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.
A cocoon similar in design to his one in the comics featured in the background of the Collector's collection in Thor: The Dark World, and again in Guardians of the Galaxy. By the end of Guardians, it's been cracked open and is empty — though Word of God is that in spite of the similar design, it wasn't his cocoon. Adam Warlock was originally considered for an appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but his role was cut as the script was revised — while his sister, Ayesha, serves as the film's secondary antagonist. A cocoon different from the one in the first movie is later seen in one of the stingers, which Ayesha refers to as 'Adam'. He will finally appear in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, portrayed by Will Poulter.
Warlock provides examples of the following tropes:
- Alien Fair Folk: Pip the Troll's race resemble satyrs both in appearance and behavior, though it's apparently a coincidence and they have no connection to Earth.
- Back from the Dead: Thanos revived Warlock after the Magus was killed in The Thanos Imperative.
- Cephalothorax: Judge Kray-Tor. Bonus points for having TWO pair of arms where his ears would be.
- Chaotic Neutral: Adam Warlock's Comic Relief sidekick Pip the Troll is a sleazy hedonist and trickster who really doesn't care about what happens to the universe as long as he can get a good cigar and a good drink and he's on the side of the heroes mostly due to his genuine loyalty to Adam.
- 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 Marvel cancelled Warlock in the middle of an epic story arc involving Warlock killing himself so that he would not become the Magus, his future/past evil self and Thanos preparing to commit a cosmic genocide, Jim Starlin finished up in whatever books he could get his hands on, including a few issues of Strange Tales, the Marvel Team-Up Annual, Marvel Two-in-One Annual, and the Avengers Annual.
- The Stars Are Going Out: Adam Warlock battled a being known as the Star-Thief who stole not just the stars but the light that had already left them (which is how Warlock knew there was an artificial cause.)
- 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.