Tag Archives: Thanos

ADAM WARLOCK: THE MAGUS, PART FIVE

Adam WarlockBalladeer’s Blog’s examination of another old, old, OLD Marvel Comics hit continues. This one was written AND drawn by Jim Starlin. (The overrated and over-praised Alan Moore only writes, doesn’t draw.) 

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

Magus 5PART FIVE

Warlock #9 (October, 1975)

Title: THE INFINITY EFFECT

NOTE: The first four installments of The Magus were successful enough for Marvel Comics to re-launch Adam Warlock’s solo series. The previous chapters were published at Strange Tales and this 5th part resumed the Warlock comic book beginning with number 9. The first run of Adam’s solo series ended with number 8 back in October 1973 during his Counter-Earth adventures.  

Infinity EffectSynopsis: We pick up immediately where we left off. Adam Warlock, Gamora and Pip the Troll have at last come face to face with the REAL form of Adam’s future self, the Magus, instead of the misleading “green like the Soul Gem” disguise he had been hiding behind.

Confusion is still in the air, because though the Magus is Warlock’s future self, his Universal Church of Truth was formed to worship him as its god 5,000 years ago. The explanation for that is at last forthcoming in this Timey Wimey chapter.

Pip comments on the way the Magus in his real form looks just like Adam except for being purplish-gray and having “an electro hair-do” as the Troll calls the Magus’ White Guy Afro. The Magus dismisses Pip as a fleabag, rises from his throne and says that the difference is far more profound than that. He is what “this golden butterfly” (Adam) will become.

Tom Fleming WarlockThe villain further states that he is what the forces of Chaos and Order have decreed that Warlock will become. NOTE: This carries over Jim Starlin’s use (in Captain Marvel’s comic book) of Chaos and Order as his William Blake-styled personifications of cosmic forces beyond human understanding. Starlin had Chaos and Order and their subordinate entities “upgrade” the Kree Captain Mar-Vell to help him against Thanos in the original 1970s Thanos War, covered in 2017 here at Balladeer’s Blog.  

Adam calls the Magus a cancer for the way his tyrannical  Universal Church of Truth has enslaved or obliterated countless planets, all just to further the Magus’ desire to become the only god worshipped anywhere. The Magus taunts Warlock and in response Adam attacks his future self. 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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CAPTAIN MARVEL, NICK FURY, AVENGERS AND THANOS

Captain Marvel 31CAPTAIN MARVEL! CAROL DANVERS! THE AVENGERS! NICK FURY! THANOS! THE KREE-SKRULL WAR! RONAN THE ACCUSER! OMNI-WAVE PROJECTORS (Intergalactic Pagers)! AND EVEN MORE EXCLAMATION POINTS!!! 

Here are links to all the chapters for reader convenience.

Avengers 89I. THE ONLY GOOD ALIEN IS A DEAD ALIEN – Ronan the Accuser overthrows the Supreme Intelligence to take control of the alien Kree Empire. Meanwhile, the Avengers help the Kree officer Captain Marvel and Rick Jones stop Annihilus from escaping the Negative Zone after Mar-Vell and Rick break out. CLICK HERE 

II. JUDGMENT DAY – Ronan the Accuser comes to Earth to personally oversee Sentry 459’s attempt to kill the Avengers as well as to launch Plan Atavus, a project that will set back Earth’s evolutionary clock by millions of years. CLICK HERE  Continue reading

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MANTIS 16: THE THANOS WAR CONCLUDES

FOR PART 1 OF BALLADEER’S BLOG’S EXAMINATION OF MARVEL’S SUPERHEROINE MANTIS CLICK HERE  – With Marvel Comics characters basically being Pop Culture Deities these days I’m approaching this topic the way I approach neglected mythological epics.

Captain Marvel 33CAPTAIN MARVEL Volume 1, Number 33 (July 1974)  The God Himself

Before I dive into Mantis’ crucial role in this final chapter of the 1970s Thanos War I’ll do a quick look at two supporting figures in that conflict – Drax the Destroyer and Moon Dragon. 

These two characters and their relationship with each other have a direct connection to the mysteries surrounding Mantis herself, especially the upcoming Celestial Madonna storyline.

Drax the DestroyerDRAX THE DESTROYER: Just like our Vietnamese heroine Mantis, Drax from the Guardians of the Galaxy movies was introduced in the 1970s. He’s much different in the G of the G films but this blog post deals strictly with his original depiction.

Drax was originally an Earthling named Arthur Douglas. Years earlier he was driving home from Las Vegas with his wife Yvette and his little daughter Heather when they spotted a UFO that was one of Thanos’ scout ships checking out the Earth in advance of a planned invasion years down the road. 

The ship blasted the Douglas’ car to kill any potential witnesses. Douglas died in the crash, but Thanos’ father Mentor – wanting to create a nemesis to destroy his mad son – intercepted Arthur Douglas’ soul as it left his body. Mentor encased that soul in an incredibly strong and powerful elemental body.

As Drax the Destroyer, whose sole purpose for existence was the destruction of Thanos, the late Arthur Douglas became a major player in the forces opposing the mad Titan in the Thanos War. Among other deeds he helped Iron Man defeat Thanos’ minions the Blood Brothers.  

Moon DragonMOON DRAGON: As for Arthur’s daughter Heather, Mentor took the child back to live with him and his fellow Eternals inside Saturn’s moon Titan. From an early age the girl was rechristened Moon Dragon and was trained in super-powerful versions of martial arts.

Most importantly Titan technology helped bring out and enhance her telepathic and other psionic powers to the point where she outclassed even Charles Xavier himself. (And Moon Dragon debuted YEARS before the bald woman Ilea in Star Trek: The Motion Picture)

Mantis faceNOTE: So, as we’ll see, a) Mantis and Moon Dragon were born at the exact same time in different parts of the world to different parents … b) Each were raised and trained by otherworldly cultures to bring out the most in their physical and supernatural abilities (Mantis by the Priests of Pama, Moon Dragon by the Eternals of Titan) … c) Each is “the other woman” in a romantic triangle (Mantis with Vision and the Scarlet Witch, Moon Dragon with the Black Widow and Daredevil) … AND d) Each recently had an emotionally scarring reunion with a father they’ve never really known (Mantis with Libra, Moon Dragon with Drax the Destroyer).   

Just coincidental parallel experiences or something more? Stay tuned.

THE GOD HIMSELF

Captain Marvel 31Synopsis: The Avengers (Thor, Captain America, the Scarlet Witch, the Black Panther, the Vision, the Swordsman and MANTIS) have just landed back at Avengers Mansion after destroying Thanos’ invasion fleet in space. As we saw in the previous installment Mantis’ mutant empathic powers told her some strange change had come over the entire planet during their hours-long battle in outer space.

Thanos, lurking nearby, smugly observed that Mantis was correct. He had willingly sacrificed his invasion fleet because while the Avengers had been off the Earth fighting that fleet of spaceships he had made subtle alterations that have doomed every life form on the planet.  Continue reading

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MANTIS 15: THANOS

FOR PART 1 OF BALLADEER’S BLOG’S EXAMINATION OF THE MARVEL SUPERHEROINE MANTIS CLICK HERE 

Avengers 125THE AVENGERS Volume 1, Number 125 (July 1974) The Power of Babel  

MANTIS’ vital role in the 1970s Thanos War is on the slate in this post. This first Thanos War was basically the same as the much later Infinity War, coming in movie form soon. Thanos was trying to get his hands on the Cosmic Cube, later called the Tesseract. This object was later ret-conned into being one of the Infinity Stones or Infinity Gems that fit into the Infinity Gauntlet.  

So I guess the Infinity War is like the Thanos War but with SIX items for the scavenger hunt instead of just one. If this villain’s name isn’t familiar to you, he’s the big purple guy who keeps showing up in mid-credits scenes of Marvel movies.

THE POWER OF BABEL

Synopsis: The Avengers are back from Vietnam after saving the world from the Star Stalker. Much was revealed about the enigmatic Mantis but much still remains a mystery with some contradictory notes especially puzzling our heroes for now.

Mantis 125Libra is being taken off to prison by the authorities. Mantis tells him she still can’t think of him as her father but she feels that they are both the better for what has happened. He asks if she will visit him in prison but she replies that she does not know. It may depend on what she learns about her enigmatic past next.

Captain America returns to the team after dealing with a long, multi-issue adventure in his own comic book. Mantis welcomes him back and then goes to visit her romantic partner the Swordsman in the hospital as he recovers from being tortured by her crime lord uncle. 

After she leaves, Thor, Iron Man, the Scarlet Witch, the Black Panther and the Vision bring Cap up to date on the new developments regarding Mantis.

Captain Marvel 28Soon the Avengers – including Mantis and the recovered Swordsman – get dragged into the ongoing Thanos War which had been playing out in multiple Marvel titles back then.

Parts of the conflict involved Iron Man, Daredevil and the Black Widow plus the Thing from the Fantastic Four but the bulk of the action took place in Captain Marvel’s comic book.

Supervillains like the Blood Brothers, Ramrod, Angarr, Super-Skrull, the Dark Messiah and the Controller served Thanos who – with his homeworld (Saturn’s moon Titan) at last conquered – turned his attention to Earth. Continue reading

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