Will Poulter as Adam Warlock in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Why Adam Warlock Feels Oddly Familiar in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’

The latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s hero roster, Will Poulter’s Adam Warlock in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, reminds me of one character in particular.

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Spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 ahead!

Teased back in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Adam Warlock makes his debut as a creation of the High Evolutionary, a nearly unstoppable super-powered force serving only the Sovereign and, by extension, his creator. He’s certainly an interesting addition to the MCU, and the new Guardians team in particular, if a little underutilized in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Not to worry, though—as the MCU continues to evolve, I have no doubt we’ll see Will Poulter back in the role at some point in the future.

Even in Poulter’s limited screen time, I couldn’t help but notice the parallels between his Marvel character and one other character Poulter is famous for playing. In Guardians, it’s emphasized that Adam is not yet fully developed. He’s brash and obnoxious, yet also naive and oblivious, slightly out of place in the story until he finds his groove and discovers his inner hero.

Remind you of anyone?

Having recently rewatched The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the similarities between Adam Warlock and Will Poulter’s character in the third Narnia film felt striking. Eustace Scrubb, cousin to the heroic Pevensie siblings, starts in the story as rude, disagreeable, unworldly and blundering. Does it feel like I had to break out the thesaurus to differentiate those descriptions? I did! But only because these two characters felt like they were cut from the same cloth.

And I don’t mean that in a bad way at all—Poulter is great in both performances, perfectly portraying characters who just need a little time to find out they can be, more than what they’ve been told they are.

Will Poulter as Eustace Scrubb in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
(Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Both Adam Warlock and Eustace Scrubb need a little encouragement to discover their best selves. Eustace turns into a dragon as a consequence of his greed, but it is his time as a dragon that gives him a different perspective on Aslan’s magical world, and that allows him to identify with and develop a loving friendship with Reepicheep, Narnia’s most courageous talking mouse.

Adam, similarly, develops a bond with an adorable fuzzball named Blurp, a creature he feels inexplicably protective of and decides to train as a pet. This, of course, creates a few hilarious situations, but it’s also another instance in which it feels like Eustance and Adam are inextricably linked.

In the end, both of Poulter’s fantasy characters get to become heroes. Eustace helps Lucy (Georgie Henley), Edmund (Skandar Keynes), and Ben Barnes’ lovely Prince Caspian save Narnia once again and becomes a better human being in the process. Adam saves Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) from certain death in the vacuum of space and joins Rocket’s (Bradley Cooper) new Guardians team as seen in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3‘s first post-credits scene. What’s not to love about that? I’m a big fan of unexpected parallels, and James Gunn’s final Guardians of the Galaxy movie certainly delivered.

(featured image: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)


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Image of El Kuiper
El Kuiper
El (she/her) is The Mary Sue's U.K. editor and has been working as a freelance entertainment journalist for over two years, ever since she completed her Ph.D. in Creative Writing. El's primary focus is television and movie coverage for The Mary Sue, including British TV (she's seen every episode of Midsomer Murders ever made) and franchises like Marvel and Pokémon. As much as she enjoys analyzing other people's stories, her biggest dream is to one day publish an original fantasy novel of her own.