Adam Warlock is a Marvel Comics character, a cosmic hero who has starred in his own series several times. He's best known for being the personal nemesis of Thanos, for his connection to the Infinity Gauntlet and the Soul Gem, and as a founding member of the 616 version of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
He first appeared in Fantastic Four vol. 1 #66-67 (September-October, 1967), created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby for a Fantastic Four story, but in an earlier form called simply "Him", an artificial lifeform that escaped its creators. In Marvel Premiere #1 (April, 1972) writer Roy Thomas and artist Gil Kane reinvented him as a sort of "Space Jesus". This version came complete with crucifixion and resurrection! His task was to save an artificial parallel Earth (Counter-Earth) from a rebellious creation of its maker, The High Evolutionary.
But even more character-defining were the writings of Jim Starlin. It was under him that Adam became the philosopher-hero that he is best known to be today, as well as the Nemesis of Thanos. Starlin also introduced the rest of his supporting cast including Pip the Troll (his best friend, a drunken space satyr) and Gamora, his love interest, Thanos' former personal assassin.
Adam's major storylines involve his Evil Future Self, The Magus, whom he eliminated from existence by killing himself in the future (both got better later) and the Infinity Gems, a collection of gemstones (said to be Pieces of God) that grant Omnipotence if used all at the same time (Adam was given one, the Soul Gem, by the Evolutionary. He and his allies later took to guarding the rest, as a team known as The Infinity Watch.)
- Creepy Child: In the Annihilators: Earthfall mini, this is the form Magus is revived as.
- Cosmic Keystone: The Infinity Gems.
- Distaff Counterpart: 'Her' (later renamed Kismet), a second creation of the Enclave. She sought out Warlock to mate with him, but he was "dead" at the time.
- Still a female 'Warlock' previously known as Janie Chin was introduced in a 2003 mini.
- Also see Enemy Without trope below.
- Enemy Without: In addition to The Magus, Adam also once accidentally spawned a female, 'good' version of himself, The Goddess, who was still a menace as she wanted to purify the universe... by destroying it.
- Heel Face Turn: Gamora, raised by Thanos to kill Adam (to keep him from becoming his rival, The Magus, in the future) but fell in love with him instead.
- Face Heel Turn: Adam Warlock becomes the Magus in an alternate future and due to his actions containing the Fault in Guardians of the Galaxy, he becomes the Magus again.
- He Is Not My Boyfriend: It took Gamora a long time to realize her feelings for Adam, even after befriending him.
- Mad Scientist: The Enclave, the trio who created Adam to be a living weapon with which to Take Over the World. He had other ideas.
- The High Evolutionary is a superpowered one, with a God Complex to boot.
- Meaningful Name: The Evolutionary renamed him 'Adam' (for being the first of his kind) and 'Warlock' because "Men would fear his powers".
- Later Marvel characters, Warlock and his father The Magus, from the New Mutants series, are completely unrelated to him (but may have been named that way to conserve the trademarks, since both of the original characters were "dead" at the time).
- Stable Time Loop: By having Adam commit suicide so there would not be a Magus.
- Not that it seems to help as the Magus seems to always come back but that in itself maybe the Loop.
- Ultimate Lifeform: Adam's intended purpose, along with 'Her', was to be this.
- Unexplained Recovery: Adam (and Thanos and Gamora and Pip- Death Is Cheap when you own the Soul Gem.)
- What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic: It's amazing how Marvel got away with publishing a Science Fiction version of The Crucifixion in one of their comics.
- The Church of Universal Truth, an evil religious alien organization that Adam battled, also has Christian trappings.
- Zany Scheme: The Enclave kidnapped Alicia, The Thing's blind girlfriend, just so she could tell them what Him looked like, since they couldn't see it because of the dazzling light he emitted. All they achieved was getting the Fantastic Four mad at them.