High Evolutionary

First Appearance: Thor #134 (November 1966).
Appearances: Too many to list.
Years Active: 1931-present.

The High Evolutionary was Herbert Wyndham, an Oxford University student who was very interested in evolution. Working with the villainous mutant Mr. Sinister, Wyndham built a machine capable of accelerating the genetic evolution of living organisms. Wyndham moved to Wundagore Mountain in Transia, built himself a citadel, created a set of power armor for himself, and hyper-evolved a bunch of animals into sentient anthropomorphic beings who he then turned into the knightly "New Men," a group of beings which served only Wyndham. Decades later, during the modern era, Wyndham, calling himself "The High Evolutionary," had various encounters with superheroes and villains, went mad and, well, did stuff.

He concerns us and deserves his entry here for one event and for other potential events. His headquarters on Wundagore Mountain was built in 1931; he had evolved at least a dozen New Men by March of 1932. Sometime during the 1940s or 1950s the Evolutionary, along with his knightly New Men and the sorcerer Magnus (who was possessing the body of Jonathan Drew, the father of the modern-day heroine Spider-Woman (I)), fought and defeated the primal demon-god Chthon. What the Evolutionary and the Knights of Wundagore were doing during World War Two and the decades between their creation and their discovery by Jane Foster and Thor, during Marvel Year One, has not been explored, although it is highly unlikely that he and they did nothing at all during those years.

Notes: The stories detailing the battle between Chthon and the High Evolutionary & the Knights of Wundagore are contradictory. Some claim that the battle happened "over a decade" after the evolution of the first New Man, which would put the battle at some point during the 1940s. Other stories about this battle and the Evolutionary's history contain elements, such as the presence of the Whizzer, Miss America, and the birth of the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver to Magda, the wife of Magneto, which would place the battle in the late 1950s.

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