Tag Archives: Adam Warlock

Elric, Arkwright, Warlock

A modest follow-up to this recent post, here’s something that has been on my mind for a while to explore. What are the connections between the frosty, soul-stealing cosmic saviors of Michael Moorcock, Bryan Talbot and Jim Starlin?

Elric, Arkwright, Adam Warlock

From left, Elric by Russell; Arkwright by Talbot; Warlock by Starlin

As noted earlier, I took a liking to Starlin’s version of Adam Warlock in the early 1990s, later tunneling back to discover the pair’s 1970s outing. For many years, this was about all I knew of such things, my comics reading being largely obsessed with Marvel.

Then, maybe sometime around 2002, I discovered The Adventures of Luther Arkwright. (Probably inspired by Warren Ellis’s praise at artbomb.net, which site is unfortunately now so broken that it seems impossible to access anything beyond the homepage.) While this work was incredibly eye-opening… there were yet familiar aspects. Aloof, ruthless superman (with 70s feathered hair), cosmically appointed a universal savior, in which role (unlike an even earlier occupant of that job) he may figuratively save souls but literally steals them… I couldn’t help wondering if this was more than coincidence.

For several years, I gave it little more thought, though, until I stumbled upon The Metatemporal Detective Agency. This novel introduced me to Michael Moorcock’s sprawling fantasy oeuvre, out of which I soon latched onto the character of Elric. Probably, I must suspect now, because here was another character I recognized as familiar and to my liking.

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Warlock & The Infinity War

One curiosity of moving deeper into adulthood has been discovering what works remain interesting, and what things fade.

It feels natural enough, in some sense, that enthusiasms of adolescence and earlier may eventually be “outgrown.” But a variety of things that delighted me into my mid-20s have lost their charm, even though I don’t feel as though I’m categorically more of an adult now than I was, then. At the same time what’s left behind as still appealing, in my mid-30s, can be at least as baffling as the attrition around it.

I was reminded of this dynamic once more by the juxtaposition of two stories at The Outhouse. (A news-and-satire site arguably informed by a similar tension of nostalgia and “oh, wow, this is really bad” in everything it publishes.) While neither project is new, within two days I was informed that Kevin Smith is planning Mallrats 2, and reminded that Marvel has two films queued up with the title of Infinity War.

Boy, if you were intentionally trying to pair up two things that I gleefully, even obsessively loved for years and now just… don’t… I doubt you could do better than Mallrats and The Infinity War. Despite which, it has occurred to me that even amid the bleak, blasted-out post-enthusiastic landscape of The Infinity War, there is yet another survivor: after most of 20 years, I still think rather highly of certain antecedent stories of IW star Adam Warlock.

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