Herbert Wyndham was a geneticist that built a genetic accelerator in the 1930s. The accelerator had to ability to evolve any thing that was placed inside it.
An outcast by his peers, Wyndham began to work with another scientist, Jonathan Drew, the father of Jessica Drew (the future Spider-Woman) at a research center at Wundagore Mountain in the Balkans. Jessica became sick from exposure to the uranium deposits in the mountain and Wyndham injected her with an evolutionary serum that he created from spiders. This caused her to gain her powers and eventually become Spider-Woman.
Wyndham then decided to use the accelerator on himself to enhance his mind. With his advanced thinking, he decided to call himself the High Evolutionary.
The High Evolutionary was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. He first appeared in Thor #134 released in 1966.
Major Story Arcs
The New Men
The High Evolutionary continued his research and created several humanoid animals and called them the New Men. This group included Bova, who would later become the midwife for Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. Jonathon Drew somehow became possessed with Magnus of Arthurian legend and told Wyndham that this area is where an ancient demon had been banished. Miles Warren, an assistant of Wyndham's, was kicked out after he carelessly allowed one of his experiments to escape to a nearby village. When he left he convinced many of the New Men to come with him because Wyndham does not care about them as living beings, only as experiments.
The remaining New Men were trained with chivalry, the knights code, and soon became known as the Knights Of Wundagore. It was their task to defend Wundagore Mountain from the outside world. Wyndham decided that he wanted to teach his New Men of the outside world and so he captured a teacher, Jane Foster. When Thor came to rescue her he disrupted one of Wyndham's experiments which created Man-Beast. He was so powerful that it required Thor, Wyndham, and all of the New Men to defeat him. Wyndham then established Wundagore II on another planet fearing that Earth's citizens would not understand his research.
The High Evolutionary has taken it upon himself, from time to time, to attempt to change the human race. He soon gained the ability to evolve or devolve himself or others. He then decided to create a new Earth more highly evolved and free from evil. Using the Infinity Gems and his evolutionary technology, he created Counter-Earth, which orbited the Sun on the opposite side of the Earth and was hidden out of phase with the dimension. Warlock arrived asking to live on Counter-Earth and seeing this as a possible experiment, Wyndham agreed and gave Warlock the Soul Gem.
The Beyonders became interested in Counter-Earth and hired Sphinxor, a planet mover, to take it for them. Wyndham rebelled, but he could not do much because he was virtually powerless compared to the Beyonders. Depressed from the loss of his Counter-Earth he tried to commit suicide but could not because his armor protected him from anything. He then teased the Hulk hoping he would be able to destroy the armor. During this battle Wyndham's armor was damaged and devolved him into a single-celled organism. The armor later repaired itself and restored Wyndham to his previous state, this gave him a new outlook on life.
Wyndham's next ploy was to evolve the entire Earth so much so that it would be beyond the Beyonders. He created Gatherers, Technicians, Eliminators, Priests ( New Men), and Purifiers. They would collect genetic information, study the data, kill those who would oppose this, oversee operations, and sterilize those with unfit genes, respectfully. The Avengers were tipped off on his operations and sent a super evolved Hercules to stop him. During battle Wyndham's inventions evolved both himself and Hercules to the point where they did not have physical forms and this caught the attention of the Celestials, who captured them both. The New Men and Thor found them in a black galaxy, a living bio-verse, and freed them.
Wyndham then built a spaceship at the edge of the black galaxy, naming it New Wundagore. Here he created New Immortals based on Thor's genetic material.
The Black Galaxy then began to be born into a Celestial and Wyndham just had to see this to further his knowledge on evolution. Simply witnessing this event drove him to insanity due to the vast amounts information. The New Immortals then cast out Wyndham and the New Men and took over New Wundagore. During this period of insanity, Wyndham was visited by Warlock and came under attack yet again by the Man-Beast. After his sanity slowly reestablished itself, Wyndham became aware that the New Immortals were creating a weapon that could threaten Earth. He then returned to Wundagore Mountain and created the Godpack. With the aid of Thor, the New Men, and the Godpack, Wyndham defeated the New Immortals.
After a conflict between Ka-Zar and Thanos in the Savage Land, the device that creates and sustains the Savage Land's unique climate was damaged, and Wyndham was contracted to replace it. During this ordeal, it was discovered that Shanna the She-Devil and Ka-Zar's son has both been bathed in energies from the destroyed climate creator devise and had, as a consequence, evolved to a point where they gained "earth mother" style powers. Wyndham instantly fell in love and tried to depose Ka-Zar, but Ka-Zar's stubbornness and he-and-Shanna's love won out, and Wyndham managed to extract Shanna's powers the channel them into his new/repaired device, then departed the Savage land.
During the second Annihilation War, Annihilation: Conquest, Wyndham became involved as he was somehow in possession of a new Warlock cocoon. Wyndham, aided by Moondragon and Phyla-Vell, defended the cocoon from Ultron and The Phalanx for a time, until it was revealed that Wyndham had struck a deal with Ultron to benefit his research interests. The conflict grew out of control, however and Wyndham withdrew and tried to hide out until the war was over.
After a dangerous procedure he seemingly restored the powers of Magneto. If he will do this with other mutants has yet to be seen. Wyndham allied himself with Diablo, evolved Ulik and the current Crimson Dynamo, and abducted both Iron Man and Asgard's Destroyer armor in an attempt to evolve a new form of life combining aspects of technology, mysticism and science. Diablo betrays Wyndham, transplanting his body into the Destroyer armor and gaining godlike powers that the combined might of Wyndham, Iron Man and Thor are required to reverse.
Wyndham created a device to siphon the Power Cosmic from the Silver Surfer. With the Power Cosmic stored, he proceeded to his plan - steal a Star Sphere of Galactus. With the technology and the Power Cosmic at his fingertips, he would find dead worlds and give them life, much the opposite of Galactus. He created his own herald from Suzi Endo, creating the cosmic powered Seeker of the High Evolutionary. He planned to leave Earth to its own devices, but wished to show them that they too could be changed by the power of the High Evolutionary. He planned to use his life giving powers on the Moon and the Future Foundation and the powerless Silver Surfer combated him.
He was also recently recruited, along with the Wizard, Diablo, and The Mad Thinker, among others, by the Future Foundation to find a way to hypothetically defeat Reed Richards.
Powers & Abilities
The High Evolutionary possesses one of the greatest minds on Earth, extremely knowledgeable in not only the biological and medical fields but in technological fields as well. After evolving his brain, he not only increased his intelligence further but unlocked some of the brain's extrasensory functions as well such as telepathy, telekinesis, and a limited form of cosmic awareness. He also possesses extra senses such as a danger sense and minimal clairvoyance/precognition.
As part of his evolution, the High Evolutionary became his cybernetic exoskeleton that is highly technologically advanced. The armor provides him with immense durability from attack, force fields, size alteration, levitation and flight. The armor gives him great strength and powerful blasts can be emitted from the hands of the armor. The exoskeleton provides Wyndham life support in all pressures and temperatures and even includes back up data of Wyndham's genome and brain patterns. This leaves the High Evolutionary virtually immortal as he can be healed or completely reformed by his armor if his body is damaged.
The High Evolutionary also possesses many other impressive powers such as the evolution and devolution of life forms, matter creation and manipulation, and energy manipulation.
The High Evolutionary's increased intelligence also provides him with the knowledge to engineer and use advanced technology which includes advanced computers and processors, cybernetics, space craft and weaponry.
The High Evolutionary survived into the 31st century thanks to his armor. He assisted the Guardians of the Galaxy and Ripjak in tracking down the evil Bubonicus.
The High Evolutionary has appeared in a few Marvel related animated shows. These include the X-Men animated series, Spider-Man Unlimited and The Super Hero Squad Show.