Who Is The High Evolutionary In Marvel Comics?

We’ve heard about all the members of the Guardians Of The Galaxy, and about Adam Warlock, but what about Guardians 3’s main villain, the High Evolutionary?

So let’s get going into just who he is, what does he want, and who he has experimented on in the past!

Who Is The High Evolutionary?

The High Evolutionary started out as a human called Dr Herbert Wyndham – an Oxford-educated scientist and cosmic philosopher. He was fascinated with human evolution and DNA, and ended up moving to Wundergore Mountain with fellow scientist Jonathan Drew to create a Citadel of Science to experiment in private.

During this time, Wyndham’s experiments lead to him evolving himself, which lead to him gaining powers. He also covered himself in armour to protect himself, giving him his iconic look.

Avengers issue 12 (2013) panel by Mike Deodato

What Powers Does The High Evolutionary Have?

When the High Evolutionary was exposed to his Evolutionary Accelerator machine, he gave himself superpowers by accelerating his own personal evolution.

He has shifted over the years between levels of evolution, sometimes on purpose and sometimes not, but his powers generally stay the same. Those include super strength, intelligence, durability, advanced healing, telepathic communication (and protection from other telepaths), astral projection, levitation, force field creation, mass manipulation and psychokinesis. He is also said to be immortal.

What Does The High Evolutionary Want?

To experiment and move evolution forward, essentially. The High Evolutionary has made things like the New Men – animals evolved into a humanoid form. He also tried to create a Counter-Earth – an Earth without corruption, with quite some difficulty.

Who Has The High Evolutionary Experimented On?

The High Evolutionary’s first experiment was on Jessica Drew – Jonathan Drew’s daughter. She became ill because of the uranium on Wundergore Mountain and was treated by a mixture of spider serum and Evolutionary’s technology – the result was Jessica becoming Spider-Woman (more on her next month when Across The Spider-Verse comes out!).

Possibly his most famous test subjects though are Wanda and Pietro Maximoff, as it was recently revealed that the twins are not actually mutants, and not the children of Magneto!

What actually happened was that the High Evolutionary kidnapped them as babies and experimented on their genomes so they appeared to be mutants. He also imbued Wanda with the mystical energies of Wundergore, which gave her her magical prowess.

He has also come up with ways to depower the mutants as a whole, and worked out a way to give Magneto his powers back after M-Day.

Champions issue 13 (2017) cover by Dan Mora

Where Can I Read More About The High Evolutionary?

Fantastic Four issue 172 onwards (1976) by Bill Mantlo and Roy Thomas is a good place to start, as this focuses on High Evolutionary, Counter-Earth and such, which is all part of Guardians Of The Galaxy 3.

The Evolutionary War (1988) by Gerry Conway, Steve Englehart, Louise Simonson, Chris Claremont and Steve Gerber is an entire event that centred around the High Evolutionary.

He’s also a main character in Annihilation: Conquest (2007) by Dan Abnett.

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