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Oh, and the solicit for New Mutants 45/46.

Way back in 1999/2000, Warlock of the New Mutants had his own, short lived series as part of their M-Tech line...

For some time in the New Mutants, Warlock and Cypher had merged themselves into one being combining their bodies, memories and powers to great (if risky for Doug in terms of possible permanent infection with transmode virus) effect, they tended to call themselves "Douglock"

After both Warlock and Cypher were killed (Boo... hiss) whilst members of the New Mutants, several years later a character called Douglock emerged from the Phalanx Covenant crossover and became a member in good standing of Excalibur (The original and best iteration of that team). It was a little unclear what his origin was, he LOOKED like Doug Ramsey, but was composed entirely out of technorganic material like Warlock. He had a copy of Doug's memories, but no emotional attachment to them. After about three different origins in different stories, none of which were actually that relevant, he eventually decided (more or less) to sod that for a game of soldiers and just be happy being a new, independent life form who happened to look like two former New Mutants.

Then Ben Raab came on board, and basically gutted Excalbur and the title folded. Douglock then appeared in a Captain America Annual where he encountered the Red Skull, and through a painful plot point discovered that "Douglock" had actually been Warlock all along, with a personality overlay by the Phalanx... This cleared the decks led for his new series, which was actually a lot of fun, with some nifty art (and as I re-read it I noticed that it featured a regular character called Hope, but that's for another time)

This was a slightly different Warlock though, he had Doug's human DNA permanently bonded to his own, meaning that he had Doug's powers too, though wasn't entirely sure how to use them.

And then in issue 5 this interesting little scene featured as Warlock indulges in some typical mutant style angst....

Now this is a fascinating notion to me. Doug's powers were based in translating all forms of languages and breaking codes. The notion that the expression used in scientific notation were just another form of abbreviated language or code used to express concepts and communicate ideas had never occurred to me, and seemed to make a whole lot of sense. But in order to comprehend the concepts being expressed, he'd need to understand the principles being expressed, and that opens the doorway to any number of new plots...

Alas the series ended after 9 issues, and that was the last time Warlock was seen until, IIRC, the Annihilation series a couple of years ago.

And the reason for all this... well, it comes down to what happens in issue #40.

Returning to the island where he was killed (for the second time, if you count the whole Beyonder thing) Doug and the team are being attacked by a virus which is engineered to recreate the Ani-Mator (the guy who KILLED Doug) using any and all organic matter within range, including the New Mutants. Warlock is unaffected and in an effort to save them all, he merges with Doug for the first time in years. (Though the look is different, Doug just appears to be wearing Warlock body armour, rather than being composed of technorganic material)

Whilst being active in the outside world fighting the monstrous biomass-Ani-Mator, Warlock and Doug multi-task a little when Doug finds himself in a completely blank area.

Doug still wants to know what's going on in the outside world, and despite warnings from Warlock that it'll upset him, he sees that their combined form is the only thing still fighting the beast (which is also accessing the powers of the New Mutants it's absorbed)

NOW you share your feelings? Honestly guys...

Meanwhile Dani and Nate are still dealing with the fact that they are giving a whole new meaning of "Stuck on you". And then Warlock makes his point...

And so it proves, Doug realises that he DOES know how to reprogram the super-smart virus, which is not a something created by the Ani-Mator, but one corrupted by him. The end result is that Doug makes the virus achieve it's full potential as a benign, strangely self-aware, but not actively intelligent virus (which he names "Genome") which restores the New Mutants to normal and recreates the island as a true Paradise, an idyllic haven for the Ani-Mate creatures (sadly including a restored Bird-Brain but you can't have everything) to live in.

Now this is interesting, as it highlights the difference between the old and new Doug. Previously his power was devoted to language, but not it's expanded to comprehending all forms of communication, a much more wide ranging notion.

We end with Doug going to see Gus Grimm, the X-Men's resident therapist and discusses what he's been through... Gus wonders if a virus acting as a god can truly be THAT good an idea....

Doug asks if, in a perfectly balanced closed society, where there is complete and absolute communication, if that's a bad thing. Gus admits he has no clue as it's all scienct fiction theory to him (He's REALLY going to need to adjust his parameters if he wants to keep this job). He presses Doug on the emotional issues he was having prior to the trip.

"Isn't that a happy ever after?"

Why is it this worries the hell out of me, Doug with an expanding mindset using terms like "benevolent omniscience"... this cannot end well, can it? (And the previews for issue 45 46 read as follows)

NEW MUTANTS #45 & 46
• Cannonball and Karma return! But why are they suddenly many years older? And what’s up with the Warlock tech they’re wearing?
• It continues here: the climax of all the sinister seeds that DnA have been planting…in “Fear The Future”!

Which makes me think that something might be up with Doug further down the line.... (Have to say, LOVE the look of Sam and Xian, and their costumes?)
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