The series continues from Marvel Premier issue 2. Adam Warlock stars in his first own ongoing series. The series lasted until issue 8, after which it was on a hiatus for 2 years. After that, the series resumed with issue 9 (hence that issue 9 says it's a "premier issue") and lasted until issue 15. Issue #9 is the first issue after the reviving of the series and was the continued story from Strange Tales #181.
Although a short series, it has been critically acclaimed for the ground breaking work Jim Starlin did in these comics.
Adam Warlock first appeared in Fantastic Four vol. 1 #66-67 (September-October, 1967), created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby for a Fantastic Four story, but as "Him", an artificial lifeform who had escaped its creators. In Marvel Premiere #1 (April, 1972) writer Roy Thomas and artist Gil Kane reinvented him as Marvel Space Jesus, complete with crucifixion and resurrection! His task was to save an artificial parallel Earth (Counter-Earth) from a rebellious creation of its maker, The High Evolutionary.
Nevertheless, he never really took off until a new writer got his hands on him - Jim Starlin. It was under him that Adam became the philosopher-hero that he is best known to be today, as well as the Arch-Enemy of Thanos. Starlin also introduced the rest of his supporting cast including Pip the Troll (his best friend, a drunken space satyr) and Gamora, his love interest, Thanos' former personal assassin.
Adam's major storylines involve his Evil Future Self, The Magus, whom he eliminated from existence by killing himself in the future (both got better later) and the Infinity Gems, a collection of gemstones (said to be Pieces of God) that grant omnipotence if used all at the same time (Adam was given one, the Soul Gem, by the Evolutionary. He and his allies later took to guarding the rest, as a team known as The Infinity Watch.)
Warlock has suffered at the hands of lesser writers over the years, but still exists in the Marvel Universe and occasionally pops up to save the day again.
Warlock provides examples of the following tropes:
- Back from the Dead: Thanos revived Warlock after the Magus was killed in The Thanos Imperative.
- Creepy Child: In the Annihilators: Earthfall mini, this is the form Magus is revived as. He possesses the bodies of other children to prevent the Avengers from attacking him.
- Deity of Human Origin: By the end of The Infinity Finale saga, Warlock has become the new Living Tribunal, the previous one having been killed by the Beyonders in the prelude to Secret Wars (2015). The catch is, this is the Warlock of an alternate universe who absorbed all of his universe's energies, cosmic abstracts included, then completely replaced "our" Earth-616 Warlock at the end of The Infinity Revelation. He brings the original back before he takes on his new role.
- Fully Absorbed Finale: After Warlock's series was canceled, Starlin was invited to write and draw the Annuals for The Avengers and Marvel Two-in-One, where he wrapped up the storylines from Warlock and seemingly killed off most of his own characters.
- Your Days Are Numbered: Warlock spent about half of Starlin's run on his title back in the 70s as this. Warlock killed his future self using his Soul Gem, so he knew it was only a matter of time before he met up with himself, which he did in the title's final issue.