlock from behind.

Slumped in a stupor over her drink amora glances across the room and slurs.
"I guess I'm not drunk enough. I can see Adam even clearer than usual... Right over there... by the bar... But it can't be him... He left me! all alone."

The golden skinned hero crosses the room. He places his hand on her head and strokes her hair.



She leaps upon him throwing her arms around his neck and her legs around his waist
WHAACCK The emerald assassin lets loose a punch that sends Warlock flying across the room.
"Who ARE you!"

"Hey! Just because I kissed you back is no reason to deck me?!"
"I said who are you?

Adam explains and asks the two if they would help him track down Drax and bring him to justice. They, of course, agree.

On another planet a prostitute is looking to turn a trick, so she can make a living. But no one's buying, she's having a bad night. She's griping aloud, "My life stinks! I guess it can't get any worse!" As she turns the corner, it does. In front of her a dead man, another staff with Drax's face on it sticking out of his chest. Her scream echoes through the empty street High in orbit above the planet a spacecraft with our heroes aboard.

"All we're doin' so far Adam, is following each interop report of a murder by Drax as we catch it."

"I know Pip. Four senseless deaths... and we're not any closer to Drax than when we got started. We're not picking up any traces of cosmic energy trail to follow."

"I think we are closer! The body of that last one wasn't even cold when we got there!"
"That's true, Gamora...But the lack of an energy trail to follow really confuses me if we are closer to him."

Adam holds one of the Drax heads from the murder weapons in his hand, anger and frustration seething below the surface of his golden face.

"Since Drax is an artificial life form created by Chronos, the cosmic energy powers bestowed on him by Mentor afford us the only means we have of tracking him."
Gamora suggests that perhaps when Drax's memories were returned to him, his powers may have been altered. Pip says Drax is too stupid to be outsmarting them. The emerald assassin reminds him of Drax's renewed intelligence. The troll kids about being relegated to comic relief again. Then Warlock explodes. "This is no joke you two! Drax is a killer now! We have to stop him... and stop him SOON!"

Somewhere else...

A dark shadowy figure on a throne with many spear like tendrils is intruded upon by a lackey.

"Why do you disturb me?"

"Drax. I come to report on Drax Master. He is getting closer to it, Master. Everything is going according to plan."

Why do you pester me with such petty details?"  The servant stammers his excuse. His master berates him.

"Disturb me NO MORE!" SSPLOORK The razor tendrils shred and gut him to an unrecognizable pulp.

Back on Titan Mentor scolds Genis for being late to his mother's funeral.
"I said I was sorry, Mentor. OKAY? Excuse ME if I am having a hard time with this! If it weren't for me Elysius would still be alive!"

"How do you come to that conclusion boy?

She was here because of me... Because I was stripped of my nega-bands. If she hadn't been here... And Mar-Vell's... my father's body has been taken, too. I owe them both an apology for being such a failure as a son."  Mentor rests his hands on Genis's shoulder.

"You are NOT a failure! The council and I took your bands away to teach you... Not to punish you. I wish you could understand that, Genis.

"Yeah, RIGHT! Is it true...what I heard... about DRAX being responsible for mother's DEATH?"

ADAM WARLOCK is already taking care of that. Besides...NOTHING is certain about WHO committed the murder!"

Later Legacy is armed to the teeth.

"I am the son of Elysius and Mar-Vell! VENGEANCE for those atrocities should be MINE! I will find the killer and bring back my father's body or DIE trying! I need a ship out of here if I am going to catch up to is murdering VILLAIN! Are you going to HELP me or NOT?"

In the Vega system on Ceti Alpha IV a active walk his pet. A figure come around the corner. The alien's eyes widen in shock. His pet growls. He screams for help. No one comes. The animal noses at the face down corpse with yet another of the strange staffs protruding from his back. The fifth victim. Are these heinous crimes as random as they seem? I the killer really Drax?

Adam senses Drax's presence on the planet below. Gamora as just received a report from Interop of a murder on Ceti Alpha IV, the planet below. They go to the surface to investigate. As they approach the local police take notice and begin to question Pip and Gamora. Adam slips off unnoticed, into the night, silently, to follow a trail of his own. Only when Gamora tries to tell the overzealous officer they are with Warlock and are here to help does se see he's gone.

Warlock strides down a deserted street feeling guilty about leaving Gamora and Pip alone to deal with the officials, but he knows Drax is near and wants to stop him before another person dies. He uses the sol gem to track his former ally.
Drax is flying low along the street.

"Pip and Gamora... here? I thought I heard my name mentioned too. What could POSSIBLY be going on?"

The golden skin warrior confronts him.  "Turn, DRAX-- answer for your crimes-- or face the WRATH of Warlock!"

Drax confused turns to see his old friend enraged.

"Crimes? What CRIMES are you talking about?" MURDERER!

"Are you crazy?! I'm no murderer!"

Adam shows him the figure head formed in Drax's likeness.

"At five different planets across this galaxy a likeness of you similar to this has been found on the instrument of death at each of the murders! Do you still pretend to know NOTHING?!"

"Don't talk to me like I'm STUPID!" I got plenty of abuse from all of you before when I was stupid-- And I don't need ANY more of that!"

"THAT is no answer to my question!"

"I don't know why you won't trust me... But the way you're acting I'm not sure it's worth trying to tell you why I AM here!"

"If you give me no answer, then I must take you to face the consequences for your actions myself."

"You can take your answer and shove it up your..."

"THAT response is all I need. Your guilt is most evident. For THAT... you must PAY!"
PFFAAAM Warlock strikes Drax with a karmic blast from his soul gem. His clothes seared and smoking, Drax shouts at Warlock "I thought we we friends" and tells Adam that he has always been overly self-righteous. A mysterious figure watches from the shadows. Drax's eyes glow blood red. If violence is the way Adam is going to handle this, fine. WHAKK! With a powerhouse swing of his mighty fist he sends Warlock crashing trough two buildings.

Crawling out from behind a broken window the golden crusader declares through clenched teeth, "TRUTH and RIGHTEOUSNESS will not be BEATEN! not by the likes of you!"

"You know... I'm pretty SICK of you and your high opinion of yourself."

"I only seek your surrender to the authorities, give up NOW Drax.

The destroyer protests his innocence and explains he was mysteriously drawn here by an urge he can not rationalize. Warlock says the evidence and his attitude show otherwise and vows to bring him to justice. Tempers flared, teeth bared, fists curled the two former friends now combatants hurl them selves at each other with unimaginable force. WHOOMPF The sonic boom from the conclusive force echoes through the streets. "Is THAT the best you can do" taunts Warlock has he connects with a hard right. NO add THIS to the equation! It's called the strength of innocence!"

Drax replies as he returns the blow. Punctuating his words with atomic like punches Warlock says, "But... You're ...NOT... innocent! I KNOW this is truth!"

Drax crashes to the street below. "You will pay for your transgressions Drax! You will--HUH?! CAPTAIN MARVEL?!"

The corpse of Captain Marvel stands before him holding one of the strange staffs with Drax's likeness. Can this really be the former hero? This is the true murderer Adam realizes. What other mistakes might he have made? And how can he fight a corpse!?


Comments: Well true believer what can I say? First, just for the return of Adam Warlock triple Cosmic Power Points!!!!

I find this to be a well written mag! It has a good plot so far with building suspense. You know Drax isn't guilty the whole time but you want to know how he fits in with the true villains plan! Most of all you want to know who the heck is the true villain, and has Mar-Vell come back as some sort of insane cosmic zombie? And what the heck is going on with that staff with Drax's head on it? So, the plot is good so far!
On to characters.

It's refreshing to see Warlock with emotions again! True Warlock fans will remember he has always been an extremely passionate being, from his beginning trashing the Enclave to abducting Sif for a mate, his crusade on counter Earth and his war against the Universal Church of Truth. So that was good. However he seems to not be has intelligent has he once was. Is this new emotional imbalance clouding his judgement? Warlock hasn't been this naive or foolish since he was just "HIM!" Some of Warlocks dialogue is also out of character! "Hey! Just because I kissed you back is no reason to deck me!" That, I am sorry, is bad dialogue for Warlock! Completely out of his character & I am kind of embarrassed that one of my favorite characters said that! Cosmic demerits for that line of dialogue!But otherwise not bad on Warlock's character.

Gamora & Pip seem true to the original Starlin characterizations, this is a good thing! I like it, score some cosmic power points for that! Didn't see enough of Mentor to really judge but he seemed patriarchal enough, and stuffy enough, worked for me! The best characterization in the whole mag however was Legacy!! The right tude the right words, Tom Lyle should write more Legacy stories!

While I'm talking about writing, The summary on the inside cover had two glaring errors that will make loyal fans shriek! 1st Gamora recently lover to Adam! Hey I'm for these two getting together! It's long over due! Just don't do it has a retcon!!! 2nd The Infinity Watch fighting Thanos??? Never happened! In fact Thanos was like a secret member of the team! Double cosmic demerits for this botch up! These errors were also repeated in Pips account of Adam's life.
The art.

I liked the writing better than the art! The art was nice! It was consistent through out! I was never disappointed, but I was never awed either! The cover, the splash page and the teaser page were the best pics of the mag. Gamora was drawn much like Starlin drew her originally! I also noticed little touches of art that paid homage to Starlin's style, some of the planets, ect. Cosmic power points for that!

Over all, more power points than demerits! A worthy read. The cover price is a little steep, $2.99! But worth it! If this were to be an on going series though I think they need to bring down the price to $1.99! and perhaps have some guest artists for extra thrills! I recommend the mini series for all cosmic comic readers!

Written by Lord Thanos



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