This week I’ve pulled out my copy of Marvel Premiere # 1, cover dated April 1971, and featuring, The Power Of Warlock. It has a lovely cover of the new star of the book, Warlock, as well as, the Hulk and Thor, as drawn by the art team of Gil Kane and Dan Adkins. The comic itself takes the little known character known as Him, who had previously been introduced in the pages of the Fantastic Four #s 66 & 67.
Here’s what that cover looks like:
The book opens with a symbolic splash page showing Him floating in the foreground and a closeup of the High Evolutionary in the background. The title appears; “And Men Shall Call Him … Warlock!” The only other words on this page are: “Featuring: The awesome unleashed power of the being known only as … Him”. The story is written by Roy Thomas and the cover art team of Gil Kane and Dan Adkins provide the pencils and inks to the interior, as well as, the cover!
The story opens with the High Evolutionary providing a flashback of what has happened in the past. He remembers his own story line from Thor # 134 & 135, where he first created his ‘beast-men’, but when he used a wolf as a subject, the Man-Beast was created. Thor was able to defeat the Man-Beast and his army of evil new-men and they were exiled. Next the High Evolutionary’s thoughts turned to another past adventure, this one from Tales to Astonish # 94 through# 96. This time when the evil new-men returned it took the power of the Hulk to defeat them!
Finally on page seven of this book we return to the present, where the High Evolutionary has secured the cocoon that contains Him, that was last seen in Thor # 165 & 166. It is in this book the the High Evolutionary creates his New-Earth and his plans for mankind to develop a peaceful existence, only to see the Man-Beast return and cause man to once again kill and overthrows the High Evolutionary’s plans. Him observes all this while still inside his cocoon and on page twenty-four (24) bursts from his cocoon to prevent the High Evolutionary’s death.
The evil Beast-Men flee to the new world and the High Evolutionary plans to destroy the new Earth and all on it. Before he can do this, Him intervenes on the new Earth’s behalf, and agrees to go down to the new Earth as battle the Man-Beast and his evil Beast-Men. Before the High Evolutionary teleports Him to the planet’s surface, he implants a blazing emerald gem in his forehead. This gem ultimately is revealed to be the Soul Gem, but that’s a story for another time!
Roy Thomas finishes his tale using the transformed title once again; “… Men Shall Call You Warlock!” Thus ends the transformation of the character only known as Him into a new character, Warlock! And history is made! Warlock’s story would continue in the next issue of Marvel Premiere (#2), before continuing elsewhere in the Marvel Universe!
Roy Thomas did and excellent job taking a minor character and transforming him into something completely different in this book and Gil Kand did an outstanding job of bringing Roy’s story to life! I give this comic four (4) out of five (5) Legion Flight Rings!
I loved this book as well! It was the start of a great era for this former Fantastic Four background character. The “Power of Warlock” series it spawned is one of the under appreciated greats from the bronze era. Good choice, sir!