Adam Warlock Reading Guide

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Hello Hims, Hers, and Thems, and welcome to Adam Warlock comics reading guide!

Will Poulter is about to become Jim Starlin’s fan-favorite character in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. But who is this guy, and what’s his deal with the High Evolutionary and the Guardians? Before the golden hour comes this May, here are the comics you need to read!

Adam Warlock Comics Recommendations:

  • Marvel Premiere (1972) #1-2
  • Strange Tales (1951) #178-181; Warlock (1972) #9-15
  • Marvel Team-Up (1972) #55; Avengers Annual (1967) #7; Marvel Two-in-One Annual (1976) #2
  • Infinity Gauntlet (1991); Infinity War (1992); Infinity Crusade (1993)
  • Warlock and the Infinity Watch (1992) #1-22
  • Infinity Abyss (2002) #1-6
  • Thanos (2003) #1-6
  • Annihilation: Conquest (2008) #1-6
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) #1-25; Thanos Imperative (2010) #1-6
  • Thanos: The Infinity Saga (2014-2019)
  • Infinity Countdown (2018) #1-5; Infinity Wars (2018) #1-6
  • Thanos (2019) #1-6; Guardians of the Galaxy (2019) #9-12

Originally introduced with the unassuming name “Him,” Adam Warlock has evolved into a massively powerful entity with the ability to manipulate space, energy, souls, and death! He’s the arch enemy of Thanos, the adopted son of the High Evolutionary, and an occasional member of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Defined by his constant struggle for self-identity and recurring rebirths, Adam Warlock is a richly complex, contradictory character. He’s so multi-faceted that during Infinity Gauntlet he literally divided himself into three separate identities!

But with Thanos already dead in the MCU, what could Adam Warlock bring to The Multiverse Saga? Read on to find out!

“For I am the savior, the godslayer, the demon, the avenging hand of the light… Adam Warlock!”

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Adam Warlock & the High Evolutionary (1972)

Adam Warlock was created to be the perfect man, called “Him.” Of course, Him immediately revolts against his creators and runs off into space, bringing him close to Counter-Earth. This is where he meets the High Evolutionary, picks up the Soul Stone, and begins his adventures as Adam Warlock! However, Adam’s new freedom is doomed when he learns his destiny is to become the maniacal villain Magus.

The section below is small, but each issue is crucially important for setting the foundation of the Adam Warlock mythos, and his legendary history with Thanos. Jim Starlin redefined Adam Warlock and launched his major cosmic saga with Strange Tales and Warlock #9-15, which introduced Magus, Pip the Troll, and Gamora. And in Marvel Team-Up #55Bill Mantlo revealed the Infinity Gems for the first time!

This is the beginning of one of the greatest cosmic sagas in comics history.

  • Early appearances as “Him”
    • Fantastic Four (1961) #66-67
    • Thor (1966) #163-166 
  • Marvel Premiere (1972) #1-2
    • Features the High Evolutionary! A major part of Adam’s origin story
  • Warlock (1972) #1-15
    • After #2: Incredible Hulk (1962) #158
    • After #7: Avengers (1963) #118
    • After #8: Incredible Hulk (1962) #176-178, Strange Tales (1951) #178-181
    • After #15: Marvel Team-Up (1972) #55, Avengers Annual (1967) #7, Marvel Two-in-One Annual (1976) #2

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  • Marvel Two-in-One (1974) #61-63
    • Adam meets Ayesha/Kismet/Her!
    • Features the High Evolutionary!
  • Ayesha/Kismet/Her
    • Incredible Hulk Annual (1968) #6
    • Marvel Two-in-One (1974) #61-63
    • What If? (1977) #34 (What If Him Married Her?)
    • Contest of Champions (1982) #1, 3
    • Avengers Annual (1967) #17 [B Story]
    • Marvel Comics Presents (1988) #35 [D Story]
    • Alpha Flight (1983) #97-101
    • Damage Control (1991) #4
    • Quasar (1989) #26-51, 57, 60
      • With #26-27: Infinity Gauntlet (1991)
      • With #37-40: Infinity War (1992)
    • Sleepwalker (1991) #7
    • Avengers (1963) #345
    • Avengers West Coast (1989) #81
    • Guardians of the Galaxy (1990) #61-62
    • Cosmic Powers Unlimited (1995) #2
    • Fantastic Four (1998) #11-12
    • Fantastic Four: The End (2007) #1-6

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Adam Warlock & the Infinity Watch (1991-1995)

Silver Surfer helps Adam Warlock return to stop Thanos once again! In the aftermath of Infinity Gauntlet, Warlock forms the Infinity Watch to protect the Stones. Including Adam, Gamora, Drax, Moondragon, and Pip the Troll, the Infinity Watch resembles a prototypical version of the modern Guardians of the Galaxy. In fact, Gamora and Adam Warlock even have a little spark! With so many of these characters being freshly introduced into the MCU now, could we see their live-action counterparts form a new team in the future?

During this time, Adam accidentally splits himself into “Goddess” and “Magus”, the physical embodiments of pure good and pure evil. A moment like this could be spectacular on the big screen in GOTG Vol. 3 and could lead to rich story moments as well.

  • Infinity Gauntlet (1991) #1-6
    • Prologue: Silver Surfer (1987) #46-48
    • After #1: Quasar (1989) #26-27
    • After #2: Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme (1988) #32, Silver Surfer (1987) #52-60
    • After #6: Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme (1988) #36 
  • Warlock and the Infinity Watch (1992) #1-11
    • With #8-11: Infinity War (1992)
  • Infinity War (1992) #1-6
    • After #1: Fantastic Four #366, Deathlok (1991) #16, Silver Surfer #67
    • After #2: Fantastic Four #368, Wonder Man #13, Silver Surfer (1987) #69
    • After #3: Marvel Comics Presents #108-112; Warlock and the Infinity Watch #8Quasar #38
    • After #4: Wonder Man #14, Silver Sable and the Wild Pack #5, Alpha Flight #111, Marc Spector: Moon Knight #41
    • After #5: Fantastic Four #369, Warlock and the Infinity Watch #10
    • After #6: Fantastic Four #370, Marc Spector: Moon Knight #44

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  • Warlock and the Infinity Watch (1992) #12-25
    • After #12: Cyberspace 3000 (1993) #6-8
    • After #15: Quasar #50, Silver Surfer / Warlock: Resurrection #1-4
    • With #18-22: Infinity Crusade #1-6, Warlock Chronicles #1-5
    • After #22: Blood and Thunder (1993)
  • Infinity Crusade (1993) #1-6
    • With #1-5: Warlock Chronicles #1-5, Warlock and the Infinity Watch #18-22
    • After #2: Web of Spider-Man (1985) #104-106
  • Blood and Thunder (1993)
    • Prologue: Quasar (1989) #53, Starblast (1994) #1, Quasar (1989) #54, Silver Surfer (1987) #86
    • Warlock Chronicles (1993) #6-8
    • Warlock and the Infinity Watch (1992) #23-25
    • Thor (1966) #469-471
    • Silver Surfer (1987) #87-88
  • Warlock and the Infinity Watch (1992) #26-42
    • After #33: Incredible Hulk (1962) #418, Silver Surfer #94, Quasar (1989) #60; Incredible Hulk Annual (1968) #20 [D Story]
    • After #36: Cosmic Powers Unlimited (1995) #1

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  • Ultraverse (1995)
    • Rune/Silver Surfer (1995) #1
    • Curse of Rune (1995) #4
    • Rune (1995) #∞, 1-7
    • Ultraverse Unlimited (1996) #1

Extra Pip the Troll reading:

  • Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme (1988) #32-36
  • Silver Surfer Annual (1988) #5 [B Story]
  • Cosmic Powers Unlimited (1995) #4 [B Story]

Extra Goddess reading:

  • Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme (1988) #54-55
  • Iron Man (1968) #294-295
  • Alpha Flight (1983) #122, 124
  • Thor (1966) #463-464
  • Cage (1992) #17
  • Silver Sable and the Wild Pack (1992) #17
  • Marc Spector: Moon Knight (1989) #57
  • Deathlok (1991) #28 

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Adam Warlock & Thanos: Infinity Abyss (2000s)

Following the Infinity Gauntlet trilogy, Adam Warlock continued exploring his identity. But he wasn’t the only one! With Thanos now redeemed, the two forge an uneasy alliance once again. Adam also begins to explore his feelings for Gamora more honestly, marking a major step in his personal growth.

Meanwhile, an alternate-continuity reboot of Adam Warlock appeared in Warlock (2004) and Magus popped up once more to torment Captain Marvel Genis-Vell! 

  • Warlock (1998) #1-4
  • Infinity Abyss (2002) #1-6
  • Captain Marvel (1999) #19, 32-34
  • Captain Marvel (2002) #21-24
    • Features Magus!
  • Thanos (2003) #1-6
    • Thanos vs. Galactus!
  • Warlock (2004) #1-4
    • Unique reinvention of the character! (Not canon) 

 

Extra reading:

  • Avengers Forever (1998) #9, 12
  • Marvel Universe: The End (2003) #1, 5-6
  • She-Hulk (2004) #7-9

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Adam Warlock & the Guardians of the Galaxy: Annihilation Conquest (2008)

Adam returned during Annihilation: Conquest to save the universe and seek out his father, the High Evolutionary. Some of the best cosmic comics post-2000 are in this era, flowing together as one cohesive story. Most importantly, this saga was the formation of the brand-new version of the Guardians of the Galaxy, which was the main inspiration for James Gunn’s MCU adaptation.

This section is the #1 reading recommendation for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3!

  • Annihilation: Conquest (2008) #1-6
    • Prologue: Annihilation (2006), Annihilation Conquest: Quasar (2007) #3-4
  • Annihilators: Earthfall (2011) #1-4
    • Prologue: Thanos Imperative: Ignition (2010) #1, Annihilators (2011) #1-4
    • Features Magus!

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Extra Pip the Troll:

  • She-Hulk (2005) #12-13
  • X-Factor (2005) #207-208, 211-213, 216-226, 230, 233, 238-241, 245-249
  • Thanos vs. Hulk (2014) #1-4
  • Drax (2016) #7-11
  • Thanos (2016) #3
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Mother Entropy (2017) #1-4
  • Deadpool: Assassin (2018) #4
  • Asgardians of the Galaxy (2018) #6-7
  • Annihilation: Scourge – Omega (2019) #1
  • Beta Ray Bill (2021) #1-5
  • Eternals (2021) (film)

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Adam Warlock & Thanos: The Infinity Saga (2014)

Jim Starlin revisits Thanos and Adam Warlock for a new Infinity Saga! These adventures are tied to the events of Earth-616, but are mainly multiversal in nature. The new Infinity Saga fleshed out Thanos and Adam Warlock’s comics relationship in new and exciting ways and demonstrated the endless potential of Adam Warlock’s comics stories.

  • Thanos: The Infinity Saga (2014-2019)
    • Prologue: Thanos Annual (2014) #1, Thanos vs. Hulk (2014) #1-4
    • Thanos: The Infinity Revelation (2014) #1
    • Thanos: The Infinity Relativity (2015) #1
    • The Infinity Entity (2016) #1-4
    • Thanos: The Infinity Finale (2016) #1
    • Guardians of the Galaxy: Mother Entropy (2017) #1-5
    • Thanos: The Infinity Siblings (2018) #1
    • Thanos: The Infinity Conflict (2018) #1
    • Thanos: The Infinity Ending (2019) #1

 

Extra Living Tribunal reading:

  • Ultimates (2007) #11
  • Ultimates 2 (2016) #2, 100
  • Doctor Strange (2018) #15, 17
  • Iron Man (2020) #11, 15

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Adam Warlock & the Guardians of the Galaxy: Infinity Wars (2018) 

Adam Warlock is rebirthed to protect the Infinty Stones once again, reuniting with the Guardians of the Galaxy for Infinity Wars (2018). But is the real enemy Thanos, Magus, or Kang?

Then in the shocking fallout of Infinity Wars, Adam is on the search to redefine himself once again. And just in time for his MCU debut, Marvel is releasing new Adam Warlock comics miniseries, shared with… Eve? Check out Warlock: Rebirth coming in April!

  • Infinity Countdown (2018) #1-5
    • Prologue: Infinity Countdown: Adam Warlock (2018) #1, Infinity Countdown: Prime (2018) #1
      • Features Magus, Thanos, and the Guardians of the Galaxy!
  • Infinity Wars (2018) #1-6
    • Prologue: Infinity Wars Prime (2018) #1
    • After #4: Infinity Wars: Soldier Supreme (2018) #2
    • After #6: Infinity Wars: Fallen Guardian (2018) #1, Infinity Wars: ? (2019) #1, Guardians of the Galaxy (2019) #1

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  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2019) Annual #1
  • Thanos (2019) #1-6
    • Features Thanos and Gamora!
    • Introduces Kid Magus!
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2019) #9-12
    • Features Kid Magus!
  • Warlock: Rebirth (2023) #1-5
    • Introducing Eve!
    • Note: Ayesha/Kismet/Her used the name “Eve” in the Earth X universe

 

Extra reading:

  • Avengers: Back to Basics (2018) #3-4
    • Features Magus!
  • Silver Surfer: Black (2019) #1
  • Lords of Empyre: Celestial Messiah (2020) #1
    • Features the Guardians of the Galaxy!

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Adam Warlock: Multiverse & Multimedia

The most important alt-universe Adam Warlock comics are listed above (mainly Greg Pak’s Warlock 2004 and Jim Starlin’s Infinity Saga 2014), but listed below is everything else! From tiny cameos to hilarious What Ifs, here are all the Adam Warlock comic appearances across the multiverse! Also included are his brief appearances in multimedia, including movies, TV shows, and video games. Enjoy!

  • What If? (1977) #34 (What If Him Married Her?)
  • What If…? (1989) #34, 49, 55, 104
    • #34: What If Thanos Transformed Galactus into Elvis?
    • #49: What If Silver Surfer Possessed the Infinity Gauntlet?
  • Warlock (2004) #1-4
  • Thanos: The Infinity Saga (2014-2019)
  • Secret Wars: Guardians of Knowhere (2015) #1-4

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Extra reading:

  • Spidey Super Stories (1974) #32
  • Hercules (1984) #3 (Hercules: 2300 A.D.)
  • Marvel Age (1985) #66,124
  • What The–?! (1988) #8, 24 (Adam Warlox)
  • Excalibur (1988) #14, 49
  • New Warriors (1990) #11-13 (Forever Yesterday)
  • Domination Factor: Fantastic Four (1999) #2.3
  • Earth X (1999) #0, 2, 11, X
    • Universe X (2001) #0, 2, 10-12; 4 #1
    • Paradise X (2003) #0-3; Xen #1
  • Marvel Universe: Millennial Visions (2001) #1
  • What If? Newer Fantastic Four (2008) #1
  • Secret Wars: Infinity Gauntlet (2015) #4

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Adam Warlock in Movies and Shows:

  • Silver Surfer (1998) S1 E11
  • Super Hero Squad Show (2009) S2 E2, E14, E24-26
  • Planet Hulk (2010)
  • Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes (2010) S2 E6
  • Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy (2015) S2 E10, E18-24
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)
    • Prologue: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Adam Warlock in Video Games:

  • Marvel Super Heroes (1995)
    • Marvel Super Heroes In War of the Gems (1996)
    • Marvel vs. Capcom Origins (2012)
  • Marvel: Avengers Alliance (2012)
    • Marvel: Avengers Alliance 2 (2016)
  • Marvel Puzzle Quest (2013)
  • Marvel Heroes (2013)
  • Marvel Future Fight (2015)
  • Marvel Avengers Academy (2016)
    Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 (2017)
  • Marvel Strike Force (2018)
  • Marvel Super War (2019)
  • Marvel Duel (2020)
  • Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy (2021)
  •  

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And that’s the colossal cosmic collection of Adam Warlock comics! Are you excited to see Will Poulter’s take on the character? What do you think his relationship with the High Evolutionary and the Guardians will be? Let me know on Twitter @vinwriteswords and remember to follow the site @MyCosmicCircus for more soul-shattering stories coming soon!

All images courtesy of Marvel Comics.

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Reviews, reading guides, and crazy theories. Obsessed with the Midnight Sons. Find me on Twitter @vinwriteswords!
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