Heroes and villain alike have been dropping like flies in Infinity Wars’ relatively short run. Every issue of Marvel Comics’ latest, epic Infinity Stone-fueled event and its related comics seem to introduce a fresh new bloodbath. Readers have already seen both Thanos the Mad Titan and Star-Lord bite the dust, but Infinity Wars #2 kills off yet another beloved Marvel character. The issue sees the classic cosmic hero Adam Warlock beheaded by Gamora. The moment should be incredibly impactful, but it lacks gravity, and much of that has to do with Adam Warlock’s long, storied history, as well as Infinity Wars #2’s own admission that the death doesn’t really matter all that much.
Adam Warlock’s death comes just as the tables have turned for Gamora. Infinity Wars #1 ended with the daughter of Thanos taking on an assemblage of both heroes and villains, some of whom wield Infinity Stones. Gamora wants their stones, but no one is quite ready to part with them, partly because Gamora has been acting rather strange lately and partly because of a dread future vision.
Infinity Wars #2 continues where the first issue kicked off, and the two sides go toe-to-toe. Just when it seems like Captain Marvel has subdued Gamora -- surprise! -- it turns out that Gamora has wrested the Reality Stone from Gamora and disguised herself as Captain Marvel. Another nasty melee goes down, and Gamora takes a proactive approach to the threat that is Warlock by lopping his head off with a Power Stone-infused sword. Adam Warlock’s head tumbles away, he disintegrates and a giant cocoon appears in his place.
Adam Warlock’s cocoon has been with him ever since his earliest days, when he was born from a group of researchers looking to create the perfect human. Warlock’s cocoon has incredible regenerative properties and can even bring the hero back to life. One the earliest examples of Warlock licking his wounds like a reverse butterfly can be found in Thor #166, in which the Odinson goes absolutely ham on Him. Freshly born and intensely naïve, Warlock decides it would be a good idea to kidnap Sif right out the gate. It’s a bad plan. Before Thor can do too much damage, Warlock is rapidly incased in an enormous cocoon and escapes into space. Warlock would later be picked up by the High Evolutionary and reborn in Marvel Premiere #1, this time naïve in different ways. The entire saga establishes that death for Warlock is merely another state of being, and that he can rebound from almost anything. It’s a tale oft repeated in Marvel stories that incorporate the character.
But these are all well-trod tales for most comics fans. Most readers know that a death for Warlock isn’t wholly the end for the character. Somehow, some way, the cosmic hero will always be reborn. The problem that Infinity Wars #2 is just how flippant Gamora is about Warlock’s death. “Warlock, I would speak with you,” says Gamora as a lead-in to the killing blow, “but I know you will die before yielding. So, let’s get on with it. You’ll come back, anyway. You always do.”