Magus (comics)

Magus (comics)
The Magus from Warlock #11.
Art by Jim Starlin
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Strange Tales vol. 2, #178 (February 1975) and in person in Warlock #11 (February 1976)
Created by Jim Starlin
In-story information
Alter ego originally Him; changed to Adam Warlock, and later to Magus
Team affiliations Universal Church of Truth
Abilities Superhuman strength, speed, stamina, flight, and durability
Cosmic awareness
Cosmic energy manipulation

The Magus is a fictional character, a Marvel Comics supervillain. He is an evil version of the hero Adam Warlock.


Publication history

The Magus was created by Jim Starlin, and appears as an image in Strange Tales vol. 2, #178 (February 1975) and in person in Warlock #11 (February 1976).

Fictional character biography

The Magus in his first incarnation is the evil, alternate future incarnation of Adam Warlock and rules a religious empire called the Universal Church of Truth. The Magus subtly guides Warlock through a series of actions that will eventually result in him becoming the Magus. The Magus sent demons against Adam Warlock, revealing himself to be Adam Warlock's future self.[1] The Magus revealed his origin to Adam Warlock. He battled Adam Warlock, Gamora, and Pip the Troll, and had the Matriarch killed.[2] With his Death-Squad, he battled Adam Warlock, Gamora, Pip, and the mad Titan Thanos. The Magus' plan is thwarted, however, by Thanos who provides Warlock access to a dimension where he destroys all but the shortest of his future timelines, as well as the efforts of the In-Betweener. The Magus — unable to stop Warlock as he was locked in battle with Thanos — then ceases to exist.[3]

Years later, after Warlock had died[4] and subsequently been resurrected,[5] he acquires the Infinity Gauntlet and subconsciously expels his evil psyche, which recreates the Magus. The Magus then acquires several versions of the artifact the Cosmic Cube and engages Warlock, Thanos and many of Earth's heroes in a long and protracted war, creating various doppelgängers of Earth's heroes to keep them occupied. Alongside his doppelgänger of Thanos, he battled the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, the X-Men, Alpha Flight, X-Factor, the New Warriors, the Infinity Watch, the true Thanos, Galactus, Doctor Strange, and the Silver Surfer. The Magus's final goal was to force his opponents to reassemble the Infinity Gauntlet, thus granting him access to its unlimited power. Although the plan seemingly succeeded, Thanos, correctly surmising the Magus's true goal all along, was able to trick the Magus by replacing the Reality Gem with a convincing but powerless replica, thus creating a limit in the Magus's powers that allowed Warlock to take the Magus by surprise while he was once again occupied by Thanos. Having shaken the Magus's control of the Infinity Gauntlet, Warlock releases Infinity and Eternity — two aspects of the same entity, rather than, as the Magus had believed, two distinct entities — who subsequently overpower the Magus, allowing Warlock to use the Soul Gem to absorb the Magus, although Warlock is left in a coma as a result.[6] Adam Warlock later confronts the Magus and seeks his aid against the Goddess, the "good" aspect of Warlock's persona. The Magus, however, tries to take over Warlock's form, but is defeated and left trapped in the Soul Gem.[7]

The Magus eventually escapes the Soul Gem in an immaterial form. He absorbs the life energies of others to regain his form and power, and schemes to usurp the cosmic power of Captain Marvel. Genis, however, defeats the Magus and reverts him back to energy form. Unknown to Genis, the Magus later reforms on an unknown planet.[8] The Magus then retaliates against Genis's friends and allies. The Magus wounds Moondragon and then heals her, revealing that she is destined to become his slave.[9]

Following a recent rebirth, Adam Warlock directs the Guardians of the Galaxy in efforts to seal tears in reality itself, caused by recent massive conflicts throughout the universe.[10] On their first mission, the Guardians encounter a modern-day incarnation of the Universal Church of Truth, who identify Warlock as their messiah and appear to have a second Warlock-style cocoon in their possession. The cocoon violently resists attempts by the Church to open it prematurely.[11]

During the War of Kings, Warlock expends great amounts of magical energy in battle. This causes his skin to take on a purplish tinge and makes him act more violently and sadistically, mocking a foe in pain and gleefully tearing apart Shi'ar soldiers.[12] At the climax of the war, an Inhuman weapon tears a massive hole in reality, called the Fault.[13] In order to halt the Fault's expansion, Warlock calls upon the Church's resources to power a massive spell that secures the fault in space-time to an "unused" timeline: the future where he became the Magus. Now at his weakest, he is unable to stop the Magus taking control of him, despite Phylla-Vell's attempt to murder him before that happens. He took control of the Universal Church of Truth.[14]

Magus goes on on to forcibly turn every possible future into the Magus future, only opposed by Kang the Conqueror and an army of alternate Starhawks. Unable to strike himself, Kang plucks several Guardians (who have become temporal anomalies) from the timeline and sends them back to the creation of the Fault; using a Cosmic Cube, they should be able to hold back the Magus' awakening long enough to kill Adam Warlock. Star Lord initially tries to convince Adam to hold the Magus back instead, only to discover that to secure the Fault Adam overlapped timelines and has, in effect, been the Magus for several months. Magus awakens and goes on to seemingly kill Gamora, Phylla-Vell, Cosmo, Major Victory, and Mantis before he's driven back, and Star Lord (at Adam's urging) finally shoots Warlock dead.[15]

However, Magus survived this fate (he later reveals that the final "battle" was merely complex illusory magic on his part[16]), and is holding Gamora, Phylla-Vell, Cosmo, Major Victory, and Mantis in suspended animation as his prisoners.[17] After Phyla-Vell breaks free with the other Guardians, Magus escapes to the Church's Homeworld.[18]

Magus was later killed, once again, by the Cancerverse version of Captain Marvel, who killed him not only for his failure in a recent mission, but also because Marvel was intrigued by being able to kill - something he'd apparently never experienced before.[19]

Powers and abilities

The Magus is an artificially-created being whose body has certain cosmic energy receptive cells. As such, he had the ability to manipulate cosmic energy for a variety of effects.

The Magus is a more powerful version of Adam Warlock, capable of overcoming pre-resurrection Thanos in combat.[20] Like Adam, he controlled the Soul Gem, and possesses high-levels of superhuman strength, stamina, durability, including energy projection, telepathy, intangibility, quantum sorcery, and cosmic awareness. The Magus was also highly intelligent and a gifted strategist. He was an accomplished self-taught philosopher, and a master planner and schemer.

In other media


  • For the Silver Surfer animated series, Magus was featured in a dramatically different fashion: he was a mass produced clone soldier, from which Adam Warlock rebelled against.

Video games


  1. ^ Strange Tales vol. 2, #178 – 181
  2. ^ Warlock #8 - 9 (1976)
  3. ^ Warlock #10 - 11 (1976)
  4. ^ Avengers Annual #2 + Marvel Two-In-One Annual #2 (1977)
  5. ^ Infinity Gauntlet #1 - 6 (1991)
  6. ^ Infinity War #1 - 6 (1992)
  7. ^ Infinity Crusade #1 - 6 (2003)
  8. ^ Captain Marvel #32 - 34 (May - Jul 2002)
  9. ^ Captain Marvel VI #21-24 (May - Aug 2004)
  10. ^ Guardians of the Galaxy #1 (May 2008)
  11. ^ Guardians of the Galaxy #10
  12. ^ Guardians of the Galaxy #14-15
  13. ^ War of Kings #6 (Oct. 2009)
  14. ^ Guardians of the Galaxy #17 (Oct. 2009) and #19
  15. ^ Guardians of the Galaxy #19
  16. ^ Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 #24,
  17. ^ Guardians of the Galaxy #22
  18. ^ Guardians of the Galaxy #25
  19. ^ Thanos Imperative #1
  20. ^ Warlock #11 (1976)

External links

  • Adam Warlock at
  • Magus at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe

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