Why Adam Warlock Was a No Show in Avengers: Endgame
Avengers: Endgame writers will likely be answering questions about the highest grossing movie of all time for the rest of their lives. Finally, they’ve answered one of the lasting questions: Where was Adam Warlock in the battle against Thanos?
Adam Warlock is an extremely powerful character in the comics. He first appeared as Him in 1967 before eventually being named Adam Warlock by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane in 1972’s “Marvel Premiere #1.” The character played a major role in the events of “Infinity Gauntlet” and “Infinity War” in the comics but has yet to make a full debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Speculation began in 2013 after an easter egg in Thor: The Dark World. Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård) wrote “The Fault” on a chalkboard covered in notes which is likely a reference to the tear in space that Adam sealed in the comics. Fan excitement rose again after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, when Golden High Priestess Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki) revealed a type of “birthing pod” that held the “next step in our evolution,” a being that she named “Adam”. Yet, he has not appeared in an MCU film.
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In an interview with Backstory Magazine, writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely discussed some of their tough choices they had to make when writing Infinity War and Endgame for the big screen. Their first reaction to taking on the two culminating films, of course, was panic.
“If it is bad you will be embarrassed one year, and then you have to wait around because you know you’re going to be embarrassed next year.”
Marvel doesn’t panic though, the writers said. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige isn’t concerned about box office expectations because he only cares about story. According to Markus, Feige told them to “Just stick the landing… That’s what people remember. If that means cutting… shrinking it to make it more manageable. Do that.”
This freed them up to cut what was needed in order to keep the story focused on what they deemed important. McFeely explained that the first movie was a “Thanos movie” and the second was supposed to focus specifically on the original six Avengers. In order to keep the emotional moments between Thor and his mother and Tony and his father for example, details such as turning the Aether into a stone and revealing exactly where Captain Marvel was were best ignored. McFeely explained it like this.
“The logic right here was to honor the MCU as how it had already existed and the characters you’d already fallen in love with. We did not want to give too much story space to introducing a whole new person. It would rob you from somebody.”
This meant Adam Warlock would never get the screentime he deserves. Even Captain Marvel was widely left out of the narrative. In fact, Captain Marvel’s movie hadn’t even been written by the time filming began on Endgame. The Disney subsidiary notoriously allows writers and creators the freedom to create their own story without too much focus on the greater universe aspects. This means that each director can set up threads in their film with no greater intention for subsequent storylines. Adam Warlock, as of right now, is just a thread, but although there is no news yet if we will meet the formidable Adam Warlock, rest assured that if we do, it will at least be meaningful. You can listen to the Backstory Interview here.