Thursday, 6 September 2012

Marvel Essential Warlock - part 2

Marvel Premiere featuring Warlock #2

The issue starts with Warlock crashed to the (Counter) Earth like a falling star. He’s found by four kids who look a lot like kids on our familiar Marvel Earth and speak like... well, not kids anywhere, but like but 70s era Roy Thomas hipster kids.

Thanks for the lesson in civil rights, cool Dave!

Then we’re treated to a recap of the previous issue by the High Evolutionary and introduced a little more to Counter Earth. It turns out the Man Beast who corrupted High Evolutionary’s creation also made sure that no one caught the super power bug. Those individuals still exist, they just never gained the powers that made them super heroes and super villains. Out attention is drawn to three individuals in particular:

Even good-Doom's fashion sense leans towards the scary skull mask.

Doom is illustrated without a hood, but still with his armoured face. I thought Doom’s mask came from his initiation into the dark arts, which included having his face burned off. Maybe Counter Earth’s Doom was initiated in a white magic lodge that has the same face-burning off ritual. I'd question the white magical credentials, though, of a magical order that had the face-burning off thing among its rituals.

Back on Counter Earth, we learn that the kids are actually the rebellious children of a senator, an army general and prominent business man. They’ve all runaway because they’re sickened by the antics of their square, establishment olds. Parents and kids have one of those I’ve-tried-to-understand/you-don’t-dig-our-trip conversation that’s familiar from corny pretend youth rebellion films of the era, where no one’s wrong, everyone loves each other and just wants to get along.

These codgers aren’t at all impressed by the oddly dressed golden-skinned Adam Warlock. They’re a bit more impressed when he fights off the Rhodan the ratman who subsequently attacks. Warlock then uses his psychic powers to reveal to the square dads what awful damage their actions do to the world. In the face of this psychedelic evidence, the dads have to admit that the kids might be right and slink away. 

Counter Earth seems like a deliberate effort to separate Warlock from regular continuity. He’s unique on his world and that creates a different kind of story than you can easily tell cheek by jowl with super soldiers, thunder gods and mutant telepaths on hand. I’m also struck by how much like golden age pulp space opera it is, with the creation and destruction of world’s being just a whim away, and the Flash Gordon/Dr Moreau style Beast Men.

That ends the two issue preview – next up The power of Warlock #1!

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