Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Power Of Warlock - Prophecies!


In debut issue of The Power of Warlock we a get a story by Roy Thomas, Gil Kane and Tom Sutton titled "The Day of the Prophet" which offers a bit of reprise from the lips of the High Evolutionary and then reintroduces us to our cast of Warlock and his teenage comrades. He then confronts his emissary Adam Warlock and wants to pull the plug on Counter-Earth, but Warlock talks him out of it.


They are entering a city and encounter a street preacher called only "The Prophet" who announces that the end is near and further than Warlock is a person who can help. But they are attacked by two of the Man-Beast's creations named Hauk and Pih-junn and are driven underground where the Prophet is revealed to be the deceiving Man-Beast himself.


In the follow-up story in The Power of the Warlock #2 plotted by Roy Thomas but written by Mike Friedrich with art by John Buscema and Tom Sutton, we see Warlock captured by the Man-Beast and his minions in their underground lair. There Warlock is shown that his teenage acolytes betray him when they are confronted by the mobs above and this drives him to anger, an anger which results in destruction and the intervention of the military and the resultant destruction of the city itself by nuclear device. But it is all a delusion by Man-Beast in an attempt to corrupt the soul of Warlock who rejects the nightmare and battles the Man-Beast who decides to escape. Warlock returns to the surface and his friends.


Roy is clearly evoking the stories of Christ and his own mission on Earth to seek out evil and confront it in the culture of the day. Warlock has been transformed and empowered but by falling to Counter-Earth and by assuming the role of savior he has made himself vulnerable to the machinations of the Man-Beast who seeks to corrupt and destroy the work of the High Evolutionary. This caring, something new for the creature formerly known as "Him" is what at once gives Warlock his strength and causes him to become vulnerable.  It is something we all confront everyday of our own lives. 


More tomorrow.

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4 comments:

  1. Another masterful post. Roy's intent is clear, went over my eight year old head at the time, but now...wow! I doubt this would make it to the racks these days--too controversial.

    What didn't go over my eight year old head, by the way, was Hauk and Pih-junn (a dig? homage? to Ditko's Hawk and Dove) or Warlock's updated Shazam/Captain Marvel threads!

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    1. I meant to mention the Captain Marvel connection in the previous post and just plain forgot. Thanks for bringing it up. I didn't grok it at the time either, but did get some feel for the Jesus allegory.

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  2. I think the loss of Kane was the reason Warlock didn't survive. His vision of the character was both glorious and emotional. You can even see his influence on Starlin's portrayal.

    Without Kane, there was no gravitas, no mythology. His was what you might call the Essential Warlock.

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    1. I liked the work of Bob Brown, but I have to say I agree with you. Gil Kane had an affinity for this character like no one else, even Starlin.

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