Tag Archives: Comic Books

ADAM WARLOCK: THE MAGUS PART TWO

Adam WarlockWith the superhero movie season already upon us Balladeer’s Blog’s examination of another old, old, OLD Marvel Comics hit continues. This one was written AND drawn by Jim Starlin.

FOR PART ONE PLUS A RECAP OF ADAM WARLOCK’S FICTIONAL HISTORY CLICK HERE

Magus Part TwoPART TWO

Strange Tales #179 (April 1975)

Title: DEATH SHIP

Synopsis: The previous chapter ended with Adam Warlock being smacked around by the superior power of the Magus, the god worshipped by the interstellar Universal Church of Truth. It developed that the Magus could not kill Adam because, somehow, Warlock and the Magus were actually one and the same being. Killing Warlock would be the same as killing himself. 

Adam (powerful enough to fly through space under his own power at faster than light speeds) set off for the faraway galaxy that is the seat of power of the thousand worlds ruled by the Universal Church of Truth. That lies roughly 12 galaxies away from the Milky Way so this long, long journey is taking Warlock into parts of space never before depicted in the Marvel Comics universe of the time. 

Our hero is determined to free the worlds enslaved by the Magus, destroy his “Church” and slay the Magus himself … even if it means that he (Adam) will die as well. 

AutolycusAfter his clash with Warlock last time around the Magus has alerted his empire’s starships to be on the lookout for any sign of our hero. The first vessel to come across Adam is the spaceship called The Great Divide, commanded by the blue-skinned Captain Autolycus of the Black Knights of the Church (more on them shortly).

Warlock can tell the ship is a Church craft because of the insignia on its hull: the main church symbol (the high-tech cross-ankh that Adam was crucified on back on Counter-Earth) as well as cocoons, lightning bolts and assorted bee-hives. All of them connected to Warlock’s strange existence thus far and therefore tantalizing reminders that he and the Magus are one and the same being somehow.  

Adam is powerful enough to single-handedly take on an entire starship and the battle is on. Unfortunately our hero loses the dogfight, is knocked out by blasts from the spacecraft and is hauled in as a prisoner.   Continue reading

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ADAM WARLOCK, THANOS, GAMORA AND DRAX

Magus 1Balladeer’s Blog takes a look at the turning point story for Adam Warlock, a Marvel Comics character … and therefore probably destined to become a pop culture demi-god like almost every other Marvel figure thrown at the screen. (He was already an Easter Egg in their Cinematic Universe)

Marvel Comics characters, their film rights spread across multiple studios, have been at the center of seemingly countless movies in recent decades as well as plenty of television shows, both broadcast and cable. Flops like Howard the Duck and Ben Affleck’s Daredevil are cultural touchstones for cinematic failure. Marvel’s vampire slayer Blade, introduced in the 1970s, succeeded in three motion pictures AND a television series long before the Black Panther was adapted for the screen.

The X-Men, Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and others have appeared in multiple films. Even less popular Marvel figures like the Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man have been money-makers. Hell, even Groot, originally introduced as a rampaging monster in NINETEEN SIXTY has become nearly iconic despite having the most limited vocabulary this side of “Hulk will smash!”

(Yes, Groot – like Fin Fang Foom, Patsy Walker and the zombie Simon Garth – came even before the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man!).  

All of which is my roundabout way of getting back to ADAM WARLOCK, another lesser-known Marvel character who will probably become a household name before you know it. Adam had the very FIRST encounter with GAMORA. He fought THANOS in multiple storylines dating back to the 1970s, sometimes alongside DRAX and THE AVENGERS. Continue reading

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JUSTICE SOCIETY 24: ALIEN INVASION

Mister TerrificBalladeer’s Blog’s examination of the Justice Society’s World War Two-era stories continues. FOR PART ONE CLICK HERE 

I will review the original issue and then detail how I would “script-doctor” the story for modern audiences.

All Star 26ALL STAR COMICS #26 (Fall 1945)

Title: MYSTERY OF THE METAL MENACE

Heroes: FLASH (Original), JOHNNY THUNDER, THE ATOM (Original), DOCTOR MIDNITE, WONDER WOMAN (Original), GREEN LANTERN (Original), HAWKMAN (Original)

Villains: THE METAL BEINGS OF JUPITER 

flashSynopsis: The Justice Society members are assembled at their Philadelphia headquarters because of the disappearance of scientist Herbert Crawford. Crawford had fallen into disrepute recently over his claims that a spaceship from Jupiter was headed for the Earth with hostile intentions.

Around the world that spacecraft is spotted as it distributes beings of living metal which proceed to run amok. The JSA battle the Metal Men as they not only devour all manner of precious metals like gold and silver but also eat iron railroad lines, copper out of telephone cables and so on.   Continue reading

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JUSTICE SOCIETY 23: THE FORGOTTEN CRIME

HawkgirlBalladeer’s Blog’s examination of the Justice Society’s World War Two-era stories continues. FOR PART ONE CLICK HERE 

I will review the original issue and then detail how I would “script-doctor” the story for modern audiences.

All Star 25ALL STAR COMICS #25 (Summer 1945)

Title: THE FORGOTTEN CRIME

Heroes: FLASH (Original), DOCTOR MIDNITE, GREEN LANTERN (Original), WONDER WOMAN (Original), JOHNNY THUNDER, THE ATOM (Original), HAWKMAN (Original)

Villains: THE HOODED MAN, BIG HUNK ADAMS AND HENGAST KIMBALL THE OIL BARON

WildcatSynopsis: At their Philadelphia headquarters the Justice Society of America encounter an amnesiac man who insists he somehow knows that Rob Victor, a man convicted of murdering wealthy Timothy Kimball years earlier, is really innocent.

The JSA members look into this and are secretly followed by a Hooded Man who often seems to be interfering with their investigation of this old crime involving one of America’s wealthiest families.

Crimelord Big Hunk Adams and his gang try to thwart the Justice Society as well. Adams’ involvement thoroughly baffles the Justice Society members. Continue reading

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JUSTICE SOCIETY 22: THIS IS OUR ENEMY!

Per DegatonBalladeer’s Blog’s examination of the Justice Society’s World War Two-era stories continues. FOR PART ONE CLICK HERE 

I will review the original issue and then detail how I would “script-doctor” the story for modern audiences.

All Star 24ALL STAR COMICS #24 (Spring 1945)

Title: THIS IS OUR ENEMY!

Heroes: MISTER TERRIFIC, WILDCAT, FLASH (Original), DOCTOR MIDNITE, GREEN LANTERN (Original), WONDER WOMAN (Original), HAWKMAN (Original), THE ATOM (Original), JOHNNY THUNDER

Villains: ASSORTED GERMAN MILITARISTS (I would revise the story to use PER DEGATON as the villain since he was the Justice Society’s most prominent Nazi foe.)

Mister TerrificSynopsis: This is the first issue to feature Mister Terrific and Wildcat as part of the Justice Society of America.

Our heroes encounter Dick Amber (Dick Amber?), a recent draftee who doesn’t know why America is fighting Nazi Germany.

The female embodiment of The Conscience of Man shows up for her second and final appearance to help the JSA bring out the jingoism in Dick Amber (Dick Amber?) by showing him assorted atrocities and letting him help them fight back. Continue reading

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JUSTICE SOCIETY 21: THE PSYCHO-PIRATE

SpectreBalladeer’s Blog’s examination of the Justice Society’s World War Two-era stories continues. FOR PART ONE CLICK HERE 

I will review the original issue and then detail how I would “script-doctor” the story for modern audiences.

All Star 23ALL STAR COMICS #23 (Winter 1944)

Title: PLUNDER OF THE PSYCHO-PIRATE

Heroes: HAWKMAN (Original), DOCTOR MIDNITE, THE ATOM (Original), STARMAN, THE SPECTRE, JOHNNY THUNDER

Villain: THE PSYCHO-PIRATE, whose name and power to affect emotions seem to have inspired Marvel’s much-later villain Psycho-Man. 

Psycho-PirateSynopsis: The Courier newspaper has been covering the crime-spree of a supervillain calling himself the Psycho-Pirate because of his power over emotions. The Psycho-Pirate contacts the Courier to issue a challenge to the Justice Society of America to try to stop his crimes.  

The villain preys on the emotions of his victims AND our heroes as he continues his criminal activities. Continue reading

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JUSTICE SOCIETY 20: A CURE FOR THE WORLD

superman golden ageBalladeer’s Blog’s examination of the Justice Society’s World War Two-era stories continues. FOR PART ONE CLICK HERE 

I will review the original issue and then detail how I would “script-doctor” the story for modern audiences.

All Star 22ALL STAR COMICS #22 (Fall 1944)

Title: A CURE FOR THE WORLD

Heroes: DOCTOR MIDNITE, WONDER WOMAN (Original), THE SPECTRE, HAWKMAN (Original), STARMAN, THE ATOM (Original), JOHNNY THUNDER

Villains: CAVEMEN, WITCH-HUNTERS, BLUE-BLOODED OPPRESSORS, LUDDITES AND CENSORS

Wonder WomanSynopsis: A mystical female figure who embodies “The Conscience of Man” summons the Justice Society of America.

She sends them forth to battle the forces of intolerance no matter what form those forces take. Continue reading

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