Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’s High Evolutionary Explained
The enigmatic High Evolutionary was revealed as the villain of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, the final film in director James Gunn’s Guardians trilogy, played by Chukwudi Iwuji – who appeared in full costume at Comic-Con International: San Diego 2022 for the announcement.
The Evolutionary High is here! Chukwudi Iwuji in full dress. He’ll be in Guardians 3. “Call me Sire” he says (in character) on stage #Marvel #SDCC pic.twitter.com/MbEAcqvpasJuly 24, 2022
And Iwuji’s dramatic entrance is right in line with the pompous and brilliant High Evolutionary, a longtime Marvel Comics villain who first faced Thor in 1966. The Mighty Thor #134 (opens in a new tab)before taking on the Avengers, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and even Galactus – and which ties directly into the modern revised origins of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.
Needless to say, the High Evolutionary’s involvement in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 could have a huge impact on the MCU, and we’ve got all the comic book answers to your questions about the big new cosmic villain.
Who is the High Evolutionary?
The comic book origins of the mysterious High Evolutionary are complex to say the least, involving the Inhumans, the X-Men villain Mister Sinister, and even Mount Wundagore, the birthplace of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, and the home of the Darkhold as it is seen in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
To recap, he started life in the 1930s as human geneticist Herbert Wyndham, a scientist looking to continue the work of 1800s geneticist Nathaniel Essex, a secret mutant who became the villainous Mister Sinister (and yes, the couple have worked together and also quarreled over the years).
When Wyndham hit a major hurdle in his genetic research, an inhuman scientist named Phaeder visited him in secret, providing him with the key to unraveling the hidden mysteries of the human genome. Phaeder would continue to influence Wyndham and provide him with secret knowledge for years to come.
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However, when Wyndham’s experiments caused him to turn his pet Dalmatian into a humanoid dog, he was fired from his college job. This led to him joining fellow geneticist Jonathan Drew (whose own genetic experiments would later lead to his daughter Jessica Drew gaining her Spider-Woman powers) and settling on Mount Wundagore, the magical mountain haunted by the Chthon demon.
If the name Wundagore rings a bell, it’s because it’s the mystical mountain that housed the Darkhold spells in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness – and it’s where the Scarlet Witch apparently died. after knocking down the walls of the evil temple there.
Soon, Wyndham was alone in his research on Wundagore, surrounding himself only with his animal/human hybrid creations he called the “New Men”, and wearing advanced armor to protect him from the mountain’s magical horrors.
There, his covert experimentation on the population of the surrounding villages led to the birth of Pietro and Wanda Maximoff, whose innate powers were believed to be the product of a mutant X-gene from their true debut in Marvel Comics in 1963 until let the High Evolutionary be revealed. the secret in 2015’s Uncanny Avengers (opens in a new tab) Title.
After leaving Wundagore, the High Evolutionary traveled to space to continue his experiments unhindered, first taking over an existing planet he called “Wundagore II”, before eventually creating his own. planet known as “Counter-Earth” that shares Earth’s orbit, but on the opposite side of the sun.
The High Evolutionary in the Marvel Universe
To say High Evolutionary’s years in the Marvel Universe have been rocky is an understatement – but there are specific stories that connect the dots to his involvement in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
High Evolutionary’s own super-evolution is the result of an experiment he planned to conduct on the Hulk, whom he captured in an effort to evolve him into a perfect life form a million years more advanced than modern humans (or, you know, Hulks).
The villain’s own New-Men henchman betrayed him, forcing him to use the machine he built to evolve the Hulk on his own, becoming a being far beyond intelligence and ability. basic human physique.
Although the newly super-evolved High Evolutionary first wanted his own existence to end in order to join the infinite expanses of the cosmos, he eventually returned to humanoid form, and what he did next changed the destiny of the Marvel universe.
After reverting to his humanoid form following his ascension to become super-evolved, the High Evolutionary found the being known as “Him” floating in space after a battle with Thor.
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The High Evolutionary dubbed him Adam Warlock (as in the long-awaited character in Will Poulter’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3) and granted Adam Warlock the legendary Soul Stone of the Infinity Stones, enlisting him as a protector of Counter- Earth.
It was during this time that the High Evolutionary first encountered Galactus, who wished to devour Counter-Earth, and in turn, he first encountered the Fantastic Four. He also clashed with the Beyonders, the beings responsible for creating the multiverse and destroying it in 2015’s Secret Wars (which of course is about to be an Avengers movie).
Adam Warlock eventually turned against the High Evolutionary completely in the story The Evolutionary War, in which the High Evolutionary attempts to destroy all life on Earth and replace it with beings of their own creations.
And this is where the High Evolutionary’s actions ended up having a huge and unforeseen impact on the Marvel Universe, as his former protege Adam Warlock and his Soul Stone, given to him by the High Evolutionary, are become central figures in the Infinity Gauntlet comic book event. , in which Thanos performed the comic version of his fateful “snap”.
The High Evolutionary itself later appeared in the limited series Annihilation: Conquest (opens in a new tab)in which High Evolutionary implants Ultron consciousness into Adam Warlock’s body.
Warlock’s return at the end of the story partly led to the founding of the comic incarnation of the Guardians of the Galaxy which was later adapted for film, including Rocket, Groot, Drax, Gamora, and Star-Lord.
The Upgradable Top in the MCU
Reports of images from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 which was shown at Comic-Con International: San Diego, plus pieces of High Evolutionary’s comic book lore seem to line up to potentially point to some aspects of how the character will fit into the story. of the film and the MCU in general.
On the one hand, having Adam Warlock in the movie hints at the likelihood of them sharing a connection in the movie, like they did in the comics where the High Evolutionary once mentored Adam Warlock.
And then there are the reported images of baby Rocket, perhaps indicating that his origins will be with the High Evolutionary, who in the comics often create human-animal hybrids in their genetic experiments.
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Those big points aside, we’re left with plenty of speculation and a handful of potential comic book-based connections to draw from for the character’s future involvement in the MCU.
There are obvious connections between Scarlet Witch, Wundagore, and the High Evolutionary, which may or may not come into play. And the connection between the Guardians comic and the High Evolutionary through the Annihilation: Conquest event.
But there are also the longstanding ties to cosmic big ideas such as Galactus (and the accompanying Fantastic Four, whose first MCU just got a 2024 release date), and of course the Beyonders – without talk about her ties to the origins of Jessica Drew, the original Spider-Woman.
With all this history and all this potential, we’ll have to see how things – what’s the word? – evolve, up to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 comes out in 2023.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 elevate the High Evolutionary to the status of one of best marvel villains of all time?