Adam Warlock, the artificially created “perfect” being-turned-superhero in Marvel Comics adventures, is having some well-earned time in the spotlight, with his upcoming appearance in Marvel Studios‘ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 premiering this May. First appearing nearly 60 years ago in the pages of Fantastic Four, Warlock has gone on to be a significant player in the Marvel mythos, particularly in the cosmic corner of Marvel lore. He routinely is chief protagonist against the ever-looming threat of Thanos, fending off the Mad Titan’s bids for godhood. In addition, Adam’s tales are notable for his struggles with his inner self; specifically, aspects or future versions of himself, from the Magus to the Goddess, who threaten all existence. What makes Warlock’s stories so compelling is that he struggles with some of the same push-pulls that we all do, albeit on a life-or-death scale.
This April, the defender of reality returns in Warlock: Rebirth, written by Marz and with art by Ron Lim. Taking place right after the events of The Infinity Gauntlet and during Adam’s time with the Infinity Watch, Warlock: Rebirth centers on Eve, an artificial being like Adam who manifests as his replacement. What does her appearance mean for him, his existence, and his place in the universe? Is she the threat she seems to be? What questions does Eve prompt Warlock to ask himself? Marz and Lim are no strangers to tackling those sorts of big questions in ways that are thought-provoking and entertaining, so watching as they jump back into Marvel’s cosmic sandbox will be a treat for readers.
I spoke with Mr. Marz recently about the idea behind Warlock: Rebirth, the existential crises with which Adam often wrestles, working with longtime collaborator Ron Lim, and the appeal of playing in Adam Warlock’s world.
FreakSugar: For potential readers of the series, what can you tell us about the conceit of Warlock: Rebirth?
Ron Marz: The story is set during the era of Warlock and the Infinity Watch, so an untold tale after the Infinity Gauntlet saga. But we’re not pinning it to any specific story or issue, readers don’t need to be versed in any of those details. So short version, Adam Warlock’s replacement appears, and the story is about whether he can defeat her, and more than that … does he even want to?
FS: I am positive you can’t talk about this, but is there anything you can tell us about Eve Warlock?
RM: Well, I’m not going to give away Eve’s origin or motivation, but I can tell you she’s an artificial being like Adam. Eve is not quite a counterpart, she’s more of a … perfected version of the imperfect original. She’s essentially a 2.0 version of Warlock. She’s been brought into the universe by an adversary who will eventually be revealed, one who has ill-intentions for Adam.
FS: Adam is a character who has always wrestled with different versions and aspects of himself. What was the process like for addressing a spin that maybe hasn’t been tackled before?
RM: I think with Adam Warlock, the external battles he has to fight really go hand in hand with whatever internal struggles he’s facing. “Who am I? What is my role? And am I good enough to do this?” He’s almost always going through some kind of existential crisis. So that’s a big part of where Eve comes from. Adam was created to be the perfect man, and he did not live up to that. What happens if someone is created to be the perfect woman … and really is?
FS: The series showcases a previously untold chapter in Warlock’s life. Will the series show connections to his future AND his past?
RM: We’ll definitely touch on aspects deeper in Adam’s past, because those are what made him who he is. And it’s part of what he still wrestles with. The future that Adam is forced to confront is one in which he can just not do this anymore. Maybe he wants to stop fighting and enjoy whatever rest he’s earned. He’s very much at a crossroads in this story, deciding whether walking away might be the best choice for him.
FS: You’re reuniting with Ron Lim, who recently collaborated with again for Silver Surfer: Rebirth? At this point, do you two have a shorthand in your collaboration process?
RM: We know each other so well at this point, there’d definitely a bit of shorthand. I know Ron’s sense of storytelling, I know how he approaches a page, and so I try to lean into that when I write the story. A large part of a comic writer’s job us to make sure the artist is getting fun stuff to draw. The artist’s job is harder and much more time consuming than the writer’s job, so you have a responsibility to make the story as engaging as possible for the artist. And to I should add, especially in this case, part of the attraction for me is coming up with stuff I want to see Ron draw.
FS: This is a second Rebirth book set in Marvel’s cosmic world. Do you have Rebirth ideas for other cosmic characters?
RM: There are always stories to tell. Ron and I are having a great time, this stuff fits like a glove. So I think we’d be up for more of the same if the opportunity arose.
FS: Adam Warlock is having a well-deserved moment, between this series and his upcoming appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3? What has been the appeal of working on Adam’s tales?
RM: Adam is kind of an unusual character. He’s not human, per se, but he’s trying to understand humanity, and in a sense he’s trying live up to being human. He’s not unlike the Silver Surfer in that way. So he’s aspirational, as well as a mirror for humanity. He’s pretty fascinating to write, because he’s your protagonist, but you need to maintain a certain distance from him.
FS: You’ve worked on cosmic characters in the Marvel pantheon several times over the years. What’s it like to revisit this world and these characters?
RM: Marvel cosmic was my first home in comics. The first comic script I ever wrote was a Silver Surfer story drawn by Ron Lim. So there’s definitely a sense of coming full circle, and it feels quite natural. My initial Surfer issues were on-the-job training for me, so now youthful enthusiasm has been replaced by experience. I know more about what I’m doing now, but I’m still having just as much fun.
FS: If you had one final pitch for potential readers of the book, what would it be?
RM: The cosmic corner of the Marvel Universe is one of the best playgrounds in comics. Great characters, big ideas, big visuals. Ron Lim and I are getting to play there again, and we’re loving it. If we’re having fun, I think readers will too.
Warlock: Rebirth #1 of 5 goes on sale Wednesday, April 19th, from Marvel Comics.
From the official press release:
The two superstar comics creators, known for shaping the cosmic corner of the Marvel Universe as we know it, will revisit the thrilling saga of Adam Warlock. The ever-fascinating and mega-powerful super hero is set have all comic fans talking in 2023, and this new series will be a must-have for fans and a perfect entry point into the character’s rich history for newcomers. Set in the character’s early days, this pivotal chapter will explore Adam Warlock’s origin in astounding new ways and introduce a new character that will forever impact his legacy!
Adam Warlock was created to be the perfect human specimen. Since then, Adam has gone on to be a cosmic savior, defending the galaxy from the likes of Thanos, the Universal Church of Truth, and the Magus. But what will happen when the next evolution of Warlock emerges? Someone who is stronger, faster and smarter than Adam?
“Ron and I had such a great time on our SURFER series, accepting the invitation to come back and do more was a no-brainer,” Marz said. “The cosmic end of the Marvel Universe is a wonderful playground, and we’ve got some great toys, including Gamora and Pip and Doctor Strange. There are definitely some sequel threads to what we did in SILVER SURFER: REBIRTH, but we’re making sure this Warlock series stands on its own. Who knows, maybe a shiny guy on a surfboard will show up too.”