Adam Warlock has been a cult favorite Marvel hero since he was revamped into his current cosmic incarnation in the '70s. And back at his peak in the early '90s, Warlock was part of a team called Infinity Watch that stood guard over the Infinity Stones (or the Infinity Gems, as they were called at the time).
Now, in Warlock: Rebirth, writer Ron Marz and artist Ron Lim are returning to that early '90s heyday for a brand new adventure set against the backdrop of the Infinity Watch. But the veteran creative team has some surprises in store in the flashback story, including the retroactive introduction of Eve Warlock, Adam's female counterpart, whose origins and possible connections to Warlock's past remain shrouded in mystery.
Newsarama caught up with Marz ahead of Warlock: Rebirth #1's April 19 release to dig into Eve Warlock, what it's like teaming up with Ron Lim again, and what we can expect from Warlock's big retro adventure - along with some fresh new interior pages from the issue.
Newsarama: Ron, you cut your teeth in superhero comics on Marvel's cosmic wing back in the early '90s. How does it feel coming back to some of those same characters in that same era of their stories but in a much different era of your writing career?
Ron Marz: My first comic script ever was Silver Surfer, and it hit stores in 1990. Doesn’t seem like that long ago, honestly. Coming back to these characters and this corner of the Marvel Universe feels … I don’t know, natural? Back then, I was learning how to do this job while I was doing this job, so hopefully I’m a better writer now as I’m back in the same playground. But these characters feel very natural to me. Definitely a sense of coming home.
Nrama: Adam Warlock is one of Marvel's biggest cult favorite characters. What do you think makes him so unique in the Marvel Universe?
Marz: He’s kind of an oddball. Not warm and fuzzy, not someone we identify with like Peter Parker. But he’s trying to figure out who he is as a person, how to exist, and I think that’s something we all feel. There’s also a sadness to Adam, a sense of angst that makes him compelling.
Nrama: I'm gonna go ahead and cut to the question on everyone's mind. What can you tell us about Eve Warlock, who will debut in Warlock: Rebirth? What are her connections to Her/Ayesha/Kismet, if any?
Marz: Adam needs an Eve, right? I don’t want to say too much and spoil any of the story, but obviously we’re introducing someone named Eve Warlock, a counterpart to Adam, who is an artificially created being. Adam didn’t quite work out like his creators intended, he ended up being rebellious. So back to the drawing board by … well, I’m not going to say who.
As far as any connections to Her, you’re just going to have to wait and see. I know when Eve was initially announced, there were histrionics from some people who insisted there was some kind of agenda involved. That’s silly, as well as completely wrong. We’re telling a story. Anything I do, story comes first, and this is no different.
Nrama: You're not just coming back to familiar characters here, you're working alongside Ron Lim, who you've been working with for decades, including on Silver Surfer: Rebirth not too long ago. How has it been working with Ron on these stories, and how has your current working relationship evolved over the years?
Marz: Working with Ron Lim fits like a glove. Ron is literally the first artist I ever worked with in comics, he drew the first script I ever wrote. I was really blessed to be able to work with Ron to start my career, because I learned a huge amount about the process from him. Teaming up again is a joy, because we know each other so well. And hopefully we’ve both gotten better at what we do.
Nrama: Marvel has been cultivating a line of stories from classic creators working on characters and eras they're famous for, something that has seemed to connect strongly with a certain wing of fandom. What do you think are the pros and cons of the format? Is it as fun for you to dig back into these classic concepts as it is for the fans?
Marz: I see only positives, really, no cons. I think sometimes the audience forgets that publishing comics is a business. Creators and fans alike love these characters and these universes, but there’s also a necessary sales component that allows these stories to keep being told. Silver Surfer: Rebirth sold well enough that Marvel wanted me and Ron to come back for more, and we’re excited to be doing it. There’s an audience for these stories, so I feel like Marvel is being wise in offering a wide array of material for a wide audience. Ron and I are certainly having a grand time doing this.
Nrama: On that note, is there another story or character from your body of work you'd like to revisit in this way?
Marz: Well, I think I’ll always have more Kyle Rayner stories to tell, so I think Green Lantern would be one. I’d also love to revisit Star Wars. Seeing Star Wars as a kid was a life-changing experience for me. I had such a great time playing in that universe when Dark Horse had the license, and I got to tell a bunch of stories that I still really like.
Nrama: Warlock: Rebirth is hitting right as Adam Warlock is finally getting a long-awaited MCU adaptation. How does that increased profile affect your approach to this story?
Marz: Wait, Warlock is gonna be in a movie? Why did no one tell me?! Seriously, I’m completely intrigued to see what kind of take the MCU Adam is going to be. But I’m just like everyone else, I have no special knowledge of it ahead of time. I’ll buy a ticket like the rest of the audience. So I’m writing the comic version, and specifically the comic version from the Infinity Watch era.
Nrama: What do you want Adam Warlock's fans, both new and old, to know about Warlock: Rebirth going in?
Marz: In terms of the story, nothing. Anything you need to know is set up within the pages of the story, which is how it should be. That’s a matter of craft and of storytelling. Overall, Ron and I both love Adam Warlock and we’re doing our best to do right by the character, and tell the kind of freaky cosmic story readers have come to expect from Adam.
Learn the comic history of Adam Warlock.