Marvel Team-Up 55

The Stranger! The Gardener! Warlock! The Infinity Gems!

Only Adam Warlock is on the title page with Spider-Man, but inside this comic are the Stranger, the Watcher and the Infinity Gems. Yes, this is Cosmic Marvel in Marvel Team-Up.

For those unfamiliar with the main characters here, lets have an extremely brief backgrounder.

Adam Warlock is an artificial being created to be the ultimate human. Originally known as Him (with a counterpart called Her), Adam possessed enough superhuman powers to be matched against the top-tier Marvel heroes. At one point, he obtained the Soul Gem, one of the Infinity Gems, and became still more powerful. How powerful? Adam's usual sparring partner is Thanos, the god-Titan.

Next is the Stranger. The Stranger is an amalgam or the combined essence of an entire planetary population of billions. He possesses their strength, intelligence and powers. Power levels are enough to put the Stranger beyond the power scale of even the mightiest Marvel heroes, making him Cosmic in scope.

The Gardener is one of the Elders of the Universe. The Elders are the handful of beings in the universe that death would not touch. Through the eons they have survived by focusing on an area of interest. For the Gardener, his area of interest is the cultivation of flora (and fauna) throughout the universe. Because of their age, all the Elders have grown in power until each is a Cosmic level entity. The Gardener, at this point is also a possessor of the an Infinity Gem. It is worthwhile to contrast both Adam's and the Stranger's attitude to their Gem against the Gardener's. The Gardener is unconcerned by the changes in, and possible loss of, his Gem while both Adam and the Stranger have deep ties to theirs. I think this is appropriate and very subtle - Elders are so ancient they are no longer plagued by strong ties to objects of power.

Lastly there are the Infinity Gems. Together with such artifacts like the Cosmic Cube the gems are one of the power objects of the 616 universe. Eventually no less than three Marvel events will be held with the Gems as the focus; and one series, Warlock and the Infinity Watch, will feature them prominently. For now Spidey finds himself in front of three powerful wielders of the Gem, and surprisingly, gives a rather good accounting of himself; courage was never in question but his Spider powers managed to at least annoy the Stranger.

Posted by  Pete Albano - January 14, 2012

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