Monday, October 15, 2012


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“I am HIM… not born of man and woman!  I was created to be invincible!
And those who made me… made me well!”
--Adam Strange/HIM  from THOR #166

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Tonight we look to the wonderful world of funnybooks for a peek at a different kind of Frankenstein Monster.  This one created by evil scientists for an evil purpose.  This one who destroys his creators and seeks a companion because he is alone in the universe.

I’m speaking of HIM, a creation of Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, a character for whom it feels a larger purpose was intended.  After all, it is rare that a character appears in one massive story arc in the world’s greatest comic magazine and soon is the feature of the mighty THOR shortly thereafter.  Who knows what larger story might have unfolded at the hands of his creators...

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The being who later became known as Adam Warlock was the creation of four geneticists who called themselves the Enclave.  “HIM” as Adam Warlock was known then, was the prototype for a perfect human life form grown from artificial genetic material, which the Enclave intended to mass produce to form an invincible army to conquer the world.

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These scientists miscalculated the strength of HIM, and after leaving his womblike cocoon, their prototype destroyed the Enclave and their island base which was known as the Beehive.  He then harnessed his cosmic power and left earth to find his own destiny in space.

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There you have it, a FRANKENSTEIN tale told in just a few issues of the FANTASTIC FOUR #66 and 67.  Overreaching scientists have their own creation turn against them, thus the morality play is played.  But waitaminute, where’s the part where this creation seeks out a mate to fulfill his life?  Ah, that’s where Stan and Jack bring back HIM again, this time in the pages of THOR #165-166!

A Watcher, having accidentally caused HIM to spin another protective cocoon, decides to return him to his point of origin so as to have interfered with his life as much as leaving him floating out in space would.  The cocoon eventually opened as Thor, Sif and Balder were investingating the disturbing power being unleashed.

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Seeing Sif and feeling a deep well of loneliness, HIM seized her as his mate and quickly whipped up a portal to another world.  Now this caused Thor to completely lose his mind and be overtaken by “The Warrior Madness”.  The god rages for five pages straight before deciding to simply follow them by creating his own portal with Mjolnir.

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Once they reach HIM and Sif, she tries to comfort Thor by explaining that he has no sense of things, that he is naive.  Thor will have none of it and prepares to throw down on the cosmic creation like a mad god will tend to do when his woman has been taken (Liam Neeson ain’t alone in metting out that kind of pain.).

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The fickle finger of fate, or, more precisely, Haag interferes by literally reaching through a portal to try and kidnap Balder as a favor for her queen, Karnilla.  Thor, as enraged as possible; because what the heck is it, grab a god week in the Marvel Universe, fights off Haag’s attack and saves Balder.  Then does he turn back to HIM and Sif only to find empty space as the golden godling has fled again, with his girlfriend.

(Click to REVENGE!)
So, Thor, in full immortal meltdown, teleports again to where they have travelled.   And thus the beatdown begins.  He rages and rages and hammers HIM so much that he eventually spins another cocoon and flees into the vastness of space.  Thor, now at the end of his berzerker rage calms down enough to relax.

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So, this is really where the story of Kirby and Lee’s HIM ends as it is much later before his story is picked up again and it is under the direction of another writer, another editor, another artist and the character, by this point has taken on another name:
Adam Warlock.  

And Roy Thomas and Gil Kane eventually ran with the story of Christ as a super hero… a different kind of story than the one as it began here.  Though, who knows--it seems as though Kirby imbued HIM with many of the qualities he put into the Silver Surfer.  The Surfer being a character Kirby had wanted to continue to develop, but couldn’t.  So, mayhap, he created HIM for this very purpose.

It was shortly after this that Kirby quit with the major character creations for Marvel--the Doctor Frankenstein who had served the House of Ideas so well for so long was off to work his strange magics and sciences creating life for a different company.
And other, new gods and monsters were born there.


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