The introduction of the High Evolutionary in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 lays the groundwork for six Marvel Comics characters to join the MCU. Played by Chudwudi Iwuji, the High Evolutionary has been marketed as the main villain of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. From the looks of things, Marvel will use his character to finally explain Rocket Raccoon’s origin story.
Introduced in the 1960s as an enemy of Thor, the High Evolutionary is one of several classic villains being brought to life in the Multiverse Saga. Though the character is nothing close to a household name, he holds an important place in the history of the Marvel Universe. His actions have shaped the stories of so many Marvel heroes and villains. For that reason, his impending debut has massive implications for the MCU’s future beyond Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. In addition to serving as the explanation for Rocket’s backstory, the High Evolutionary creates a clear path for six more characters from the comic books to make appearances in future MCU projects.
6 Mr. Sinister
In the comic books, the High Evolutionary was originally an early 20th-century scientist named Herbert Wyndham who found inspiration from the scientific theories and research of the person who would eventually become Mr. Sinister. Like Wyndham, Nathaniel Essex was a well-respected professor obsessed with evolution. Experimenting on himself, Essex transformed himself into the evil and twisted and Mr. SInister, and went on to become one of the biggest villains in the X-Men’s rogues’ gallery. If the MCU’s High Evolutionary shares his comic counterpart’s human origins, Marvel would have an easy way to set up Mr. Sinister. A reference to Nathaniel Essex could be all the movie needs to set his debut in motion.
Nathaniel Essex wasn’t the only associate of the High Evolutionary to become a Marvel villain in their own right. There’s also Miles Warren, the sadistic professor behind all the clone stories in Spider-Man’s comics. Some of the most trying periods in Peter Parker’s life were a direct result of Jackal’s twisted experiments. As the Jackal, Warren is responsible for cloning Spider-Man, Gwen Stacy, and several others. So far, the MCU has steered clear of this character, but if a future Spider-Man movie ever wants to try its hand at the Clone Saga (or a different Jackal story), the High Evolutionary could serve as an excellent starting point. After all, the comic book version of the Jackal based much of his research on what he learned while working with Wyndham.
4 The Knights of Wundagore
The idea that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will tie Rocket to High Evolutionary is a hint that the former will be a member of the MCU’s interpretation of the New Men. In the comics, the New Men were anthropomorphic beings created by the High Evolutionary’s work at his lab on Mount Wundagore. Using his advanced technology, the scientist “evolved” animals into humanoid creature capable of speech and intelligent thought. The products of these experiments were referred to as the New Men. The High Evolutionary populated his home with hundreds of these lifeforms. Later on, the existence of a demonic entity known as Chthon led to a group of New Men coming together to form the heroic Knights of Wundagore.
With Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness exploring Wundagore and Chthon, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. may move the High Evolutionary to a different location in the MCU. If so, Marvel may change the purpose and name of the Knights of Wundagore group, but there could still room for them to used regardless. This team of animal-like superheroes could form from the ashes of the High Evolutionary’s defeat and go on their own adventures after the movie.
A major supporting character in the stories of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver is still missing from the MCU. Bova, a member of the High Evolutionary’s New Men, acted as a caretaker and a motherly figure to the twins during their youth when they were growing up near Mount Wundagore. Since Marvel doesn’t appear to have any noticeable gaps left to fill in regards to their backstory, it’s hard to imagine Bova ever getting a comic-accurate role, but it won’t be a shock if she appears in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 as one of the High Evolutionary’s New Men. The kind-hearted talking cow could be one of the many anthropomorphic creatures the Guardians meet on their next journey.
Not all of High Evolutionary’s creations are as good-natured as Bova and the High Evolutionary. What proved to be one of the scientists’ biggest follies was the birth of Man-Beast, a powerful villain evolved from a wolf. Following his transformation, Man-Beast embarked down a path of evil and turned out to be a physical match for Thor himself. He also became a threat to the plans of his own creator, who recruited Adam Warlock to stop him. Given his deep connections to both Adam Warlock and the High Evolutionary, there’s been theories that Man-Beast is hiding in the movie as a secret villain. If not, he could be used later as an experiment that escaped sometime before the timeframe of the movie, thus enabling him to return in another movie as an Adam Warlock villain.
A Spider-Woman movie from Olivia Wilde is said to be in the very early stages of development. Depending on whether or not the character will be part of the MCU, Marvel’s take on Spider-Woman could have a significant link to the High Evolutionary’s MCU story. In the original Spider-Woman comics, the character played an integral role in Jessica Drew’s superhero origin story. Her father, Jonathan Drew, was a scientist who worked for the High Evolutionary. Because of that, Jessica grew up in the villain’s home, surrounded by the New Men. Incidental exposure to uranium used by the two scientists forced them to use one of Wyndham’s machines to save her. It was this event that gave Jessica her Spider-Woman powers.
Theoretically, of course, Marvel could drop the High Evolutionary from Spider-Woman’s story altogether. But if the plan is for her story to be told in the MCU, setup for her arc could happen in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 as long as the MCU’s High Evolutionary hasn’t been reworked into an alien villain with no ties to Earth. If there’s a possibility that he was associated with Jonathan Drew, the MCU could use this to lead into a proper Spider-Woman story.