Hello and welcome to another week of comic book royalty in Ye Olde School Café! This week will bring the conclusion to the epic story The Evolutionary War! So far, the High Evolutionary has touched the lives of underground dwellers and X-Factor, Spider-Man on a couple of occasions, the Punisher, the Inhumans, the West Coast Avengers, and even Uatu the Watcher! His hubris is about to bring the full weight of the Avengers down on him and his undersea base. Who will survive, and what will the repercussions be after the fallout? Read on to find these answers and more!
Our first scene shows Jocasta as she is being held captive somewhere on Long Island. The Avengers immediately jump into action and Cap, Falcon, Beast, Hulk, Hercules, and Yellowjacket (Rita DeMara) board a Quinjet to rescue her. They easily do, but then find out from one of their captives that they have an even bigger problem brewing. He tells them that the High Evolutionary is behind this genetic atrocity. As the scientist explains how the Evolutionary is trying to rid the world of anything he deems a mutation, the man suddenly starts to have a seizure, then a device on the side of his head explodes, killing him. The team now realizes who is the enemy, and what they must do to stop him.
The Avengers head below the depths of the Pacific Ocean to Lemuria, and see that a fight has already begun. Lemuria is under attack, and the Avengers jump into action. Herc and Hulk begin to annihilate the attackers, who are led by the evil Attuma. After they stop Attuma, a giant ship comes into the area and begins to unleash powerful blasts, destroying everything in its path. Herc and Hulk easily stop it, and then everyone is left wondering who is responsible. Attuma blames Kro (the leader of Lemuria), and Kro thinks it was an Atlantean plot. Both are wrong, though, and the Avengers soon find out that the giant mobile base of the High Evolutionary isn’t far away. When they see where he’s heading, they realize that he’s going to use his genetic bomb after he sets off Krakatoa again, to utilize its force to send the bomb’s gene altering ingredients into Earth’s atmosphere.
At this point, the Avengers, Atlanteans, and Lemurians all converge on the base in a full out attack to stop the High Evolutionary. His forces try to repel the assault, but the Avengers have already gained access to his base. They quickly make it to a room where the New Men are rallying the troops. Beast puts on a cloak to blend in with the crowd, but something crazy happens. The men aboard the ship see Beast, and he then lets them overhear about how the animals will be in charge of the humans once the Evolutionary sets off his bomb. The security guys then mutiny. They begin to kill the New Men, and chaos erupts aboard the base.
As some of the men close in on the Evolutionary, he snatches their thoughts from their minds and sees that Beast is responsible. The Avengers then reach the area of the ship where the bomb is being prepped. The Evolutionary appears, and the fight is on. He puts down Jocasta as she tries to reason with him. Then he turns his attention to Falcon, and knocks him out. He fires a blast at the Hulk, but he shrugs it off. He’s stunned that anyone can take a shot from him and barely even feel it, so he uses another method to stop the Hulk. He teleports (or blasts) him to the desert in Arizona, and that fight is over. Cap then keeps the Evolutionary busy while Beast uses his equipment to “juice up” Hercules to a near god-like state. Yellowjacket enters the ear of the Evolutionary and stings him, which gives them just enough time to get Herc ready.
Herc emerges from the machine and looks more powerful than ever before. He and the Evolutionary begin to brawl and tear the base apart. Hercules then gives him a beating, and stops his mad reign. The Evolutionary is stunned that Herc is unaffected by his assault. As the Evolutionary lies on the ground, he begins to lose control of his atoms and disappears. Hercules, however, keeps evolving and explodes right before their eyes. The team has been lucky, and they get even luckier when they find that Jocasta is still alive and has cracked the ship’s codes. They then set it to self-destruct, and make their way to the surface. They lost a great friend this day, and the repercussions will last for quite some time.
Well, that’s it! Seeing one of the Avengers die was indeed a shock! After the story is told, the omnibus has a ton more pages that show the beginnings of the High Evolutionary. His time spent on Mount Wundagore is especially good reading! Check back next week, as we’ll begin a new adventure from the world of comics!