June 20, 2024

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Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case Files #77: Pip The Troll

Not all of the original Infinity Watch team got to join the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Thanks to the success of the film version of The Guardians of the Galaxy, two members of the 90s cosmic Marvel team the Infinity Watch are recognizable characters to the general public.  The original comic book version of the Guardians team was set way in the future, but when a new team was revived in the present day Marvel universe, team leader Star-Lord brought in a number of the company’s space heroes, including Drax and Gamora.  Likewise, the Infinity Watch’s leader Adam Warlock was present for the initial missions, while another Infinity Watch founder, Moondragon, would assist the Guardians in later missions.  The Infinity Watch had initially been put together by Warlock and each would protect one of the Infinity stones.  Warlock had the Soul Gem, he gave the Power Gem to Drax (who thought it was a jelly bean and ate it because Drax was stupid in those days), the Mind Gem went to telepath Moondragon, and the Time Gem to Gamora.  The Reality Gem was secretly given to Thanos as he was the one being Warlock knew powerful enough to keep the thing safe and smart enough to know not to use it without the other gems.

But what about the Space Gem?  That one went to Pip the Troll.  The Guardians apparently want nothing to do with him.

Pip started off as a comic relief sidekick to Adam Warlock in the 70s.  Originally, he was a prince named Gofern on the planet Laxidazia.  Bored silly since his only hobby was painting the night sky, one night Gofern ran into some trolls.  On his planet, trolls like to party, so Gofern partied with them.  There’s just one side effect, that being when you party with trolls, you turn into one.

Now much shorter, with pointy ears, hoof-like feet, four digit hands, and a crude new way of behaving, it wasn’t long before Gofern, now redubbed Pip, was told to take a hike.  He hitched his wagon to Adam Warlock’s star for whatever reason and off he went.  It was probably a good thing he did.  Pip’s troll genetics made him immune to the mind-controlling ways of the Universal Church of Truth, a intergalactic evil of an organized religion led by an evil future version of Adam Warlock called the Magus.  Assisting Warlock, Gamora, and even Thanos, Pip helped them defeat the Church and then went on his way.  He was eventually caught again by Thanos who decided the best use for Pip was to basically lobotomize the little sneak, but Warlock sucked up Pip’s soul into the Soul Gem, where Pip could stay in a virtual paradise with his mind intact.

All good things must come to an end, and that would be when Thanos acquired the Infinity Gauntlet.  Warlock returned from the Soul Gem, bringing Pip and Gamora with him.  Gamora would be among the half of the universe Thanos killed just to impress Mistress Death (it didn’t work) and Pip would help Warlock gather heroes and cosmic entities to eventually allow Warlock himself to get the Gauntlet, which would be why he was able to distribute the gems to the Infinity Watch in the first place.  With the Space Gem, Pip, who already has muscle in Spider-Man’s strength class, could teleport anywhere.  That was it since that was all his mind could handle.  It was more than enough to cause trouble.

How much trouble did Pip cause?  Well, after The Infinity Gauntlet came two sequel series, The Infinity War and The Infinity Crusade.  Both dealt with the fact Warlock had ejected the good and evil sides of himself while he possessed the Gauntlet for himself, and while the Magus was dealt with first in War, Warlock’s “good” side had her own plans for bad things, and the Goddess (as she called herself) managed to set up bad things with a bunch of Cosmic Cubes during the Crusade.  Pip, who was already mad that Earth’s heroes forced him to take a bath because of the incredibly smelly costume he put on for the occasion, took off and temporally took over the universe with the Cosmic Cubes.  Apparently, that lasted all of a minute before the Goddess’ mind-controlled flunkies took him out, but it still happened.

It should be noted that Pip wasn’t useless in a fight.  He had a habit of teleporting behind opponents and clobbering them that way.


And his crude sense of humor gave him some fun with his Infinity Watch teammates.  Known for basically wearing a loincloth, he took the Space Gem and put it…somewhere.  Eventually, it was revealed he put it between his toes.  That was less awful than the implied destination, but it still happened.

After the Infinity Watch broke up and the Gems were scattered, Pip managed to keep the teleportation powers for some reason, and actually for a time became the receptionist for X-Factor Investigations.  During that period, he was even shot in the head.  Had his brain been in his head like it would for humans, he might have been dead.  But he lived to annoy people for another day.

Everyone thinks they've seen the last of him, then he comes back for more.
Everyone thinks they’ve seen the last of him, then he comes back for more.