Hello and welcome to another edition of Marvel Snapshot! This week we’ll continue with a sort of cosmic theme, and spotlight one of my favorite characters, The High Evolutionary! Yes, I know he isn’t a space-born character, but he’s spent a lot of time out amongst the stars, and that gives him enough experience for me to include him in that category. He was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby back in 1966 (first appearance was The Mighty Thor #134).
The man once known as Herbert Edgar Wyndham was a student at Oxford University when he became enthralled with the work of another scientist named Nathaniel Essex (Mr. Sinister). It was then that Wyndham was approached by a mysterious figure that handed him the blueprints to the genetic code. The man, who was unknown to Wyndham, was actually an Inhuman that was exiled years before named Phaeder. At this point, Wyndham used this information to create Isotope A. Using this, he evolved his pet dog into a humanoid life-form, but it was later shot. Wyndham realized he needed seclusion, so he partnered with another scientist, Jonathan Drew (Spider Woman’s father), at a place called Wundagore Mountain. After Drew’s daughter fell ill and his wife was killed by a werewolf, he left the area, which gave Wyndham all the room he needed. Wyndham developed a suit of armor for himself, and soon after was regularly evolving animals into humanoids he called “New Men.”
Years went by, and eventually Drew returned to Wundagore. He was possessed by the spirit of Magnus, though, and he told Wyndham that he needed to leave the area because it was built on the grounds of a captured elder god named Chthon. Wyndham then started training his New Men to fight and protect the mountain. Baron Russoff tried to use the Darkhold to cure himself of lycanthropy, but inadvertently released Chthon from his prison. Two children were born on the same night in Wundagore that Magnus fought and defeated Chthon. The children were twins, Wanda and Pietro Maximoff. This is why Wanda has chaos magic bound to her soul.
The Evolutionary left Earth and traveled the stars. He took over a planet he dubbed Wundagore II, but his ultimate plan was to create another version of Earth, or Counter-Earth as he called it. One of his created New Men revolted, though, and became Man Beast, who took control over Counter-Earth. The High Evolutionary recruited Adam Warlock to help him overthrow the Man Beast. Galactus tried to consume it also, but was tricked into leaving by Impossible Man. Later, the Beyonders (not The Beyonder) tried and succeeded to steal the planet and took it to their home world. This encounter left the High Evolutionary mentally unstable. After this event, the Evolutionary decided to be more of a maniacal conqueror than savior. He led an assault on Earth’s heroes in The Evolutionary War. This “war” saw Wyndham try to devolve the entire population of Earth with his Evolution Bomb. He was thwarted by The Avengers and Adam Warlock. The Evolutionary was even witness to the birth of a Celestial after that story concluded. He was seen in the X-Men story Endangered Species, and Annihilation, and even as recent as 2011 in the Silver Surfer mini-series.
As usual, I have my recommended reading list, along with some great pics of the High Evolutionary himself! I hope you enjoyed this spotlight, and I’ll see you next week!
Essential Thor vol. 2 – Tpb
Evolutionary War Omnibus – HC
Silver Surfer Devolution – Tpb
Annihilation Conquest vol. 2 – Tpb