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High Evolutionary
Real Name: Herbert Edgar Wyndham
Occupation: Geneticist
Identity: Secret
Legal Status: Former citizen of the United Kingdom with no criminal record
Former Aliases: None
Place of Birth: Manchester, England
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: None
Group Affiliation: Founder of the Knights of Wundagore
Base of Operations: Formerly Wundagore Mountain, Transia, Earth; later the planet Wundagore II, later a satellite in Earth orbit, now unknown
First Appearance: THOR #134

History: Herbert Wyndham was a student attending Oxford University in the 1930's who built a machine capable of accelerating the genetic evolution of living organisms. His first test subject was his pet dog, which he managed to evolve into a creature who stood upright and had the intelligence of a chimpanzee. (The dog was accidentally killed by a hunter.) His experiments having provoked anger and hostility among his peers, Wyndham left the university to build a research center where he could carry on his experiments without detractors. Joined by his friend Jonathan Drew, who specialized in the study of arthropods, Wyndham found the site for his facility on Wundagore Mountain in Transia, a country near Yugoslavia where Drew's wife was born. The two men purchased a tract of land on the mountain and discovered a rich uranium deposit on their property, which they converted into working capital. In a matter of years, they built a citadel of advanced scientific research. Wyndham's work centered on the improvement of his genetic accelerator while Drew studied spiders' natural immunological resistance to radiation. Subjecting himself to his own machine, Wyndham began to accelerate his own intellectual capacity, enabling him to make increasingly greater discoveries.

Wyndham's partnership with Drew began to fray when Drew's younger daughter Jessica was stricken with radiation poisoning due to prolonged exposure to uranium. Though both scientists pooled their skills to try to save her, the treatment required years of constant radiation-therapy during which time the young girl had to be placed in cryogenic suspension. When Drew's wife Merriem disappeared during her weekly trip to the village for supplies (Wyndham learned that she had been killed by a wolf-like beast but withheld that information from his friend), Drew became so despondent that he departed Wundagore, leaving his daughter in Wyndham's custody.

Beginning to believe in the supernatural legends of the natives, Wyndham devised a suit of protective armor. He then began to procure and genetically accelerate both domestic and wild animals into "New Men," animals with humanoid posture and intelligence. Among the first of his New Men were Bova, a cow-woman, Porga, a pig-man, and Tagar, a tiger-man. With the assistance of the ghost of the Sixth Century magician Magnus, Wyndham trained the menagerie of New Men in the arts of chivalry and combat of the Sixth Century. Thus he founded the Order of the Knights of Wundagore to protect his realm from certain native sorcerous foes. Wyndham himself had assumed the title of Lord High Evolutionary. Decades later, the High Evolutionary converted his citadel into a spaceship and set forth with his knights for the stars, feeling that Earth was too confining for them. He left behind only three of his subjects, Jessica Drew (who had gained spider-like powers from her treatment), the girl's nanny, Bova, and the evil cat-man, Tabur.

Eventually the High Evolutionary deposited the Knights on their own planet (called Wundagore II) and released them from his service. He then built himself a small moonlike satellite and embarked upon the most ambitious project of his life, the construction of a detailed replica of Earth. Creating the world out of debris from the asteroid belt, the Evolutionary positioned it in the Earth's orbit, on the opposite side of the sun from the Earth.

The High Evolutionary called the world Counter-Earth and for years watched over it as its "god." Then, when he reposed in his ultimately-evolved state, Counter-Earth was towed out of its orbit by the Planet-Movers of Pegasus, an extraterrestrial company of contractors. Curious as to the nature of the beings who hired them, the Evolutionary accompanied the Pegasusians to the world of the Beyonders. (These beings are not to be confused with the Beyonder of the "secret wars."). He saw the crowning achievement of his life placed on display in a museum of curiosities and became numbed by the superiority of the Beyonders. Going mad, he attempted suicide, but the sophisticated circuitry of his armor had been designed to protect him from all bodily harm. He then returned to Earth, hoping to find something strong enough to destroy his armor and end his misery.

The High Evolutionary found such a being in the Hulk, whom he cajoled into wrecking his armor. The Hulk succeeded in demolishing most but not all of the Evolutionary's armor, just enough so that the Evolutionary could devolve into a mass of one-celled organisms. But as long as the Evolutionary's armor contains the complete genetic information for its manufacture, the High Evolutionary's condition is reversible, it is only a matter of time before its microcircuits reorganize themselves and restore the High Evolutionary to his previous state.

Rejuvenated in mind as well as body, the High Evolutionary began building citadels all over the world and gathering armies of scientists in an elaborate plot to deliberately initiate Earth's evolutionary progress in order that mankind as a whole could evolve to its ultimate state in a fraction of the time. To this end, the High Evolutionary revived the once-dead paradise known as the Savage Land in Antarctica, experimented on the underground-dwelling genetic offshoot race of Subterraneans, among other activities. This brought him and his forces into conflict with a number of Earth's superhero teams, and the Evolutionary was ultimately confronted by an assemblage of the heroes known as the Avengers. The Avengers' member and god Hercules fought the Evolutionary, until a device that allowed Hercules himself to evolve jumpstarted the Evolutionary's physiology as well, evolving both to a state beyond godhood, and the two dissipated from Earth's plane.

In reality, the two were captured by the enigmatic beings known as the Celestials and held prisoner in the so-called Black Galaxy. Thor and his friend, Eric Masterson, discovered their fate during an adventure at the High Evolutionary's citadel, Wundagore. Both Masterson and Thor helped rescue the two, and Hercules, Thor, and Masterson returned to Earth, while the High Evolutionary turned Wundagore into a spaceship and returned to the Black Galaxy, intrigued by what he found there.

Height: 6 ft. 2 in.
Weight: 200 lbs (without armor)
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Brown

Strength Level: The High Evolutionary possesses the normal human strength of a man of his age, height, and build who engages in no regular exercise.

Known Superhuman Powers: The High Evolutionary possesses a highly evolved brain which has been heightened to the limit of human potential. The High Evolutionary has committed to memory all the written knowledge known to man. His vast intuitive capacity makes him one of the most brilliant theoreticians on Earth. The High Evolutionary possesses vast psionic powers enabling him to rearrange matter, among other feats. The extent of his psionic powers is unknown.

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