Warning: This article contains spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3.


In their previous appearances on the big screen, the Guardians of the Galaxy have already had to do battle with some pretty formidable foes – from Peter Quill's Celestial father Ego to Thanos himself.

And in the newly released Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 they have another chilling antagonist to face, with the intergalactic superhero team this time finding themselves up against a character who goes by the name of the High Evolutionary.

The character is played by British actor Chukwudi Iwuji and he will be very familiar to fans of the comics – but if your less clued up on your Marvel lore, you can read on for everything you need to know about the High Evolutionary.

Who is the High Evolutionary in Marvel Comics?

The High Evolutionary made his first comic book appearance back in 1966, and is introduced as a rather mad scientist and 'cosmic philosopher' who originally went by the name Dr Herbert Edgar Wyndham.

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In the comics, the character became obsessed with the idea of Evolution and began experimenting in a bid to create a more advanced species, turning animals into sentient creatures which he referred to as New Men, and building a 'utopian' planet which he called Counter-Earth.

Possessing incredible powers and intellect, the High Evolutionary is responsible for helping a number of other Marvel characters reach their potential – including Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, and Spider-Woman – while he plays a key role in the development of Adam Warlock, who also appears in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3.

Over the years, different comic storylines have seen the character become an enemy of The Avengers, the X-Men, and the Fantastic Four – so he's certainly done his fair share of villainy.

Who is the High Evolutionary in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3?

Chukwudi Iwuji as The High Evolutionary in Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3
Marvel Studios

In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3, we see The High Evolutionary in both the present – where he appears to be wearing a mask of his own face – and in the past via flashbacks that detail Rocket's origins.

It turns out Rocket belongs to a test batch of anthropomorphic animals he had created as part of the High Evolutionary's experiment to create a more advanced form of species to populate his new Counter-Earth – and he had planned to incinerate Rocket and his friends when they were no longer of use to him.

Rocket had rebelled, and although his friends were ultimately killed, he managed to do significant damage to his creator, clawing away at his face to leave it irreparably damaged which is revealed as the reason he now wears a mask.

In the present, the High Evolutionary is pressing ahead with his plans for Counter-Earth, claiming he wants to perfect the universe rather than conquer it, and although his most recent version of utopia has failed he is planning to start again on a new planet.

This later leads to the revelation that he has a huge supply of children and young animals as his latest test subjects, although thankfully the Guardians are able to rescue them before he can get much further with his plan.

Towards the end of the film, Rocket is finally able to confront his maker once again – although he ultimately stops short of killing him directly, explaining that he is a Guardian of the Galaxy.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 is now playing in UK cinemas, while other instalments in the franchise are available to stream on Disney Plus. Sign up to Disney Plus now for £7.99 per month or £79.90 for a full year.

Check out our list of the best movies on Disney Plus and best shows on Disney Plus, or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.


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