Working Through The Queue: Kid Cosmic Season 1 (2021)
While I do have confidence in Marvel Studios, for the time being I'm just going to go ahead and say this is just the best adaptation of Adam Warlock and The Infinity Watch. ESPECIALLY since you don't have to worry about the mess of Marvel continuity that would come with that, no matter how they could ever simplify it.
The story follows Kid, a naïve young boy living in a small town somewhere in the Southwest. Kid comes across five alien stones of power that he glues onto some lug nuts so he can wield them as power rings as he's always dreamed of being a hero. He eventually and hesitantly shares them with four other residents of the town in the hopes of defending it from alien invaders. Kid's stone gives him the power of flight, teen waitress Jo gets the teleportation stone, four year old Rosa gets the size changing stone, Kid's grandpa get the stone that allows you to make multiples of yourself, and the local diner's cat (named Tuna Sandwich) gets the stone that allows it to see the future.
And real quick, Papa G's superhero name is Old Man Many Man, which may be one of the best superhero names in history.
In addition to this core team they have to put up with Stuck Chuck, an alien invader who had his lower body spliced off by a portal and he now requires a toy wagon to get about. He generally spends most of his time in Kid's trailer park, reading the Kids comics and mocking the Kid and his friends as the worst superheroes. Voiced by Tom Kenny (Spongebob Squarepants), he's definitely a highlight of the show and he even gets a really good focused character arc.
The Kid himself can be obnoxious, and I wasn't entirely sold on the series within the first episode, but as you progress they really develop each character and set up a series of strong plots that gradually increases the stakes and gives plenty of payoffs. The episode that follows the cat, Tuna Sandwich, is a definite highlight, as is episode four. Episode four shows a wave of different invaders hitting Earth in quick succession of one another and the Kid's team sorta kinda winning by accident with each invasion. This episode is where some of the darker humor starts to surface, as for example the four year old Rosa tosses a group of invaders into space without realizing the consequences. Later on we end up seeing their corpses floating in the void as Papa G has to tell her that they are just sleeping.
That episode actually features a lot of death and the disturbing (yet kinda fun) consequences of it. Another giant invader suffocates immediately due to the atmosphere, and Old Man Many Men has to dispatch of the body.
So if you haven't guessed it, I really fell in love with the show by episode four. A lot of it has to do with the strong pacing and scripting, but a big chunk of my appreciation is due to the baked in love for science fiction and comics throughout the entire show. This felt like a passion project from Craig McCracken and he was able to craft a truly enjoyable world with well developed characters.
Kid Cosmic is a pretty quick binge as there are only ten episodes, so I would highly recommend giving it a shot. It wraps up the bulk of plot threads and character arcs exceptionally well, and leaves on a cliffhanger that could set up another season or just gives you a warm, "To be continued..." comic book feeling.
And at the very least stick around for when they can help the cat actually communicate, it's well worth waiting just for the fun they have with that bit.