STRANGE TALES FEATURING WARLOCK #178 (1975): Jim Starlin returns!

Jim Starlin to write the character that literally nobody else has been able to write well ever before, and pretty much ever since.

After an exposition-heavy introduction that lasts several pages and essentially recaps the character’s history, Starlin introduces Magus-who looks like a green Warlock with an afro-and the Universal Church of Truth.

A woman travels across the universe to find Warlock and ask for his help, but she is murdered before his eyes by the Grand Inquisitors of the Universal Church of Truth, so Warlock uses his Soul Gem to reanimate her soul and hear her story.  I think it’s the first time he uses the gem in this way.

This is setting up a very long epic.  You can see what an influence Starlin was on George Perez-not just in the way he drew cosmic energies, but it in his layouts.  This issue is full of character-narrated backstories, and the look is very similar to Perez’s work on Crisis on Infinite Earths and similar epics.  Lots of words and boxes crammed together, and then big full-page pictures like the one above.

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