20 best superhero comics to read after Infinity War

9 of 21

13. Magus Saga

In the least flattering terms, Adam Warlock is a lot like a teenager suffering through an especially turbulent growing up period. It’s not entirely his fault, as in many other dramatic high school processes. He was created by a group of scientists in order to act as a kind of weapon or tool and emerged from a kind of man-sized cocoon. As such, he doesn’t have any childhood memories to draw upon or family figures to dispense wisdom or advice. He just emerged, fully formed, and without any of the emotional regulation that you would desperately hope for.

After his first appearance in 1967, Warlock (also known as Him or Adam, naturally enough) went into a semi-retirement in writers’ minds. It’s not that he was universally despised or played out. He just… sort of faded away.

That would have been plenty sad if it weren’t for Jim Starlin. Yes, it’s true that four different people deserve credit for Adam Warlock’s creation — Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Roy Thomas and Gil Kane. However, it was Starlin’s work on the Magus Saga that really revived the character.
So, what did Starlin do?

The Magus Saga

In the Magus Saga (which runs in Strange Tales #178-181 and Warlock #9-11), Warlock finds himself set against the creepy Universal Church of Truth. This is a highly diverse religious empire that sounds kind of nice at first — species-wide cooperation is pretty nice in this universe — but gets dark, quick. Eventually, the Universal Church of Truth becomes of the biggest enemies of the Guardians of the Galaxy.

To make things even worse, Warlock discovers that the head of this nefarious church is … himself. Sort of. See, the founder of the Universal Church of Truth is the Magus, the dark aspect of Warlock. This particular version of the Magus is an older version of Adam Warlock that has turned evil and traveled back in time. The Magus is trying to shape the younger Warlock to become himself. It’s a dramatic story with plenty of surprises, including an oddly helpful Thanos.