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Warlock and the Infinity Watch #33: Review

Oct 1994
John Arcudi, Patrick Olliffe

Story Name:

Heart and soul

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Warlock and the Infinity Watch #33 Review by (September 16, 2023)
After a fill-in scripter last issue John Arcudi takes over for the rest of this title's run (apart from another guest scribe in #36).

Kray-Tor was a bad guy in Strange Tales #180 during Adam Warlock's war against the Magus. But villains become nice guys when they are taken to Soul World.

We don't know exactly how closely this issue and last have hewn to Jim Starlin's original intention.

There is some confusion over the talisman(s). Last issue Darklore said he had found talismans to defeat Count Abyss with, and Meer'lyn said she was attacking him with *the* magic charms (which I took to mean the talismans). But now there is only 1 talisman and she has to go fetch it.

In #15 Eternity told Warlock he would meet 5 people with certain characteristics. The Marvel Fandom Wiki entry for that issue listed who they probably were, which chimed with what I remembered.
The most obvious 1 was the terrible good person which was the Goddess in Infinity Crusade.
The 1 without a soul was Count Abyss.
The 1 who would touch Adam's heart was Maya.
The 1 entangled in a web of past and future woes was almost certainly Maxam.
But there is a question over the other candidate.
MFW identified the 1 whose trust Adam would betray as probably Maya's husband Darklore. That did ring a bell but now I re-find that he only becomes her husband at the end of the tale, so Adam hardly betrayed his trust by loving her. As it turns out it is Maya who he really betrays.
As it stands in these 2 issues Darklore doesn't have a really good reason for strongly opposing Abyss, as he would have if it was his wife that the Count had enslaved. I wonder Starlin had something more in mind.
Given all this I don't think we really know who the 5th person on the list is, and I don't think it becomes any clearer in  the rest of the series.

We've never seen Count Abyss or Zalkor again, and Darklore, Maya and Meer'lyn only make it into a cameo next issue.





 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Warlock and the Infinity Watch #33 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Count Abyss has lured Adam Warlock to his other-dimensional fortress to rescue Maya Teraxtola after infecting the pair with a love potion with no cure. With powers granted by the 'god' Zalkor he has defeated Warlock along with the rest of the Infinity Watch (Drax The Destroyer, Gamora, Moondragon and Pip The Troll plus their guest Maxam) and their temporary allies Darklore and Meer'lyn. And now he's taken what he wanted, Warlock's Soul Gem.

Abyss isn't wearing the Gem but has it imprisoned in a mystic forcefield. He tells the sentient jewel that he knows it has had a number of hosts before Warlock who all thought they were in control, but in reality *it* was feeding off their souls. This won't work with the Count because he gave his soul away to Zalkor in exchange for mystic power. But he finds life empty without a soul which his why he wanted the Gem.

Maya, her wrists joined by a mystic shackle, begs him to release her love Adam now that he has what he wants. But her lord just tells her to take food down to his 'guests' in the dungeon and afterwards he'll see what she can do to persuade him to free her from *her* shackles. And he reminds her that the love she feels is only the result of Zalkor's potion and only *seems* real.

In the dungeon the others (apart from Meer'lyn) are chained to the walls or otherwise incapacitated by what Abyss did to them last issue. Adam rushes forward to embrace *his* love but is stopped by a shock. Maya explains that the twisted Count has placed a mystic barrier between them so they can look but not touch. The villain relishes torture in all its forms. His 'demon' minions are actually the inhabitants of this kingdom deformed by his cruel will.

Inside the Soul Gem is Soul World where Warlock's former foes and others live in perfect harmony and tranquillity. But now they are subject to a tornado which sucks them up and allows Abyss to savour them.

We thought the diminutive winged Meer'lyn was killed last issue but now we see her battered but alive and carrying a large (to her) talisman. She watches the Count but then moves on to take the talisman to Darklore in the dungeon. He greets her but chides her for exposing the talisman so soon. But Meer'lyn says their foe is getting drunk on the souls in the Gem and her companion says this is what he planned. Meer'lyn uses the talisman to break the bonds of Darklore and Warlock (no-one else is presently fit for combat). DL explains that the talisman was hidden in a dimension unknown to Abyss, and Meer'lyn was only supposed to fetch it when the Count was weakened as he is now by intoxication. Adam hopes that this will be enough because he shrinks from doing what *he* knows is necessary.

As the inhabitants of Soul World recover from their ordeal and Abyss slumps from the sensations he's just experienced the 3 heroes appear before him. Darklore blasts him and the Count replies with a bolt of dark power ... which DL easily diverts to shatter the forcefield holding the Soul Gem. Meer'lyn flies in to deliver it to Adam who replaces it on his brow. The inhabitants of Soul World immediately feel better. Abyss immediately KOs Darklore but Adam takes the step he shrank from. He plucks Kray-Tor's soul from within the Gem and plunges it into the villain, and the soul makes Abyss fully aware of all the evil deeds he has done.

Reeling the Count teleports to Zalkor for help. But the 'god' no longer recognises him as his designated Kalorian now that he has a soul and he refuses aid. Abyss offers Zalkor this new soul in return for the return of his status. But now Warlock is there and punches him while pointing out that Kray-Tor's soul is not his to give. Darklore and Meer'lyn join them as Abyss spends the last of his power in a blast at Warlock, but Adam withstands it and suggests that the villain's new conscience won't let him kill.

Darklore now uses the talisman to open a portal to a dimension far away from Zalkor. Warlock beats the Count up a bit and then retrieves the spirit of Kray-Tor before throwing the villain through the hole which DL then closes. The mage says it will take years for the baddie to find his way back. But Adam surveys the cost as he sees the inhabitants of Soul World welcome their friend back but Kray-Tor shrinks from their sympathy.

With Abyss gone Darklore is able to restore the other heroes and the people of Egolix-7 to their proper state. But he can't undo the result of the love potion created by Zalkor. Maya of the Royal House will rule the Kingdom and he will become her King and court wizard (a marriage of diplomatic convenience). Adam wishes them well (hiding a tear) and the Watch take their leave. And down below Zalkor calls in vain for his drug Skrimblatt.



Patrick Olliffe
Bob Almond
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, Darklore, Infinity Watch, Kray-Tor, Maxam, Maya Teraxtola, Meer'lyn.

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

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