James Gunn and the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 came to San Diego Comic-Con 2022, revealing Will Poulter as Adam Warlock, prompting questions of who is stronger in the MCU: Adam Warlock or Thanos. After years of Adam Warlock being teased in the MCU, Will Poulter was finally announced in the role in October 2021. It’s a dynamic casting choice of an incredibly talented young actor for a character who is bound to have a huge impact on the MCU in the years to come.
In the comics, Adam Warlock first appeared in 1967 in a Fantastic Four comic book. Initially, he was created by a group of human scientists who called themselves the Enclave. They intended for Adam, or “Him,” to be the perfect human specimen. After rebelling against the Enclave, Adam leaves Earth and travels throughout space. On his travels, he often works and teams up with various members of the Guardians of the Galaxy in the comics, including Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, and others. He later meets the High Evolutionary, who gifts him with the name of “Warlock.”
In the MCU, Adam Warlock was created and first referred to in the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 post-credits scene. The High Priestess Ayesha of the Sovereign created him to be a perfect specimen, meant to track down and destroy the Guardians for double-crossing her. It’s likely that Adam Warlock will start out as a Guardians villain, and if he does, he could be as big a problem for them as Thanos. In fact, he might actually be even more powerful.
Is Adam Warlock Stronger Than Thanos In Marvel Comics?
Though Thanos is one of the strongest entities in the galaxy, he is no match for Adam Warlock. Thanos is undoubtedly impressive. With his mutated Eternals lineage, Thanos has the typical powers of a cosmic entity: enormous speed, strength, durability, stamina, and immortality. He’s also telekinetic and telepathic, as well as has the ability to manipulate cosmic energy. Most earthbound heroes are no match for him.
Adam Warlock, however, is no earthbound hero and his powers dwarf those of Thanos by comparison. He essentially has all the powers of Thanos and more. Thanos can technically be killed; Will Poulter’s Adam Warlock can not–not permanently, at least. Adam has the ability to resurrect after each death, and his powers increase each time he dies and comes back to life. Eventually, he gains the ability to manipulate mystical energy as well as cosmic and to create matter out of nothing. Even more impressively he learns to harness the power of quantum energy, which gives him the ability to create portals, teleport, travel faster than lightspeed, and more. Beyond all of that, Adam Warlock even has the ability to resurrect other beings by transmuting their bodies, perform exorcisms, and read and manipulate auras. Thanos is impressive, but stacked up against Adam Warlock, he’s no match.
Why The MCU Didn’t Have Adam Warlock Fight Thanos In The Infinity Saga
While it would have been great to see Adam Warlock fight Thanos in the Infinity Saga as he does in the comics, the time to introduce the character simply wasn’t right. The MCU had to introduce dozens of characters through its first three phases, and Adam Warlock is a character who needs his own storyline rather than being introduced as an afterthought in another movie. Had he been introduced too soon, he would arguably have taken away attention and focus from other characters. Just consider how Captain Marvel’s entrance in Avengers: Endgame was the high point of the final battle against Thanos, and she’s nowhere near as powerful as Adam Warlock. Plus, just from a story perspective, the battle with Thanos would have been over far more quickly had Adam Warlock factored into the equation. It wouldn’t have been the epic showdown that Endgame offered, nor had nearly the same consequential sense of the Avengers being up against someone they might not beat.
Will The MCU’s Adam Warlock Be More Powerful Than Thanos?
Right now, it’s hard to say whether or not the MCU version of Adam Warlock will be more powerful than Thanos. At the very least, the early version of Adam Warlock will be on par with Captain Marvel in terms of power. It’s entirely likely that he’ll be even stronger. The MCU does have a regrettable history of nerfing its characters, particularly those who are magic-based. However, it would be deeply unfair to the character and a letdown to audiences to introduce Adam Warlock to the MCU and not make him as powerful as he is in the comics. To severely weaken him would cheapen his introduction and cause future problems for a character who should be an integral part of the MCU moving forward. With all that in consideration, it’s possible, even probable, that the MCU’s Adam Warlock will indeed be more powerful than Thanos.
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- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
- The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2023)Release date: Jul 28, 2023