Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Power Of Warlock - Masks!

In the third issue of The Power of Warlock (yeah I know it's technically just "Warlock" but I prefer the fuller title) by Mike Friedrich, Gil Kane and Tom SuttonAdam Warlock and his disciples (four teenagers) are riding a high-speed  boat across the water off the coast of Malibu.

They encounter a submarine manned by the handsome Apollo and his minions who it seems work for the malevolent Man-Beast. A battle commences and Adam is able fend off the threat but Apollo is revealed to be the much more hideous genetically evolved warthog named "Triax the Terrible" and he holds the lives of the twins Eddie and Ellie Roberts in his deadly hands.

In the battle with Triax  (called inaccurately "Trax" on the cover) presented again by the team of Friedrich, Kane and Sutton, Colonel Roberts, the father of the twins held in the claws of Triax calls in an airstrike which has little result save to make the monster throw Eddie Roberts to his death. This death is quite the blow to everyone involved, including Warlock who will have to allow time to pass to heal his hurt.

Seeing that his lack of faith in Warlock has caused this result, the Colonel calls upon Adam to save his daughter. Warlock does and defeats and kills the deadly enemy but too late to save his fallen disciple. As the Roberts family grieves we meet Victor Von Doom who is quite  different on this Counter-Earth.

Master pulp writer Ron Goulart steps in to script the next story in the fifth issue titled "The Day of the Death Birds!" and it is also sadly the final story by the art team of Gil Kane and Tom Sutton. In this tale Victor Von Doom is a scientist working in good faith with the United States government on weapons development, but the test of a new weapon dubbed the "Death Birds" worries him since it will take place too near a dam which itself is near a cache of abandoned military weapons. He calls the President, a man named Rex Carpenter who has recently been elected to that post and whom we met last issue, ignores his warnings and proceeds with the tests. The dam breaks and a disaster looms.

But Adam Warlock, recovering from the death of Eddie Roberts has been healing inside his cocoon and emerges in time to help save the locals from the flood. But the President surprisingly names Warlock a threat to the nation on television making him an enemy of the state.

The failure of the responsible adults on Counter-Earth to offer up proper protection against the threats which Warlock battles is clearly a theme of these early stories. Warlock offers up a clarity of mission which lesser men fail to grasp or confront and in his willingness to give his all functions as a proper hero for a society which finds itself by threats it doesn't really recognize, because as we see in these stories masks hide all sorts of things. 

More to come tomorrow as a new art team takes the helm.

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1 comment:

  1. At the time these came out, with Kanes art, Warlock became my favorite marvel book.


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