WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
At long last the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has arrived, promising big things for the future of the MCU - beginning with a long-awaited Adam. Although Guardians 2 may be too much set-up for some fans' liking, director James Gunn sets a new standard in placing building blocks for future sequels, spin-offs, or other Avengers showdowns. With so many Guardians of the Galaxy easter eggs to keep fans busy during the movie's running time, the studio could probably have gotten off the hook without a hefty post-credits scene... let alone half a dozen of them.
We've already broken down the reveals in all 5 Guardians of the Galaxy 2 post-credits scenes - and the one deleted post-credits scene we didn't get - but one was more anticipated than any other. We speak, of course, of the arrival of Adam Warlock... well, the announcement of Adam Warlock... technically, the announcement only of "Adam" still being created. He may not be able to step into the MCU, or take on the Thanos-centered mission he did in the comics just yet, but his presence means big things for every MCU enthusiast.
To make sure that you don't need to be a Marvel die-hard to grasp the weight of the biggest post-credits stinger, we're here to help. There will be SPOILERS ahead.
The Post-Credits Scene
Once the other Guardians post-credits scenes are done delivering laughs and teases of future heroes, the action turns to Ayesha - defeated, insulted, and looking more disheveled than we're led to believe is ever normal for a member of the Sovereign. She doesn't need an attendant to tell her that the rest of the Sovereign's leadership is "perturbed" by her failure to defeat the Guardians, retrieve the batteries they stole, and lose dozens, if not hundreds of their ships in a futile attack (or two). She doesn't care about that, though, as her sights are now set on the true instrument of her revenge for the heresy committed against her by the Guardians.
It remains unseen, still gestating in a new kind of birthing pod, unlike the usual ones used to create members of the Sovereign. This one is even more perfect, intended to create a being that is more beautiful, more powerful, and more perfect than any creation. The cocoon alone is a sight to behold, built in ribbons of gold and emanating a bright light from its top. Finally Ayesha reveals that the being inside is a man of her own design, made with the explicit goal to destroy the Guardians. Though she has yet to see his face, she believes she already knows his name.
She will call him... "Adam."
Who is "Adam"?
For the audience members who have absolutely no idea to whom Ayesha is referring, the moment still plays surprisingly well. Unlike the other niche Marvel easter eggs in Guardians that will slip by completely unnoticed, Ayesha dubbing her perfect creation "Adam" works just as well for its Biblical connotations. But the Marvel character being teased has been anticipated for years, since he is integral to the Infinity Gauntlet storylines being built to by the MCU. His name was originally just "Him," the perfect creation of a group known as the Enclave, intended - the same as it was here - to be creation perfected. As a result, the man who emerged from a not-too-dissimilar cocoon was blessed with superhuman strength, endurance, healing, you name it. Unfortunately for his creators, he soon decided he was too powerful to be trusted to humanity, and made off for the stars.
In the comic, the Enclave then went ahead and created Ayesha... so it's clear that the Marvel movies are departing from that source material at the start. But Adam's own story is the stuff of legend, discovering across the cosmos a being known as the High Evolutionary, along with his own heroism. Helping to protect children, "Him" received the name Adam. Having pleased the High Evolutionary, he received an Infinity Stone to place within his forehead. It was the Soul Stone, granting Adam even more powers to wield than he had ever imagined... along with a surname.
Since it's Ayesha creating him this time, it's difficult to predict how much of that story will be adhered to, or how much will be skipped over by imbuing Adam with those powers from the start. We don't yet know what technology (or Infinity Stone) is accessible to Ayesha, or how he'll be turned from villain to hero if his mission is to kill the Guardians... who did actually rob the Sovereign. But believe us, with Guardians 2 leaving Adam Warlock under construction in his gilded cocoon, the most exciting question is what comes next.
How Will Adam Warlock Shape The MCU?
The simplest theory on what the future holds for Adam Warlock is that it will follow his comic book history as closely as possible. Aside from his clearly altered origin story, it's possible Adam will shrug off his mission to kill the Guardians, and seek out a more heroic purpose - with or without an Infinity Stone. But with Marvel boss Kevin Feige and director James Gunn hinting and outright stating that Adam Warlock will be absent from The Avengers: Infinity War, and next be seen in Guardians of the Galaxy 3, his run-in with Thanos will have to come in the sequel - known among the cast as "Gauntlet." That actually makes the most sense, too: allow James Gunn to introduce Adam, show his ascent from created instrument to powerful, wise hero, and rise to the heights needed to stand against Thanos.
From there, if the comic book story holds true, Thanos will defeat the Avengers in Infinity War, gain control of the Gauntlet, and be challenged and defeated by Adam Warlock in the unnamed "Gauntlet" sequel. From there... who knows? It's still hard to guess what the Marvel Universe will adapt once Thanos is finally dealt with, let alone how or where Adam Warlock and the Guardians will fit in the aftermath. His ascent from child to Christ-like cosmic defender is enough to tackle in one or two films, but we're sure comic fans will make ambitious cases for the MCU to adapt his greatest villain, the Magus (actually him from 5,000 years in the future, corrupted by the Soul Stone).
Fortunately, Gunn and Marvel Studios have officially confirmed that Adam Warlock is coming in the next Guardians movie. So whatever details begin to slowly surface about the end to the Guardians' current story can be used to sketch out Adam's path to Thanos, and the Infinity Gauntlet. Either that, or they're doing something completely new with his character and we'll all be shocked by every moment.
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018