In the 1960s, Marvel Comics introduced many classic characters that have stood the test of time. While some characters have changed very little since then, others -- like Adam Warlock -- have thrived in a constant state of flux. First introduced as the artificial being Him back in Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's "Fantastic Four" run, the character was revamped by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane in 1972 when he was given the name Adam Warlock. Three years later, writer Jim Starlin transformed him from a messianic figure into a mentally troubled cosmic being. Since then, Adam has reappeared a number of times playing many different roles. The hero has also been a villain (when his cosmic dark side the Magus manifests), a keeper of the powerful Infinity Gems and a Guardian of the Galaxy.
One constant in Adam's life has been the Mad Titan known as Thanos, who over the years has been a bitter enemy, an ally and even a friend to Warlock. Now Adam Warlock has a supporting role in the writer/artist's current "Infinity" saga, which began in the 2014 original graphic novel "Thanos: The Infinity Revelation", continued to the "Thanos vs. Hulk" mini-series and this year's "Thanos: The Infinity Relativity."
This spring, Adam Warlock will take a starring role in the next installment of Starlin's saga -- "The Infinity Entity," a four-issue series featuring art by the legendary Alan Davis. CBR News spoke with Starlin about the project, its protagonist, working with Alan Davis and how the series sets the stage for April 2016's "Thanos: The Infinity Finale."
CBR News: Jim, your last Marvel project, "Thanos: The Infinity Relativity, ended with a a major cliffhanger and a note that the story would be continued in "Thanos: The Infinity Finale." This spring sees the release of your next Marvel project a mini-series titled "The Infinity Entity." How does this story fit into the larger cosmic saga you began telling, and how new reader friendly is it?
Jim Starlin: The blurb at the end of "Thanos: The Infinity Relativity" really should have read, "Concluded in The Infinity Finale." Even at that point I knew the epic I wanted to tell had grown to more than could be easily fitted into the final graphic novel and that there would have to be an additional spanning sequence, as in "Thanos vs. Hulk." Plus, the opportunity to work with Alan Davis arose. He's always been an artist whom I have long wished I could draw as well as. So Marvel and I hammered out a space for this mini Adam Warlock series.
As with most my tales, I think there's just enough recap to clue newer readers into catching on to what's going on.
Let's talk a little bit about your protagonist. In our past conversations, you mentioned Warlock's schizophrenic nature was part of the appeal of writing the character for you. What can you tell us about his mental and emotional state when this story begins?
What a surprise, Warlock starts off this tale with certain disturbing mental problems and the series is him working through them. It'll seem at first that this story is really not connected to "Thanos: The Infinity Relativity," but appearances can be deceiving. As readers of the previous two graphic novels know, Adam has gone through a rather subtle but major transformation so far in this tale, but those changes really haven't been thoroughly explored as of yet. In the "Infinity Entity," these changes are the focus of the story.
I imagine part of Adam's schizophrenic nature comes from his dark alter ego, the Magus -- a character you created. I understand if you can't answer because of spoilers, but is there a chance of seeing the Magus in this story?
The Magus will make a rather brief appearance before the conclusion of our tale, but he really isn't a major -- or even minor -- factor in the story. From the start, this "Infinity" run has been centered on Warlock, Thanos and Annihilus. There's another major player in the mix but saying anything about him would be a spoiler. No, it's not Spider-Man.
What hints and teases can you offer about the trouble Warlock becomes embroiled in during "The Infinity Entity?" What's at stake in the story?
This story is all about time, space and omnipotence. So, in the first issue Adam encounters the Avengers, but not in the incarnation you would expect. Both the In-Betweener and Thanos make unexpected guest appearances. Later, some of Marvel's most cosmic beings will stop in to say hello. Really can't get too specific about anything because that would ruin the ride. Let's just leave it at if you've got a taste for the cosmic, this is the series to pick up.
Who are some of the other supporting players in the story?
Pip the Troll and the Guardians of the Galaxy will also be part of the rather extensive supporting cast. My duties on the upcoming "Dreadstar" TV series are pretty well precluding me from doing much work for Marvel in the near future (at least presently). So I wanted to pack as much into this final tale as I could manage reasonably.
As you mentioned, helping you bring to life all these characters is fantastic veteran artist Alan Davis. What's it like working with Alan? Have the two of you collaborated before?
I met Alan some thirty years ago, when he was first starting off. Liked his work well enough back then but over the years he has developed into what is arguably the best comic book penciler around, easily my favorite. We've never worked together before but, at a convention a couple of years back, we talked about collaborating on something. So when "The Infinity Entity" came up, I immediately dropped him an e-mail and begged him to work on the project. Lucky me, he agreed.
Finally, I understand "The Infinity Entity" sets up the conclusion to this current cycle of Marvel Cosmic tales, a story called "Thanos: The Infinity Finale." How does it feel to be working on the penultimate chapter to your multi-part tale?
Actually I worked on and finished the scripts for both "The Infinity Entity" and "Thanos: The Infinity Finale" simultaneously. Both Alan and Ron Lim, who's penciling the "Infinity Finale," needed pages to draw almost immediately, so I started off writing the first issue of the "Entity," switched to twenty pages of "Finale" and jumped back and forth until both jobs were concluded. Wasn't hard, had it all broken down into thumbnails before starting on either series.
I have had a great time working with Tom Brevoort, Andy Smith, Ron Lim and everyone else involved in this long-running epic. Thanks guys and gals. You've all made an old coot look like he still knows what he's doing.
"Infinity Entity" arrives in our universe in Spring 2016