And so Avengers: Infinity War draws ever closer, and ever shrouded in speculation. And we become ever more aware that a major player is missing from the game, a character who has featured heavily in all the original Infinity arcs of Marvel Comics.
It is of course Adam Warlock — "Him" — a genetically engineered, God-like being and one of the most powerful characters in Marvel comic canon. Warlock and his evil alternate self — the Magus — feature heavily in the Infinity Gauntlet and Infinity War arc of the Marvel comics, and his very existence is all tied up with the Infinity Gems.
There's been a lot of speculation as to whether or not he's going to appear sometime along the line to The Avengers: Infinity War, and if he'll play a part in it. But at this point it's looking increasingly unlikely that he'll debut before #InfinityWar, if at all. Which is a shame, as he's a longtime antagonist of Thanos who often foils the Titan's plans for domination, which would come in pretty handy for the #Avengers when Infinity War rolls round.
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He's also got a history with the Guardians of the Galaxy, but it's looking pretty unlikely that he'll appear in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 either. Although, Ayesha — also known as Kismet, Paragon and Her — will debut in the movie, she being the female version of Warlock in many ways.
But though it's looking unlikely, there are still a few little hints that make us think Warlock could still be out there somewhere in the #MCU.
1. The Cocoon
The cocoon is one of the most widely talked about Easter Eggs of the MCU, and it's one that is subject to much contention. But it's also the strongest link we have with #AdamWarlock, so let's go with it. In many instances in the comics Warlock utilizes a regenerative cocoon that he retreats into when he needs to rest, meditate or be completely reborn.
A cocoon very similar in appearance to Warlock's appears in the mid-credits sequence of Thor: The Dark World, and again in the post-credits scene of Guardians of the Galaxy. In Guardians of the Galaxy it appears to have broken open in the wake of the devastation wrought upon the Collector's base by the Power Stone. So what was in the cocoon is no longer there — could it have been Warlock?
Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has been very evasive about the cocoon; on different occasions confirming, denying and responding "I don’t know" when asked if it's Warlock's. Warlock appears frequently alongside the Guardians, he had a relationship with Gamora and is even killed by Star-Lord at one point, so it makes sense that his presence would be hinted at here. It also makes sense that the force of the Power Stone exploding outwards would awaken him from his slumber.
2. The Soul Stone
The very existence of the Infinity Stones in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is enough of a nod toward Adam Warlock in the overall canon. But it is true that the MCU doesn't have to necessarily follow the comics, and it often diverges from them.
But going by the comics, one of Warlock's defining features is the Soul Gem embedded in his forehead, with which he has a somewhat antagonistic relationship. The Soul Gem is a sentient being — it desires to absorb souls, which it can trap within itself in the dimension of the Soul World. This sounds like it'd be annoying, but it's actually come in useful for Warlock on occasion. He has himself retreated his soul within the gem for protection, and used it to save the minds of others.
If this sounds familiar, it's because Vision — who first appeared in The Avengers: Age of Ultron — has the Mind Stone embedded in his forehead in a similar manner, while his comic book counterpart does not. It's possible, as we haven't seen Warlock yet, that Vision could become an approximation of the MCU's Warlock, or it could just be another nod toward the character. But the Soul Stone is the one #InfinityStone that hasn't shown up in the MCU so far, so could it have something to do with Warlock?
3. The Fault
This is an interesting little theory that is taken from an Easter Egg found in Thor: The Dark World. In the scene with Dr. Eric Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård) in the mental hospital where he's using Stan Lee's shoe to illustrate the Alignment, there's a lot of writing on the blackboard behind him that points to Marvel Comics lore, which could have big implications for the MCU.
For example, "616 Universe" is a reference to Earth-616 — the classification for the Earth timeline on which most of the Marvel Comics take place. To the right you can also see written "The Fault" and "The Crossroads." The Crossroads is a nod toward a Doctor Strange/Hulk story, but the Fault is a very important plot point in the Marvel Universe that involves the Guardians, the Inhumans, and Adam Warlock.
The Fault was born when Black Bolt, King of the Inhumans, detonated a huge bomb as part of a plan to stop an ongoing war, tearing a hole in the universe. The Fault started to grow, threatening to swallow up all of space and time, until Adam Warlock showed up. He was able to stop the Fault from expanding, but lost his life in the process.
It's not yet known if the Fault will become relevant later down the line in the MCU, and we don't know enough about the upcoming Inhumans TV series yet to speculate on if the Fault storyline will be a plot point. But the connection does give Marvel another way to include Adam Warlock, if not in the cinematic MCU, into the Inhumans TV series. Time will tell...
Do you think Marvel will ever introduce Adam Warlock to the MCU? Have your say in the comments below!