High Evolutionary (Marvel)
Real Name: Herbert Edgar Wyndham
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have fluctuated over the years, The High Evolutionary has demonstrated vast powers due both to his experimentation on his own genetic code and his cybernetic exoskeleton.
The High Evolutionary's exoskeleton provides him with an uncanny degree of protection from physical, energy, psionic, and mystical attacks. It also provides life support (filtering/recycling his air and providing sustenance when needed), and contains a complete record of his genetic code. If he is badly damaged, the suit can heal his wounds, including, in one instance, restoring him to life after the Hulk had beaten him into goo.
Aside from these abilities, it is unclear which of the High Evolutionary's abilities are derived from his exoskeleton and which are psionic abilities gained via self-mutation. He has shown: an ability to rearrange matter and create matter from nothing (incuding the creation of chemical elements and compounds, complex mechanical items, missiles, and even living beings), astral projection, a danger sense (akin to Spider-Man's quasi-clairvoyant Spider-Sense), energy blasts, enhanced senses (including ESP), force field generation, size alteration (he once grew as large as Galactus, and fought him to a standstill), and telepathy (including communication with animals, making himself understood to any being regardless of language, making himself and others invisible, and probing the minds of others to seek out information).
The High Evolutionary is a master geneticist, and is highly skilled in a number of other scientific fields.
While a student at Oxford in the 1930s, Herbert Wyndham built a machine that could drastically accelerate the "evolution" of individual creatures. His first subject was his pet dog, which he managed to evolve into a being that stood upright and had the intelligence of a chimpanzee. (It was later revealed that Wyndham had received a good deal of his advanced knowledge of human genetics from Mister Sinister and/or possibly Phaeder, father of Maelstrom .) Shortly afterwards, he and Jonathan Drew (father of Jessica Drew) started their own research facility on Wundagore Mountain in Transia. There, Wyndham used his machine on himself in order to accelerate his own intellect. He was able to make more and more radical breakthroughs, including the genetic acceleration of some local animals into the half-human, half-animal New Men. Wyndham trained his New Men in the arts of chivalry and combat (aided in this endeavour by the ghost of the 6th Century magician named Magus), and they eventually renamed themselves the Knights of Wundagore. During this time, Wyndham himself adopted the title Lord High Evolutionary.
Wyndham now saw the world as a far too confining place, so he converted his scientific research citadel into a spaceship, exploring the stars with his New Men. He later settled his New Men on a planet, Wundagore II, while he stayed on one of the planet's moons and began work on a detailed replica of Earth to be located on the opposite side of the Sun. (One of Galactus's Heralds discovered this Counter-Earth, but the Fantastic Four persuaded the World Devourer to seek sustenance elsewhere.) The High Evolutionary's Counter-Earth was eventually taken as a specimen by the Beyonders (not to be confused with The Beyonder); when he saw their vast museum-ship, and how effectively insignificant he was compared to these alien beings, the High Evolutionary's mind snapped.
When he attempted suicide, his exoskeleton would not allow it. He then returned to Earth, hoping to find something strong enough to overcome his armor and end his miserable life. He goaded the Hulk into attacking him, and the Hulk succeeded in smashing his armor; the malfunctioning armor then devolved the High Evolutionary into a mass of one-celled organisms.
It was only a matter of time, though, before the suit's microcircuitry reorganized itself and restored the High Evolutionary to his previous state. His death and subsequent re-birth gave the High Evolutionary a new insight into the future of mankind. Rather than being a benevolent yet distant protector, as he had been with his New Men, he would take a direct hand in molding the future of humanity, so that they might one day be as powerful as the Beyonders he had witnessed. The High Evolutionary later came into conflict with a number of superheroes, notably the Avengers and Adam Warlock when he tried to forcibly mutate (or "evolve") the population of the Earth with his "Evolution Bomb" (in the crossover storyline The Evolutionary War). The Avengers stopped him, though Hercules was exposed to the High Evolutionary's Genesis Chamber and became "more than a god," evolving out of existence.
Later, he gave the Soul Gem, one of the Infinity Gems, to Adam Warlock.
After seeing what happened to Hercules at the end of the Evolutionary War, the High Evolutionary decided on a new plan. Rather than advancing humanity, he would create all-new gods and immortals. He took his Citadel of Wundagore spaceship into the Black Galaxy for raw materials, and had some success in creating new lifeforms. He and his creations were on-hand to witness the birth of a new Celestial, but viewing this event with all his hyper-evolved senses drove the High Evolutionary back to madness.
Eventually he relented in this effort, and is now an occasional ally of Thor and other superheroes. He recently confronted his mentor Sinister alongside the X-Men when Sinister took over his satellite-based device (which temporarily stripped all Mutants of the x-gene that grants them their powers) and altered it to mutate large sections of the populace.
The Evolutionary is a somewhat malevolent character, is willing to do whatever he considers necessary to further his goals. Yet his single motivation continues to be his work. At one point, he offered to (and did) restore the Savage Land after it was destroyed by Terminus.
The Evolutionary next showed up in space, where the Phalanx war had just started. Moondragon and Phylla-Vel had found a newly transformed Adam Warlock, who unintentionally led them to the High Evolutionary. He later betrayed them in order to be able to study Ultron, who had become the leader of the Phalanx. Eventually the Evolutionary switched sides again and helped defeat the Phalanx.
Wyndham then made it back to Earth where he made, at this point, an unknown pact with Magneto and helped built a suit to "restore" the master of magnetism's powers.
Information taken from wikipedia.
First Appearance: Thor (1966) #134
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All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z (2006)
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Annual 21 Fantastic Four Unlimited (1993)
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X-Men: Endangered Species (2007)
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