He’s been dead for a while, but now Adam Warlock has awakened. And when that happens, universal chaos always follows… Your Major Spoilers review of Infinity Countdown: Adam Warlock #1 awaits!
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Michael Allred
Colorist: Laura Allred
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Editor: Jordan D. White
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Infinity Countdown: Adam Warlock #1: “ADAM WARLOCK IS BACK! Reborn from the realm of the dead, Adam has come seeking the Soul Stone…and the truth about what it did to Him! His guide through this Infinity Quest is none other than… Kang the Conqueror?!? Be there as Adam begins down the dark trail sure to lead him into the heart of the mystery of the Infinity Stones…”
YOUR ADAM WARLOCK 101
We open at the end of time, in the citadel of Kang The Conqueror, as the cocoon of Adam Warlock breaks open to reveal the golden skinned warrior for the first time in about… Well, depending on the story you believe, either three years or eight, our time. He is unhappy to find himself in the lair of Kang, but the lord of time informs him that things are desperate and that he has a mission for him. Warlock tries to argue, but Kang reminds him of who he is and how he came to be, a clever and mostly seamless way for this issue to serve as a primer of the long and complicated history (histories?) of Adam Warlock in the Marvel Universe. In so doing, we get a glimpse of Thanos and the problem of the Infinity
Gems Stones, with Kang finally revealing that the near future features certain death for all the heroes of the Marvel Universe. (It’s a glorious, if gory and depressing, two-page spread by Allred, featuring all the heroes who are about to be front-and-center on the movie screens of our world, making this issue feel very synergistic in the right ways…) Warlock grudgingly agrees to accept Kang’s help and is thrust back in time to meet Rama-Tut, the man who would become Kang, while Kang himself is destroyed by person or persons unknown…
THE BOLT IS BACK!
At the end of the issue, we discover that, thanks to time travel, Warlock is entombed in Egypt inside his healing cocoon, awaiting revival in the year 2018, which should roll into the new Infinity crossover schmageggi nicely. The first thing that I have to say about this issue? I love that the chest lightning bolt from Warlock’s run in Marvel Premiere 40-odd years ago is back, and Adam has a costume that doesn’t confuse and concern me for the first time since about 1990. Duggan’s script this issue is quite well-done, giving a coherent timeline for Warlock’s retcon-and-resurrection-filed history, and even makes sense of the paradox of Rama-Tut/Kang (albeit by glossing over much of his ridiculous history.) As for the work of Mike Allred, I’m something of a fanboy, so seeing Warlock, The Magus and the other bits and bobs of Adam’s world under his pen makes me quite happy, especially a beautiful full-page shot of Adam arriving in ancient Egypt. The series of double-page spreads that walk us through Adam’s history are likewise full of detail and incident, but clear and easy to follow, something that should be nigh-impossible with this character and these stories.
BOTTOM LINE: CAN’T SAY NO TO ALLRED
In short, I didn’t realize that we were getting a full-fledged ‘Infinity’ crisis again, but anything that features this artist or this character gets my attention, and this book pays off on the promise of both. Even if you’re not interested in more of the big plot, Infinity Countdown: Adam Warlock #1 is a good’n, managing in just 30 pages to explain the hero, define the stakes, explain a complex villain and set Adam on the path to his new adventure, earning a well-deserved 4 out of 5 stars overall. If nothing else, this is the comic book to buy if you’ve always wondered what the big deal is about Adam Warlock, which could send you to back-issue bins to read more excellent stories…