"U.S.Avengers": A Guide to Marvel's New Patriotic Superhero Team
Every week, we will be examining comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent). Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of The Abandoned An’ Forsaked. Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.
Based on a suggestion from a reader named Tony, we examine how Marvel handled Jim Starlin’s attempt to keep Warlock from planet Earth.
At tail end of his run on Warlock, Jim Starlin decided to shake things up a lot. In Warlock #14, Warlock is in conflict with this powerful villain on Earth known as the Star Thief who has projected his consciousness into the Andromeda Galaxy and is, well, stealing stars.
Warlock heads to Earth to stop him, but is shocked at what he finds…
The Star Thief is dealt with in the final pages (he is so distracted by his mental projection battle with Warlock in space that he doesn’t realize that he has left himself open to attack on Earth and he is killed).
In the next issue (Starlin’s last), Warlock bemoans his situation…
Clearly, Starlin’s intent was to officially separate Warlock from Earth and end the series with Warlock being off among the stars, searching for new adventures along the way.
However, this is an inter-connected comic book company, so soon after Warlock #15, Bill Mantlo brings Adam Warlock back in Marvel Team-Up #55, where Mantlo explains how Warlock can interact with Spider-Man (who is stuck in outer space on a runaway rocket when he encounters Warlock)…
“Now wait just a second here,” you might say, “First off, how the hell does the portal reduce Warlock’s size but keep Spider-Man the same size?” and “Even if we accept Mantlo’s change, he is not FORSAKING Starlin’s original story, he is just abandoning. God, Brian, you’re ruining everything!”
And you would be right about both. Mantlo’s fix wasn’t very good and it did not forsake Starlin’s original srory.
That, instead, would be done by Mark Gruenwald in Marvel Two-in-One, where Gruenwald explains that Warlock was only tricked into THINKING he had grown by some aliens that were planning on stealing Counter-Earth, so they needed to find a way to keep Warlock out of their business…
And Warlock has been roughly human-sized ever since.
Starlin, of course, tried again to take Warlock off the table for other writers when he killed off not just Warlock, but pretty much his entire supporting cast (Thanos, Pip and Gamorra). It unsurprisingly did not take, either (although at least it was Starlin who got to bring them all back).
Thanks for the suggestion, Tony! If any of you readers out there have suggestions of your own, let me know (you can e-mail them to me at email@example.com).