*Spoiler alert - this article delves into some seriously cosmic comics canon relating to GotG Vol. 2*
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has blasted into theaters this weekend with a projected $140 million domestic opening, along with not one, not two, but five of Marvel's now infamous post-credits scenes--these unmissable stingers have become a vital part of the Marvel moviegoing experience. Ranging from sweet character beats like the shawarma sequence amidst the wreckage of The Avengers to first glimpses of brand new characters like the Maximoff twins at the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the post-credits sequences have given us some of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's most memorable moments and left us with some burning questions. In the case of Marvel's newest space romp that question is: just who is Adam?
In the third of the movie's stingers, we see Ayesha--the golden woman who hires the Guardians at the beginning of the film--being told that her failure to capture our rag-tag group of space ruffians has left her leaders less than pleased. Ayesha's appearance, and more so her actions, open up an entire universe worth of excitement for fans of Marvel's cosmic comics. Ayesha states that she's creating an ultimate being, one whom she thinks will undoubtedly be able to take down the Guardians of the Galaxy. She calls this man growing in a high tech cocoon "Adam."
So who is Adam? Well that's where things get really interesting. Prepare yourself for some serious comics canon! Remember those Infinity Stones (Gems in the comics) that the MCU's big bad Thanos has been looking for? Well, in a comic called Marvel Premiere #1, a character called Adam Warlock is given a singular Soul Gem by a character called the High Evolutionary. Later we discover that there are actually six gems in total. In Thanos Quest the Soul Gems are redubbed the Infinity Gems, and in Silver Surfer #44 the purple tyrant Thanos mounts the gems into his magical golden gauntlet of doom before attempting to gain omnipotence in the seminal Infinity Gauntlet. Sounding familiar yet? If it does it's because this is the story that the MCU has been building up to for almost a decade.
Ayesha's mention of Adam at this point in time makes perfect sense when we look back at his close relationship to the Infinity Gems in the comics. Plus, Adam not only has deep connections with many of the Guardians--Adam and Gamora have been romantically linked over decades of stories--but he's also been one himself. Following the events of Infinity Gauntlet, Adam becomes the keeper of the Infinity Gems and gives them to the members of his Guardians-esque team, the Infinity Watch. When the universe is threatened again in Annihilation: Conquest, Adam victoriously fights alongside other cosmic heroes and helps to form a new team under the Guardians mantle, one that looks suspiciously like the lineup we know and love from the films.
So what does all of this mean for the Marvel Cinematic Universe? GotG director James Gunn said that he wrote Adam Warlock into the first drafts of the smash hit sequel, but eventually chose to exclude him from Vol. 2's main plot. Though that makes it seem unlikely that we'll see Adam with a large part in next year's Avengers: Infinity War, the inclusion of Ayesha opens up some pretty out there possibilities. In the comics Ayesha is a female version of Adam Warlock, also genetically created by the Enclave and sharing almost exactly the same power set, at times even acting as his nemesis. That means her inclusion may well be less of a coincidence and more likely a forbearer of things to come.
What are your feelings about Adam's inclusion in the Guardians' galaxy? Could Ayesha end up being Phase Four's big bad? Will Warlock lead a new team of Guardians against some catastrophically cosmic foes? Get in touch and let us know what you think!
Images: Marvel Studios
Here's some other stuff we could be getting next time: