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Warlock and the Infinity Watch #26: Review

Mar 1994
Jim Starlin, Tom Grindberg

Story Name:

Unlocking the past

Review & Comments

4 stars

Warlock and the Infinity Watch #26 Review by (July 29, 2023)
1st of a 3-part story.

I've previously mentioned in #14 that Senator Munson will turn out to be Warlock's old foe the Man-Beast. But before this trilogy is over we'll also learn that his bodyguard Shaw is actually his perennial minion Triax.

The Abyss/Maya plotline has also been slowly bubbling since #14 while we got through the Infinity Crusade event and the Blood & Thunder crossover.

It was Gamora's whole alien race that were killed, not just her parents. And originally it was Magus' Universal Church Of Truth that did it. But when she, Warlock and Thanos wiped Magus from existence (in Warlock #11) history changed so that it was the Badoon. Some (will) say it was always the Badoon working for the Church. Some (will) say it was Thanos himself.

Pip is sporting a horned helmet and spiked mace he probably nicked from the Asgardian Rock Trolls during Blood & Thunder.

It is noticeable that Vision didn't actually respond when Munson 'hypnotised' the Avengers. And the other Avengers wonder how Gamora was able to defeat him so easily. All will be explained next issue.

Thunderstrike isn't actually currently a regular Avenger, but he was 1 as Thor not long ago and he will be rejoining them as himself in the near future (Av#374 where he seems to already be an on-call team member). But he has just been working with some of them in the Avengers: Terminatrix Objective mini-series.

The other 5 Avengers were very recently all together for the dissolution of the West Coast Avengers in AWC#102. And since then Captain America had a small part in Darkhawk #37 and Giant-Man popped in as Henry Pym to War Machine's tale in Marvel Comics Presents #152.
And all that was not long after Av#369.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Warlock and the Infinity Watch #26 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Adam Warlock is still worried about their guest Maxam because the Time Gem showed Gamora a vision of Max standing over Adam's apparently dead body. And when he mysteriously arrived Max attacked Warlock on sight for reasons he himself doesn't know (part of his general amnesia). Moondragon and her Mind Gem failed to cure his amnesia (in Warlock Chronicles #6) but Adam now has a more drastic plan in mind. He intends to combine the might of the Mind Gem with his own Soul Gem and Drax' Power Gem. We learn that they've found a safer place for D's Gem. (He previously swallowed it and kept it in his stomach, but temporarily-mad Thor punched him in the gut in his #469 which made him vomit it up and Thor used it against the Infinity Watch.) They've now embedded it in Drax' belt which means he can't lose it without losing his trousers.

Currently simple-minded Drax thinks they're going to play a game, but he'll do anything Adam or Moonlady (as he calls her) tell him. Warlock sends a beam from his Soul Gem into Drax' mind from which 2 beams exit to hit Heather Douglas' head. A single beam links her to Maxam, and suddenly they're all on the psychic plane where Moondragon's skill is at its peak.

But we take time out to visit the other-dimensional castle of Count Abyss. He's about to send his companion Maya to get Warlock's Soul Gem armed only with a bottle of wine. He tells her to take the antidote just before she shares the drink with Adam. And he warns her of the penalty if she fails him.

In another interlude in the UN HQ Senator Kyle Munson tells someones by phone that the UN Security Council has unanimously voted to send them on a mission, and he'll be there soon to brief them on it. He confides to his bodyguard Ralph Shaw that Monster Island (the Infinity Watch's base) will be getting visitors tomorrow morning. And the result will be Warlock either dead or branded a villain. Either will suit Munson.

Meanwhile the 3-Gem power assault is forcing its way through massive resistance to Maxam's long-term memory. The subject finds it extremely painful.

Munson and Shaw meet their team, and it's the Avengers (Captain America, Black Widow, Giant-Man (currently Henry Pym again), Hercules, Thunderstrike and Vision). Cap admits that they are currently a UN team but they aren't their enforcers. Munson clarifies that their mission is to kill Adam Warlock, when they thought they were only going to evict him from Monster Isle. Munson claims that Warlock is a terribly dangerous villain, and the Earth won't be safe until he's dead. He obviously uses whatever power he used on the Security Council because now all the Avengers agree with him.

Back on the Isle Moondragon breaks through the last of Maxam's psychic barriers, and declares that they were all implants grafted on to his mind. But now she shares some visual images with the group. We see a blonde woman. We see Maxam and another in a similar uniform go through training exercises. We see Maxam undergoing robotic surgery. And we see an aged alien telling him he's the last chance, and all depends on him. But then a psychic boobytrap goes off and our 4 chars are caught in a mental maelstrom.

Moondragon breaks the link before they suffer brain damage. She declares the experiment too dangerous to repeat. Maxam still can't remember his past, but Adam deduces that he's not from Earth. But they all, even Maxam, identify the alien as a Badoon. Heather suggests they don't share that info with Gamora because it was Badoon who killed her parents.

Next we see Maya appearing before a startled Moloid. She asks him if Adam Warlock lives in the castle but by then his gaze is fixed on something else and a heavy fist KOs both of them.

Our 4 chars are having breakfast with Pip The Troll when bikini-clad Gamora strolls past for her regular 5 mile swim. Adam is reticent about the results of their Maxam experiment so she leaps off the 3rd-storey balcony to the ground and heads to the beach. On the way she comes across the unconscious Moloid and woman and is then engaged in battle with Cap, Herc and Vision. She takes down the synthezoid and is holding her own against the other 2 when Thunderstrike's mace fells her from behind.

The Avengers leave the fallen Vision and approach the castle. Maxam has seen what's happened from the balcony and the Watch go down to meet the foe at the gate. Adam asks  why his former allies (in the 3 Infinity events) are attacking. But their opponents just charge forward shouting "Warlock must die!".

Tom Grindberg
Bob Almond
Ian Laughlin
Tom Grindberg (Cover Penciler)
Tom Grindberg (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Jack Morelli.
Editor: Craig Anderson. Editor-in-chief: Tom DeFalco.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Drax the Destroyer)

(Hank Pym)

(Eric Masterson)

Plus: Count Abyss, Infinity Watch, Maxam, Maya Teraxtola, Triax.

> Warlock and the Infinity Watch: Book info and issue index

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