The Marvel Cinematic Universe is about to introduce one of the House of Ideas’ most prominent mad scientists. As you’ve probably seen in variousGuardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 trailers, everyone’s favorite group of emotionally damaged space heroes will face off against the mysterious force known as the High Evolutionary. Played by Peacemaker’s Chukwudi Iwuji in the James Gunn-helmed film, this character’s roots go back to 1966.
First appearing in Thor #134 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the man also known as Herbert Wyndham sought to explore the potential of genetic manipulation in a far-off locale away from prying eyes and judgment. Ahead of the May 5, 2023 release, we’re taking a look at the character’s comic book history and how it may or may not connect to the MCU.
Do The Evolution
In his first appearance, the High Evolutionary came into conflict with Thor, who had come to Wundagore Mountain in Transia while looking for his gal pal Jane Foster. He was surprised to find armored opponents flying around on sky sleds who also just so happened to be humanoid animals underneath! Herbert had been spending his time in the Citadel of Science developing his Evolution Ray which transmogrified animals into humanoid beings he dubbed New-Men. Some, a group known as the Knights of Wundagore,were trained to protect their home with high tech armor and weaponry, but in a system based on medieval warriors.
A significant portion of the trailers for GOTG Vol. 3 feature what looks like a standard American small town populated by humanlike animals. Given Herbert’s involvement in the film, it seems like a safe bet to assume those are some of his more domesticated creations. Odds are, if we are seeing the New-Men, the Knights won’t be far behind. Plus, we already know that Rocket’s origins will be explored in this film and Gunn has now confirmed that the High Evolutionary was the one responsible for the creation of both Rocket and other friends of his that we’ll meet in the movie.
At the end of his very first storyline, the High Evolutionary deemed his creations too dangerous for the Earth and he flew away in the Citadel of Science (which was also a giant spaceship, naturally). Eventually, he established Counter-Earth, which was directly opposite his home planet in the same orbit around the Sun. On the way there, he came across the cocoon containing Adam Warlock, a character who will also be in the third Guardians movie. The two have had an odd, quasi-familial relationship ever since.
High Evolutionary’s most dangerous creation, Man-Beast — the reason he left Earth in the first place — managed to follow him to his new world and began causing trouble. During the ensuing fight, Warlock emerged. After defeating the menace, he agreed to work with Herbert to look out for Counter-Earth. Considering both of these characters will be in the cosmic film, it appears possible that the comic roots will be replicated to some extent and its worth noting, James Gunn has now also confirmed Rocket’s origins in the MCU are on Counter-Earth – which is likely the location of that aforementioned town seen in the trailers.
However, Adam Warlock also has such a complicated history — one deserving of his own article — that you never quite know how it will be translated on the big screen.
Though he has spent his fair share of time in space, the High Evolutionary is most commonly associated with Mount Wundagore on Earth. If that sounds familiar to you as an MCU viewer, it’s because the grand finale of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness takes place there. In the MCU, this is a powerful magical place where the demon Chthon revealed the spells of the evil mystical tome, the Darkhold. Given how that film ends, it might not be ready for any new tenants, but then again, there’s nothing like a blank canvas to create something new on.
It might seem unlikely that the same place could be both a major mystical locale and a scientific stronghold, but that’s exactly how it is presented in the comics. It was initially established as the High Evolutionary’s stronghold and then later revealed to not only be the birthplace of Wanda and Pietro Maximoff, but also the longtime prison of Chthon. The twins even spent some time with Wyndham, though the details have changed over the years through various comic book retcons. It seems unlikely that those connections will carry through in the MCU, but it remains a possibility. Given the MCU’s new propensity for playing opposite genres off of each other — like tech versus magic in the upcoming Ironheart — it would be interesting to see if they ever pit the High Evolutionary against Chthon or his agents down the line.
It might seem like the connection between the High Evolutionary and the Guardians of the Galaxy is pretty tenuous at this point in the source material, but the two came together in the Annihilation: Conquest event, sort of. In that story, the techno-organic alien race known as the Phalanx was being manipulated by Ultron to take over the destabilized Kree Empire. Leading into the main story, Star-Lord took center stage in a mini series where he led a ragtag group of prisoners on an important mission. This group proved to be a kind of proto version of the now famous Guardians of the Galaxy team, as it did include Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Groot and Mantis, joined by others like Bug, Captain Universe and Deathcry. Though this team was never called the Guardians, it clearly set the stage for them, leading into a new Guardians of the Galaxy series stemming from Annihilation: Conquest.
During this event, the High Evolutionary had been invited to Kree space by its leader, the Supreme Intelligence, to figure out how to kickstart their stagnant evolution. He was still there when Ultron’s forces attacked. Though the scientist did not directly face off against Peter Quill’s team, he did manage to imbue Adam Warlock’s body with Ultron’s consciousness, though the hero fought back and soon regained control of himself. Given that all of these elements are already in the Marvel cosmic wheelhouse, it seems like a possibility that at least a few elements of this tale will find their way into the film, Okay, perhaps Ultron is a longshot, but he’s been known to be incredibly hard to kill in the comics, even though he was seemingly dealt with in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Spinning A Web
In addition to Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, the High Evolutionary has connections to another super hero making their way to the big screen this year: the original Spider-Woman. Though the details have changed over the years, the basic idea is that Herbert Wyndham bought Wundagore Mountain along with his partner Jonathan Drew who was married to a woman named Miriam. Their daughter, Jessica, came along as well. Thanks to some uranium found in the ground, they were able to sell it off and build the incredible Citadel of Science. However, the girl eventually fell ill and Wyndham said he had a way to heal her that would involve spider DNA, but it did not sit well with Miriam. She died shortly after and Jonathan left, deeply depressed. Jessica remained in stasis for years until Herbert finally figured out how to cure her. Imbued with arachnid abilities, she went on to join Hydra, S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers.
There has been talk of a Spider-Woman film coming out from Sony for a few years now, including unconfirmed reports saying the character could find herself wall-crawling through the MCU thanks to the agreement that allowed for the three Spider-Man movies to do the same. While Jessica Drew definitely falls under the Spidey umbrella, she is far more connected to the greater Marvel Universe considering her connections to all of those different groups. It will be very interesting to see how the character’s origins are handled when she first shows up in animated form this summer inSpider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.
Regardless of how the High Evolutionary fits into the Marvel Cinematic Universe and which elements are pulled from the comics, his brilliance will certainly pose a threat to anyone who tries to get in the way of his quest for knowledge.
The High Evolutionary was first mentioned in The Mighty Thor #133 (Oct. 1966), first appears in The Mighty Thor #134 (Nov. 1966), and was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. His minions appeared before him (but only alluded to him), in issue #132.Where did the High Evolutionary come from? ›
The High Evolutionary was first mentioned in The Mighty Thor #133 (Oct. 1966), first appears in The Mighty Thor #134 (Nov. 1966), and was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. His minions appeared before him (but only alluded to him), in issue #132.What happened to High Evolutionary face? ›
It seemed like in the final scenes of the movie, it was understood that bad guy, the High Evolutionary, played by Chukwudi Iwuji, had his face torn up by Rocket and ripped off by Gamora.Who is the most evil villain in the MCU High Evolutionary? ›
The High Evolutionary in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 is the most evil villain the MCU has seen in recent years. Chukwudi Iwuji as the High Evolutionary might be the most villainous villain in all of the Marvel Phases we've seen play out on-screen.Who kills the High Evolutionary? ›
But thanks to Gunn, we know there's a reason we don't actually see the High Evolutionary die. It turns out he was carried off the ship by Drax. You can just barely see Drax holding an unconscious body over his shoulder when the Guardians are shown leading the survivors onto Knowhere.Is the High Evolutionary a Kang variant? ›
So Kang states that there are infinite variants of himself. They all started a multiversal war. Quantumania's Kang says that he grew tired of his other variants and wanted to eliminate them.Is Kang stronger than Thanos? ›
Kang isn't physically stronger than Thanos, and if the two were to square up in a one-vs-one fight then the Titan would arguably win. However, Kang's knowledge of the multiverse means that would quite literally be several steps ahead of Thanos at all times. As a result, Kang wins this battle.Is the High Evolutionary evil? ›
The High Evolutionary is also currently the only Pure Evil of Phase 5, as well as the third Pure Evil of the Multiverse Saga, after General Dreykov and Infinity Ultron. Interestingly enough, all Main Antagonists of the GotG trilogy are Pure Evils (Ronan the Accuser and Ego).Is High Evolutionary evil or good? ›
Doctor Herbert Edgar Wyndham, better known as the High Evolutionary, is a major antagonist from Marvel Comics. He is a mad scientist wanting to make the perfect evolved human by mixing animal and human DNA together.How did the High Evolutionary get the soul stone? ›
The Soul Gem was in the possession of the High Evolutionary when he oversaw the rebirth of Adam Warlock. He gifted the gem to Warlock to aid him in his mission to save the world of Counter-Earth. During that time, Warlock primarily used the gem's powers to restore evil New Men to their pre-evolved animal forms.
1: Thanos — The Infinity Saga. Acuna: Remember when the MCU had stakes? Thanos is the only Marvel villain to successfully execute his evil plan and it wasn't some tired "I want to take over the world" scheme. He wiped out half the population of the entire world for five years.Who is the most overpowered Marvel villain? ›
- 8 Kro.
- 7 Gorr the God Butcher.
- 6 Ego the Living Planet.
- 5 Ultron.
- 4 Loki Laufeyson.
- 3 Hela Odinsdottir.
- 2 Apocalypse.
- 1 Dormammu.
Through his psychotic personal torture and conflict with one of Marvel's finest as well as nearly succeeding in total world domination and the actual destruction of Asgard, Norman Osborn is truly the most evil villain in all of Marvel.Why couldn t the High Evolutionary fix his face? ›
After High Evolutionary and his security guards killed Lylla, Teefs, and Floor, Rocket Raccoon attacked Evolutionary in a fit of rage and, using his claws, dealt irreparable damage to his face.Is High Evolutionary a god? ›
Herbert Edgar WyndhamHigh Evolutionary. Playing god, the High Evolutionary demands humanity's evolution and, through genetic experimentation, creates anthropomorphic beings but does not covet his creations.Is Adam Warlock a bad guy? ›
In the comics, Adam Warlock is genetically engineered to be a perfect being by an evil group of human scientists called the Enclave. He escapes from their villainous machinations to discover himself in space, eventually becoming a powerful cosmic hero.Who is the strongest human mutate? ›
It seems the Devourer of Worlds believes that Franklin Richards, a mutant beyond Omega-Level, deserves the honour of being titled the most powerful mutant of all time. Of course, this shouldn't come as a big surprise to comic book fans.Can High Evolutionary beat Galactus? ›
Galactus would win in a battle against High Evolutionary. He is stronger, has Power Cosmic on his side, and can move vastly faster than High Evolutionary, and overall, Galactus was created to be a cosmic constant. There's not that much that High Evolutionary can do about it.Who is the strongest Kang variant? ›
In Marvel Comics, the most dangerous version of Kang is none other than Immortus. Introduced in Avengers #10, Immortus represents a later point in Kang's timeline. After years of orchestrating all sorts of time travel shenanigans, the 31st-century time traveler rebranded himself as Immortus.Which Avenger defeated Kang the Conqueror? ›
Iron Lad assembled the Young Avengers to stop his future self. In fact, Iron Lad did kill the older version of Kang the Conqueror.
As he gamed this particular fight over and over, maybe more than 15 million times, He Who Remains chose this specific set of events. He caused Heimdall, Loki, Gamora, Black Widow, and Iron Man to die. Kang wasn't there physically when they died. But it is his screenplay that they followed.Can Kang defeat Superman? ›
Superman's powers are just too formidable for Kang to be able to handle. His armor is powerful and would allow him to fight Superman for a bit, but eventually, Superman would overwhelm him. He's faced foes from the future and triumphed before, so this would be no different.Did Rocket rip off the High Evolutionary face? ›
Rocket Raccoon ripped off the High Evolutionary's face, which the villain replaced with a mask.Who built Wundagore? ›
On the mountain Jonathan Drew and Wyndham discovered a rich deposit of uranium, and used the wealth they gained from it to build a citadel of advanced scientific research (which itself has become known as Wundagore).What is the higher Evolutionary weakness? ›
Weaknesses. The Higher Evolutionary is not very trusting of outsiders and will attack them if he views them as a threat.Why isn t evolution perfect? ›
Evolution isn't predictable, and randomness is key in determining how things change. But that's not the same as saying life evolves by chance. That's because while the cause of evolution is random (mutations in our genes) the processes of evolution (selection) is not.Are human perfect evolutionary beings? ›
Yeast instead is more like an organism straight out of the showroom: the perfect machine." Their results indicate that organisms, such as humans and other mammals, with relatively small population sizes, cannot sustain a perfect state over evolutionary time.Does evolution affect intelligence? ›
In fact, humans have shown an enormous increase in brain size and intelligence over millions of years of evolution. This is because humans have been referred to as an 'evolved cultural species'; one that has an unrivalled reliance on culturally transmitted knowledge due to the social environment around us.Why is Adam Warlock so powerful? ›
Genetically engineered as the perfect being, the hero known as Adam Warlock uses his superhuman strength and cosmic powers to protect the universe from its darkest forces… including the one within himself.What is on Adam Warlock's forehead? ›
The High Evolutionary also empowered Warlock further by placing the Soul Gem on his forehead. This was the first appearance of the Infinity Gems (later called the Infinity Stones) in the Marvel Universe, a moment that would have major consequences.
While Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 showed just as mighty the High Evolutionary's gravity manipulation power was, he ultimately fell to the combined might of the Guardians. Had he come face-to-face with his own creation, Adam Warlock, in battle, he likely wouldn't have fared much better.Who is the most hated hero in Marvel? ›
- 4 Ralph Bohner — WandaVision.
- 5 Tyler Hayward — WandaVision. ...
- 6 Flash Thompson — Spider-Man: Homecoming. ...
- 7 Thanos — Avengers: Infinity War. ...
- 8 Pepper Potts — Iron Man. ...
- 9 Gorr — Thor: Love and Thunder. ...
- 10 Todd — She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. ...
Peter Parker has such bad luck, that there's a phrase for it: Parker luck. He is easily the most unlucky hero in the Marvel Universe, which is saying something. The things he's been through have taken bad luck to the next level.Who is weakest avenger in MCU? ›
Hawkeye. On numerous occasions in the comics, Clint Barton has said he's just a regular guy with a bow and arrow. Unfortunately, his lack of power usually leads to him suffering injuries regularly and has led to fans deeming him the weakest member of the Avengers.Who killed Galactus? ›
Galactus was killed by Thor during the "Herald of Thunder" story arc in Thor (vol. 6) #1–6 (March 2020 – August 2020), and reappeared after a two-year hiatus in Fantastic Four (vol. 6) #45 (July 2022) — the final issue of the event "Reckoning War" — where Galactus is resurrected by his former heralds.Who can defeat Dormammu? ›
With the demon lord he'd created, Satannish, and warlock Nicholas Scratch leading his armies, Dormammu sought to conquer all life and afterlife. He was eventually vanquished by the heroine Hellcat and the united forces of Hell.Who was the strongest villain ever? ›
Even without his Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos has shown the power and skill to take down the likes of the Hulk and Thor with ease. Need more be said? With the Infinity Gauntlet and all six stones, he became the most powerful being in the universe.What is the weirdest Marvel villain? ›
Marvel — Stilt-Man
One of the weirdest and most incompetent villains in Marvel, he wears an impenetrable metal armor with powerful telescopic legs. Stilt-Man isn't without his fans—Though, to be fair, enjoyment of the character is often much more ironic than genuine.
As it turns out, Drax the Destroyer (portrayed by Dave Bautista) was the one who inadvertently saved High Evolutionary at the end of the movie by carrying him out of the exploding ship, as you can see in the photo below.How smart is High Evolutionary? ›
Superhuman Intelligence: The High Evolutionary has evolved his own brain to its full potential; he has virtually unlimited knowledge and intellectual ability.
Their death is a turning point in Rocket's backstory, causing the young raccoon to viciously maul the High Evolutionary in anger. As a result of his mauling, the High Evolutionary is forced to wear a face mask.Do Christians believe in evolution? ›
The rejection of evolution by most evangelicals is largely mirrored by their churches, such as the Southern Baptist Convention and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, which explicitly reject evolutionary theory as being in conflict with what they see as biblical truth.What are signs of higher evolution in humans? ›
Human traits that emerged recently include the ability to free-dive for long periods of time, adaptations for living in high altitudes where oxygen concentrations are low, resistance to contagious diseases (such as malaria), light skin, blue eyes, lactase persistence (or the ability to digest milk after weaning), lower ...What is it called when you believe in evolution instead of God? ›
Evolutionists believe that God was not the founder of the earth, instead it was a natural phenomenon, beginning with inorganic molecules evolving into today's modern person.Who is stronger Adam Warlock or Thor? ›
Thor would win in a fight against Adam Warlock. The two clashed in the comics several times, and Thor simply proved to be the superior between the two each time. He simply has more potent powers. He is stronger, faster, and more durable.Who is stronger Adam Warlock or Wanda? ›
Adam Warlock would prove victorious in a fight against Scarlet Witch in the comics and the MCU. Even though Darkhold currently empowers Wanda, Adam Warlock is still more intelligent, faster, durable, and stronger than Wanda.Who is the most powerful version of Adam Warlock? ›
Marvel Reveals Adam Warlock's More Powerful Counterpart: Eve Warlock - IMDb. Spoilers for Warlock: Rebirth by Marvel ComicsMarvel Comics is introducing Adam Warlock's most powerful counterpart yet, as Eve Warlock will debut in an upcoming comic miniseries.Was the High Evolutionary from Earth? ›
3, the MCU's High Evolutionary does not seem to originate from Earth. He was only referred to ever as the High Evolutionary. The MCU made no reference to the High Evolutionary's Marvel Comics human name of Herbert Wyndham. On Counter-Earth, he mentioned that he visited Earth once and admired it.Why are humans highly evolved? ›
Human evolution took place as new genetic variations in early ancestor populations favored new abilities to adapt to environmental change and so altered the human way of life.What caused rapid evolution in humans? ›
During the onset of an Ice Age or a drought, human populations would have contracted, driving the remaining small, isolated human groups to diversify - developing different biological traits from one another.
Thanos would win in a fight against High Evolutionary. He vastly overpowers him in a physical sense, has more versatile powers at his disposal, and counters High Evolutionary at every step. He is likewise faster and more ruthless.Who originally had the soul stone? ›
The In-Betweener had the Soul Gem, the Champion of the Universe had the Power Gem, the Gardener had the Time Gem, the Collector had the Reality Gem, the Runner had the Space Gem, and the Grandmaster had the Mind Gem. Furthermore, nobody else was even aware of Thanos, therefore no one attempted to stop him.What will humans look like in 3000? ›
The model, called Mindy, provides a terrifying glimpse at what people could look like in 800 years if our love of technology continues. According to the company, humans in the year 3000 could have a hunched back, wide neck, clawed hand from texting and a second set of eyelids.Can humans breed with any other animals? ›
Ethical considerations preclude definitive research on the subject, but it's safe to say that human DNA has become so different from that of other animals that interbreeding would likely be impossible.What will humans be like in 100 years? ›
In 100 years, the world's population will probably be around 10 – 12 billion people, the rainforests will be largely cleared and the world would not be or look peaceful. We would have a shortage of resources such as water, food and habitation which would lead to conflicts and wars.Why are humans no longer evolving? ›
Because humans take so long to reproduce, it takes hundreds to thousands of years for changes in humans to become evident. We simply don't notice the evolution of humans from day to day because it is happening so slowly. But creatures that reproduce more quickly also evolve more quickly.Why did humans stop evolving? ›
It has been argued that human evolution has stopped because humans now adapt to their environment via cultural evolution and not biological evolution. However, all organisms adapt to their environment, and humans are no exception.