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Will Poulter’s Role as Adam Warlock in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,’ Explained

Will Poulter and Adam Warlock

First look footage of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was released at SDCC on July 23, 2022. The footage reportedly gave a first look at Will Poulter’s Adam Warlock. Since last year, we knew that Poulter was cast in the role of Warlock for the film. His casting came after Warlock’s official live-action debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) was teased at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Initially, Warlock was suppose to be an integral part of that film. However, with the film already being stuffed with characters, he was cut down to a post-credits scene.

But now, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is gearing up to give Warlock a proper introduction. The film is set to release on May 5, 2023, six-years after the second film premiered. So far, it seems the movie will follow several different storylines. In addition to Warlock, the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji) will also make his live-action debut. Meanwhile, Gamora (Zoe Saldaña) is now working for the Ravagers and has no recollection of her time with the Guardians. Another major point in the film will be the tragic exploration of where Rocket (Bradley Cooper) came from.

However, as SDCC revealed a first look at Poulter’s Warlock, he is once more a major topic of discussion. While the footage hasn’t been released publicly, those who saw it seemed pleased at how great he looks as Warlock. However, his dramatic entrance only lasted a few seconds, leaving viewers eager for more. Here’s everything that we know about Poulter’s Warlock.

Who is Poulter’s Adam Warlock in the MCU?

Adam Warlock’s entrance into the MCU has actually been teased as far back as 2013. In Thor: The Dark World, an ancient cocoon of the Sovereign’s is spotted in the mid-credits scene, in the Collector’s museum. While it wasn’t the same cocoon that would later hold Adam, it did tease the Sovereign’s history of creating new life forms. Then, in 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy again gave a glimpse of the Collector’s primitive Sovereign cocoon.

Finally, in 2017, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 actually featured Warlock’s cocoon. This takes place in the post-credits scene where Sovereign leader, Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki), is distraught at her failure to capture the Guardians. As a result, she begins creating a new being, seen forming in a birth pod. She names her creation Adam and believes he will be capable of defeating the Guardians.

Hence, it has been established that Warlock is an artificial being created by the Sovereigns to target the Guardians. However, his comic book origins are a little different.

Marvel’s Adam Warlock, explained

Adam Warlock in Marvel Comics
(Marvel Comics)

In the comics, Warlock is created by a group of scientists known as the Enclave, rather than the Sovereigns. They are seeking to create the perfect being and Warlock refers to himself as “Him” in the beginning. However, he eventually rebelled against them and went to space, where he met the High Evolutionary. He volunteered to fight the Man-Beast who had corrupted one of the High Evolutionary’s artificial planets, Counter-Earth. In return, the High Evolutionary gave him the name Warlock and bestowed unto him the Soul Gem. Meanwhile, the inhabitants of Counter-Earth nicknamed him Adam, giving him his full name.

After defeating Man-Beast, Warlock set about traveling the cosmos as a force of good. Among his powers are cosmic awareness and superhuman strength, stamina, durability, agility, and reflexes. He also has the ability to form a cocoon around himself that regenerates his body from injury, and even resurrects him from death. Upon each “rebirth” he evolves and becomes more powerful. Meanwhile, with the Soul Gem, he can sense other souls, absorb them, and place them within Soulworld.

Over the years, Warlock gained many enemies and comrades. However, among his closest associates were Pip the Troll, Moondragon, Gamora, and Drax. The 5 of them even formed the Infinity Watch, in which each member guarded one of the Infinity Gems. After Gamora was killed by Thanos and Warlock and Pip greatly injured by him, the three lived in Soulworld for several years. However, when Thanos again threatened Earth, the three were reincarnated to fight the Mad Titan once more.

Adam Warlock in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

The Guardians of the Galaxy

In addition to being close to Gamora, Drax, and Pip, Warlock also did temporarily join and travel with the Guardians. In fact, Warlock was never necessarily a villain in the comics. Granted, he did have an evil, alternate version of himself, Magus, from the future. However, he succeeded in changing the timeline so that he never became the evil version of himself. Magus still, at times, did awaken within him, but Warlock worked hard to protect the universe from himself.

As a result, his mission to destroy the Guardians in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 likely won’t fully play out. While he may be a villain upon birth due a lack of experience living, it is more likely that he will turn into an ally of the Guardians over time. His exact storyline in the film, though, remains to be seen. Whether the MCU chooses to have him as a villain or a hero, the possibilities for this artificial being’s future are nearly endless.

(featured image: Amy Sussman/Getty Images/Marvel Entertainment)

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Rachel Ulatowski is an SEO writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, YA literature, celebrity news, and coming-of-age films. She has over two years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.