Who Is The High Evolutionary? Meet The Guardians Of The Galaxy Villain

Get your tissues ready as the Guardians are gearing up for one last ride, with director James Gunn’s trilogy closer about to hit cinemas.

Releasing on 5th May 2023, Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 will see our heroes encounter the menacing High Evolutionary, portrayed here by Peacemaker star Chukwudi Iwuji.

A popular comic book villain and a character crucially tied to the origin story of Adam Warlock, who will also appear in the film played by Will Poulter, the High Evolutionary is set to shake things up.

But who is the High Evolutionary and what role will he play in the movie? We dive into it.

Who Is The High Evolutionary In Marvel Comics?

Marvel Comics

In summary, the High Evolutionary is a brilliant scientist who specialises in genetic manipulation, especially focusing on transforming animals to make them more intelligent and self-aware.

Making his debut in 1966’s The Mighty Thor #134, the High Evolutionary began life as an English biologist named Herbert Wyndham who became obsessed with the nature of evolution.

Wanting to play god, Wyndham moved to the mystical Mount Wundagore to set up base, starting a project where he would turn animals into humanoid characters – they would become known as the New Men.

Marvel Comics

However, Wyndham was unaware that the demonic god Chthon had been imprisoned there years ago and so, upon learning this new information, the High Evolutionary turned his New Men into the Knights Of Wundagore, ordering them to ensure the dangerous entity stayed locked away.

Among the beings that the High Evolutionary helped to create, one of the most famous is anti-hero Adam Warlock, a genetically engineered super-human who appoints himself as saviour of worlds.

The High Evolutionary is the one who christened him as ‘Warlock’, entrusting him with the Soul Stone, and sending him on the mission that would turn Adam into a hero – defeating another one of Wyndham’s creations, Man-Beast.

Marvel Comics

In 2010 the character’s story was retconned in the comics to make him also the man responsible for Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver’s powers.

What perhaps makes the High Evolutionary such an interesting character then is that he has done some good in the world, but his determination to continue evolving beings does regularly cause conflict.

What Are The High Evolutionary’s Powers?

Marvel Studios

Thanks to the High Evolutionary experimenting on himself, the villain has a degree of intelligence that outclasses the normal human potential.

In fact, he’s so smart Wyndham managed to create his very own planet, a replica of Earth known as Counter-Earth, which he populated with people.

The High Evolutionary doesn’t just battle with his brain though as he’s quite the formidable fighter too, gifting himself with superhuman strength, the ability to blast energy from his hands, and a super-suit that doesn’t take damage from even the likes of the Hulk.

What Role Will The High Evolutionary Play In Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3?

Marvel Studios

There’s no doubt that the High Evolutionary will prove to be a formidable foe for our heroes in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 3., but the comic books do provide some clues as to how exactly he will fit into the story.

As we already know, Adam Warlock will play a large role in this movie, so that will inevitably be tied to the High Evolutionary, although it’s worth noting that in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 it was Ayesha, the Golden High Priestess of galactic race The Sovereign, that created him.

Still, maybe the High Evolutionary will give Warlock new purpose, therefore following a similar storyline to the comics.

Marvel Studios

What is arguably more intriguing is the High Evolutionary’s connection to Rocket, which is teased in the trailers but doesn’t exist in the comics.

It seems that Rocket is one of the High Evolutionary’s creations, which would only not make sense for the story, but also opens up the beloved raccoon’s history whilst ending his narrative arc too.

All we are saying is, bring tissues!

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 will be released in UK cinemas on 5th May 2023.

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Emily Murray

Emily Murray


Emily is a journalist and film critic who unashamedly cries at most movies having got too emotionally attached. When not at the cinema, she is at home cuddling her cat Holmes, whilst binge watching New Girl. She can be found on Twitter @emilyvmurray