Is one of Marvel's most powerful characters headed to the MCU in James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy?
If you've poked around on Comic Book Brain Splatter at all, you know that I'm a huge proponent of an expansion of all things Cosmic in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With the tease of Thanos at the end of The Avengers, a course was set in motion that was only headed to one end: the Infinity Gems. That end has now, through the mid-credit scene of Thor: The Dark World, been clarified for us. The Infinity Gems, called the Infinity Stones in the MCU, are out there, they are powerful and the good guys know it's best not to keep them together. We didn't know it at the time, but the Tesseract, which was a focus of Captain America and The Avengers, is one of the Infinity Stones and, in The Avengers, we learned that Thanos wanted it badly. If there's anything that the comics have taught us over the years, it is that when Thanos wants something badly, he will stop at nothing to get it and, in most cases, he cannot be stopped from getting it. While it's always taken a convergence of heroes from all over the Cosmos to stop him, the one being that's played the biggest role in slowing Thanos' roll has always been Adam Warlock and, it looks like we are going to see him join the fray in Guardians of the Galaxy.
Now, this is far from a direct confirmation of his appearance. I don't have sources and I don't make set visits, therefore, I have no first hand information. One thing I do have though is a pretty decent knowledge of the Marvel universe and a penchant for asking questions and doing a lot of thinking. This is one of those times that speculating and questioning seems to have paid off as I got as close to confirmation of Warlock's appearance as we are going to get at this point by going to a guy who does have sources and does make set visits.
This story, published by Drew McWeeny at Hitfix back in November, which was just put back into circulation today by DCMarvelFreshman over at CBM, held the final key to me putting two and two together. Here's Drew's quote on how the Collector, who we met in Thor: The Dark World, would come into play in Guardians of the Galaxy:
"While he's not one of the main characters in "Guardians," he plays a key role in the film, and so does his collection. The Guardians are going to need something from him, and we'll see what happens when Star Lord (Chris Pratt), Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), and a giant man-tree thing called Groot all show up on his planet asking for access to something in that collection."
The Collector's collection was glimpsed in the mid-credit scene of Thor: The Dark World and, if I'm right, the thing that the Guardians want access to in that collection was glimpsed as well.
What you're looking at there is, most likely, the cocoon of Adam Warlock, which I wrote about here in November, Screen Rant ranted about back in November and El Mayimbe tweeted about back in September. The Collector, it seems, is keeping Warlock in suspended animation as a part of his collection.
With all that info tumbling around in my head, I needed some clarification before I felt like putting this story together and I had the following Twitter exchange with Drew McWeeny:
@CBBrainSplatter I think that is a very good guess on your part and you will not be shocked when you see the film.To me this is as close to confirmation of Warlock as we'll get. My guess is that when things get too hot for the Guardians, who are a part of a free for all for an orb we all expect to be another Infinity Stone, they'll need to go Warlock for help. Will it be because they can't handle the heat or because the orb is the MCU equivalent of the Soul Gem which is intricately connected to the history of Warlock? That, obviously remains to be seen, but, at this point, I think we should all prepare to meet Adam Warlock when Guardians of the Galaxy hits screens this August!
— Drew McWeeny (@DrewAtHitFix) January 2, 2014
Whatever Warlock's role in Guardians of the Galaxy is, we can expect he'll play a bigger role in Phase 3 and the ultimate showdown with Thanos, the Mad Titan, leaving open the possibility that the studio may want to land a solid actor to hold down the role of Warlock which reminds me of something...
Note: Just about everything you might want to know about Warlock is linked throughout this article. There is a great chance that I have jumped the gun here and that everything I have based my speculative conclusion on is completely wrong. If that's the case, apologies in advance. If not, I'll be just as happy as you guys to see Warlock on screen this summer!
UPDATE: As it turned out, Warlock was not present in the flesh in Guardians of the Galaxy. What we've all believed to be his cocoon was prominently on display in The Collector's Knowhere museum, but recently director James Gunn told Collider that while it's look is based on Warlock's cocoon, it isn't actually his, “You see what’s been commonly known now as ‘Adam Warlock’s cocoon’, which is based on Adam Warlock’s cocoon, but I didn’t actually intend to be Adam Warlock for all the people who think Adam Warlock escaped the explosion." Gunn continued,
"I’m not sure exactly how it’s going to happen. I do like the character of Adam Warlock, but I’m not sure that’s where he start out or if he’ll be in any of the next twelve Guardians of the Galaxy movies.”
There's still plenty of room for Adam Warlock in the future and, as I've said, his relationship with Thanos and his deep history with the Soul Gem make him seem like a lock for the future; however, James Gunn certainly has his own very unique vision for the Cosmic side of the MCU and it's quite clear it doesn't include many relationships that are canonical in the comics. Only time will tell if we'll see Warlock in the future, but he could be a fit for the already announced Guardians sequel or could turn up as a cameo or post-credit's stinger in Doctor Strange or Thor: Ragnarok. Keep your eyes peeled!
Sources: Hitfix and CBM