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Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3: Why I'm Concerned About Adam Warlock's Debut

Adam Warlock posing
(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 just blew everyone’s minds recently when director/writer James Gunn announced Will Poulter joined the third installment as a highly-anticipated character, Adam Warlock. Fans waited a long time to see this Marvel character make his way to the big screen, but I have to ask, is it a little too late? Probably not, given the genius of James Gunn and superhero movies, but I am concerned about the character’s debut all the same. 

Fans expected to see Adam Warlock much sooner in the MCU, but excitement is still high about his arrival, even if it’s a bit later than expected. A large part of that comes from his connection with one huge part of the Infinity Saga: the Infinity Stones. Now that he’ll debut in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, I wonder, is this going to be the character we wanted to see?

Adam Warlock With Infinity Stones

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

A Lot Of Adam Warlock’s Character Is Tied To The Infinity Stones

The Infinity Saga had a lot of Adam Warlock rumors, and much of that was because he was such an integral part of the original story in Marvel Comics. In the comics, Adam Warlock took on Thanos in adventures related to the Infinity Stones (or Gems, as they were known back then). Rumors swirled years back that Warlock could join the MCU and be vital in defeating Thanos once the villain obtained control of the Infinity Stones. Obviously, that didn’t happen, and Thanos went on and destroyed the current MCU Stones. 

The MCU's heroes managed to snag alternate Infinity Stones to defeat Thanos, but at the end of Avengers: Endgame, they returned those Stones to their parallel timelines. That would suggest the Infinity Stones don’t exist within the present Marvel timeline, which squashes a big part of what Adam Warlock does in the Marvel Universe. Warlock formed the Infinity Watch to protect the Stones from falling into the wrong hands, but with the way the MCU labeled things, he’s presumably out of a job.  

That’s not to say Adam Warlock’s only use in the MCU is working with the Infinity Stones (despite him typically being in possession of at least one), but it has been a large part of his character in Marvel Comics. Missing out on an adventure involving Adam Warlock and the Infinity Stones will certainly be a bummer, but as mentioned, I doubt James Gunn is bringing the character in without a plan. As for what that plan may be, we can only speculate. 

Adam Warlock with staff

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

We Still Don’t Know The Deal With Infinity Stones Post-Endgame

Talk about Infinity Stones dominated a bulk of the MCU’s run, but we haven’t gotten much on them after Avengers: Endgame. There was a scene in Loki in which the God of Mischief stumbled upon a good number of them in a desk drawer. The discovery shocked Loki, and he learned that outside of their designated reality, Infinity Stones are meaningless. 

So if the Infinity Stones don’t exist in the present MCU timeline, and outside Infinity Stones won’t be of any use in that reality, then it feels easy to speculate Adam Warlock won’t be protecting any Infinity Stones there. However, it is possible that Adam Warlock is from another part of the multiverse, one which has the Stones. This would make sense, though one has to wonder if that means that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 could take place between universes. 

This wouldn’t be unrealistic to believe, as Loki teased another multiversal war could happen. This would imply the MCU will introduce a way to travel between dimensions, which does bleed into a notable Adam Warlock storyline. Warlock joined the Guardians of the Galaxy in Marvel Comics in an effort to plug fissures in space-time and prevent attacks from other universes that could threaten all existence. Perhaps that’s what could happen when Warlock links up the Guardians in the upcoming movie, but there are other avenues to explore as well. 

And, it’s possible we don’t know what all is true of the Infinity Stones in regards to the MCU. After all, Marvel never rolls out all the answers to questions all at once, so it’s possible there are loopholes in which traveling cross-dimension and using Infinity Stones are an option. Plus, if the multiverse is starting to blend, one could make an argument the rules may no longer apply. We’ll just have to see.

Adam Warlock in cut sleeves

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

There Are Other Parts Of Adam Warlock To Explore, But They Tie Back To Thanos

A lot of what’s known about Adam Warlock is via encounters with Thanos. Yet Marvel was able to tell the story of Thanos without Warlock, but I’m curious if the same can be done the other way around. The challenge will be to re-introduce the finer parts of Warlock’s war without tying in Thanos, such as his darker counterpart Magus. 

Adam Warlock’s universal counter-balance to his power is a character one might expect to see in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Magus definitely wouldn’t be the first thing to bring up in Warlock’s debut appearance, though I would expect to see him at some point down the stretch. That is, if there are even fans to take Warlock that far, because once again, so much of Magus and Adam Warlock’s persona in Marvel Comics is tied to The Mad Titan, Thanos. 

It’s great that James Gunn will bring Adam Warlock to the MCU, but all of these things lead me to ask, is it a little too late? It seemed like Warlock’s time to shine was during the Infinity Saga, so to bring him in afterward has me wondering how Marvel Studios intends to do the character justice. Again, the best I can do is point to Gunn’s past track record with superhero movies and show that he’s more than capable of turning lesser-known superheroes into smash hits. Plus, Will Poulter is an unexpected choice for the role, but he’s great in most projects he’s a part of. I’m sure ultimately things will be fine, but for now, I’m just a touch worried about what the plan is for Adam Warlock. 

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is currently slated to premiere Friday, May 5, 2023. That means there’s a lot of time to sit back and discuss Adam Warlock, so be sure to get a look at what he could look like via this awesome image.

Mick Joest

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.