Just in time for Halloween, we’re back to feature all those creepy, kooky, and scary characters of comic book lore! This time, we’re going to take a look at monsters from the vaunted House of Ideas. So, enter, if you dare, for Comic Book Monsters 2012: The Mighty Merry Marvel Edition!
Comic Book Monsters – October 17th: The High Evolutionary
Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1966′s The Mighty Thor #134, the High Evolutionary was one of those classic examples of science ultimately driving someone into doing som pretty bad things.
Born as Herbert Wyndham, this British student attended Oxford in the 1930s. There, he took a real shine to the work of a genetic biologist by the name of Nathaniel Essex. Essex, who we would later know as Mr. Sinister, was mingling with genes. Ultimately, Wyndham would build a machine he believed would evolve animals into humanoid beings. Later, Wyndham was given a code to unlock the genetic code from Phaeder, an exiled Inhuman. With this Wyndham was able to kick his experiments into overdrive and he managed to evolve his dog into a humanoid being with mild intelligence.
Wyndham became friends with Jonathan Drew, Jessica’s (Spider-Woman) father. Together they continued their genetic experiments in secluded Wundagore. After a werewolf attacked and killed Drew’s wife, he left Wundagore while Wyndham continued his experiments. When Miles Warren, later to be known as the Jackal, joined Wyndham, the experiements and breakthroughs became bigger and greater. The two eventually learned to accelerate the genes of the local fauna into half-man/half-beast creatures they dubbed the New Men. During this time, Wyndham took the name the High Evolutionary.
Later in life, the High Evolutionary began seeing the world as too small for him, so he and his New Men took the first spaceship off Earth. They found a planet that they named Wundagore II. Setting up shop here, High Evolutionary evolved into a godlike being after a battle against a New Men uprising. That version of the High Evolutionary eventually gave way to him becoming human again. From Wundagore II, he began building a perfect replica of Earth, known as Counter-Earth. On this perfect duplicate, High Evolutionary makes a plan to deposit purified humans on this planet, thus preventing much of the events that shaped “True Earth”. However, Man Beast, a former follower of HE, introduces a violent side to the humanity that lives on this duplicate Earth causing history to repeat itself and ruining the perfection of Counter-Earth.
In the years that followed the destruction of Counter-Earth, the High Evolutionary suffered from instability and mania. He twice attempted suicide, but each time, his armor reconstituted him and resurrected him. Upon his return to life, he decided that his non-interference after creating the New Men proved to be a downfall for him and his plans. He decided to return to our Earth, evolve the humans and have a much more hands on relationship with his creations. This led to the Evolutionary and the Avengers to battle for the fate of the world. When “The Evolutionary War” ended with HE in defeat, the dementia that the Evolutionary had battled for several years now, returned.
After regaining his sanity, the Evolutionary is more often seen these days as an ally to heroes. He was one of the people Peter Parker asked in hopes of saving his poor Aunt May. He’s been seen helping Beast trying to reverse the effects of M-Day (an event that nearly wiped out the mutant race). Furthermore, the Evolutionary assisted the X-Men in a battle against his former mentor, Mr. Sinister. So, despite having a long, villainous history with Thor and a major confrontation with the Avengers, he’s proven to be more of the accasional good guy these days going to show that sometimes a monster maker can do some good.
Tomorrow, I have a group of monsters that attempted to gain powers the same way as the Fantastic Four did, only to have that completely backfire on them. Check back in with Comic Book Monsters then as we feature the U-Foes!