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Warlock and the Infinity Watch #31: Review

Aug 1994
Jim Starlin, Patrick Olliffe

Story Name:

Abyss

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Warlock and the Infinity Watch #31 Review by (September 9, 2023)
Bob Almond and Art Nichols handle the inks this time.

This is Jim Starlin's last issue of this comic as he leaves Marvel again.

His 1st stint with Marvel lasted from 1972 to 1977 during which he introduced Thanos, took over Captain Marvel and then Warlock (involving Thanos with both of them). He ended by killing off Thanos and Adam Warlock (and his other creations Gamora and Pip).

He did a few odd issues of Marvel titles after that, but in 1980 to 1985 he mainly concentrated on his own creation Dreadstar for Marvel's Epic line, in Epic Illustrated and then in his own title before taking the character to First Comics. During that period he also killed off Captain Marvel in the 1st of Marvel's Graphic Novel line.

Then in 1990 he returned to take over Silver Surfer and immediately brought Thanos back to life, shortly followed by Warlock and the other 2 chars. This took him to the Thanos Quest, Infinity Gauntlet, Infinity War and Infinity Crusade events and then the Blood And Thunder crossover. Along the way he handed over Silver Surfer to Ron Marz and gave Warlock this Infinity Watch series (and the Warlock Chronicles limited series). Now in 1994 he's quitting again. But this time he's leaving his characters alive (and Ron Marz has been running with Thanos for a while).

He'll again do the occasional thing for Marvel, including a Spaceknights mini-series in 2000. But he won't be reunited with Thanos, Warlock and the others until 2002's Infinity Abyss mini-series (continuing his obsession with the word Infinity). During that he'll declare that some of the intervening Thanos apps weren't the real deal.

We've see Zalkor and Skrimblatt before in #23 but neither of them were called by those names.

The Count Abyss story will be concluded by 2 different writers in the next 2 issues, hopefully from a plot outline left by Starlin. (Given his association with Ron Marz it's a wonder he didn't ask for him to finish it off.)





 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Warlock and the Infinity Watch #31 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
In the white space that used to be Adam Warlock's private room he's asking the Orb Of Eternity for anything it knows about Count Abyss who has abducted Maya Teraxtola, the woman Adam loves (or has been made to love by a magic potion). Usually it just shows him images but now Adam is surprised to hear it speak to him as well.

It shows him Milos Abyss, 1 of a group of Imperial Researchers sent to investigate a recently discovered large derelict ancient spaceship of the now-extinct Zalgodian race. Abyss had made a lifetime study of the Zalgodians and knew more than any about the legend of the supposedly mythical Zalkor who granted them unlimited wishes. His deep knowledge allowed him to read the ship's log and access their star-charts. Now he wasn't going to share what he had found with the others. So he killed them and blew the ship up as he escaped in their own survey ship.

The star-charts led him to the holy shrine of Zalkor still orbiting its lonely planet. The satellite was larger even than the 1st ship but seemed equally deserted. Milos began to have doubts. If Zalkor gave the Zalgodians everything they wished for then how could they have died out? But he resolved to find Zalkor, or if he didn't then he'd commit suicide because his lifelong dream had turned to dust.

The ship had air so he shed his spacesuit and searched it. His information led him to descend a deep hole on a line. Which snapped partway down so he fell the rest of the way to the floor. And he was blinded by a light before he saw the huge bloated figure of Zalkor. Who begged him for some leaves of Skrimblatt from a large bowl in front of him. Milos knew that when a Zalgodian priest gave beta-metaphysic Skrimblatt to their god then he would grant a wish.

He gathers an armload of Skrimblatt and asks to become Zalkor's Kalorion. And he admits to knowing it will literally cost him his soul. They agree the deal and Abyss hands over the goods. Then a blast from his eyes transforms Milos into Count Abyss. The Orb remarks that thus began a relationship where each thought himself the master and the other the slave.

Then Abyss and Zalkor conquered their universe galaxy by galaxy, and Count Abyss ruled it mercilessly. But the Orb says that Zalkor's magic makes Abyss omnipotent only in that universe. The effect fades the further away from that reality either of them ventures. Which explains why Abyss sent his demon minions to Earth (in #16 and last issue).

The Orb also explains why Abyss wants the Soul Gem to give him a soul. He freely surrendered his own but when his lust for conquest was sated he found that life was empty without his soul. He determined to find a way of getting a soul without relinquishing his power. Returning to research he learned about the Infinity Gems and the Soul Gem in particular. He discovered that Adam Warlock had it and sent his demons to get it (#16). But that failed so he hatched the Maya/love potion plot, and now expects Adam to exchange the Gem for his love.

But Warlock decides to forestall such negotiations and strike when the foe least expects it. He tells the rest of the Infinity Watch that they're going to beard the Count in his den. He says Pip The Troll will teleport them there. Pip reminds him that he can only teleport to somewhere he knows. Adam replies that the Orb has given him knowledge of the place and reminds Pip that he can teleport to somewhere someone else knows if he's in contact with them.

So off they all go and arrive in sight of Abyss' fortress. Warlock proposes they sneak in and rescue Maya before anyone even knows they are there. But Drax points out that there's someone standing behind them.



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

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Drax
Drax

(Drax the Destroyer)

Plus: Count Abyss, Infinity Watch, Maxam.

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

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