Many assumed that Marvel Studios' first “flop” would come with the release of 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, as the film featured an ensemble of space heroes that were arguably unknown to the casual fan. But fast-forward nine years later, and the upcoming release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will be an emotional rollercoaster as the film marks the conclusion of the story James Gunn began almost a decade ago.
Fans will be eager to join the one last ride with Star-Lord, Gamora, Rocket Racoon, Drax, and Groot, but a mysterious new adversary stands in their way.
Let’s deep dive into the Guardians’ newest adversary and explain why he’ll be a threat in the upcoming film.
Who is The High Evolutionary?
Herbert Wyndham, aka ‘The High Evolutionary,’ was once a human and a tremendously bright, successful scientist born in England. Starting at a young age, Wyndham became obsessed with genetics and the possibility of conducting work to “evolve” creatures. While a student at Oxford in the early 1900s, he was suddenly approached by a mysterious man that gave him documentation that contained blueprints for cracking the genetic code.
With this newfound information, he created a serum that allowed him to alter the genetics of a living creature. Still, the moral issues behind his scientific efforts warranted his expulsion from Oxford. Wyndham then continued his work at a base in Wungadore Mountain (MCU fans may recall the name after watching Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness), where he would interact with several recognizable Marvel characters like Chthon and the Maximoff Twins (Wanda and Pietro).
During this time, he leveraged his scientific discoveries to alter the local wildlife and transform them into half-human, half-animal beings, which he called “New Men.” After training these beings in combat, they would soon refer to him as, “Lord High Evolutionary.”
After battles with heroes like Thor and Hulk, Wyndham launched his base into space, where he temporarily evolved himself into a disembodied intelligence. He would eventually return to Earth and, subsequently, his human form, but now he had internalized his powers, including the ability to evolve or devolve other creatures.
What are his powers?
In addition to the ability to evolve and devolve others whenever he chooses, The High Evolutionary also possesses superhuman intelligence, telepathy, and superhuman intelligence. He also has sentient armor, which grants him superhuman strength, durability, and the ability to regenerate health when needed.
What is his role in Guardians 3?
In various interviews leading up to the threequel’s release, writer and director James Gunn has teased that the upcoming film will finally delve into Rocket Racoon’s backstory and origin. Fans know through the first two films that Rocket was experimented on before joining the Guardians. Still, we have yet to receive official confirmation as to who or what entity was responsible for Rocket’s current form.
It’s safe to say that with The High Evolutionary’s comics backstory of evolving creatures, at many times against their will, he could be responsible, or play a part in Rocket’s creation regarding his current form of being able to interact and communicate with others. When the Guardians, and Rocket, finally confront the High Evolutionary face-to-face, it may add some emotional significance for Rocket in particular as this film closes out the trilogy.