In 1928, college student Herbert Edgar Wyndham, inspired by heretical biologist Nathaniel Essex, conducted genetic experiments in his mother's suburban London basement, attempting with limited success to evolve rats in his genetic accelerator. At that year's International Conference on Genetics in Geneva, Switzerland, a mysterious stranger (actually the Inhuman Phaeder, father of Maelstrom) handed Herbert papers containing a blueprint for breaking the genetic code. Documents in hand, Wyndham returned to Oxford University and developed a serum capable of controlled genetic alteration, which he later named Isotope A. His professors frowned on his single-minded focus and Wyndham was expelled in 1930. Returning to his mother's basement, he finally succeeded, evolving his Dalmatian Dempsey to humanoid form, but Dempsey was shot by hunters. In partnership with fellow scientist Jonathan Drew (a Yale arthropod specialist), Wyndham moved to the Eastern Side of Transia's Wundagore Mountain, to land Drew's wife Merriam had inherited from her uncle. Herbert financed a lab for them by selling his mother's home, but their discovery of uranium on the land soon allowed them virtually unlimited finances; they purchased large qualities of land from neighbor Gregor Russoff. German rocket scientist, Horace Grabshied (later Grayson) designed their "Citadel of Science" (named Wundagore) in exchange for their financing his rocketry. Grabsheid built a space ship into their base. And subsequently continued upgrading the Citadel. Again Phaedar intervened, bringing Herbert an army of underground dwelling Moloids as a labor force to build the Citadel.
Construction proceeded, but Drew's daughter Jessica fell ill in 1931, affected by the radioactive uranium. Herbert and Jonathan cooperated on an emergency treatment, injecting her with Drew's experimental spider serum, subjecting her to Wyndham's evolving ray, and then placing her in extended suspended animation. Merriam Drew was killed by a werewolf on the adjoining Russoff estate; Wyndham was also attacked but survived unscathed, and Jonathan wordlessly left Wundagore. Wyndham designed a suit of protective armor and captured the werewolf (Baron Gregor Russoff). In 1932, Wyndham, with research assistant Miles Warren, developed a newer mutagen, Isotope B and evolved several animals to human form and sentience, his first dozen "New Men" including Bova (Guernsey cow), Tagar (tiger), and Porga (pig). Wyndham tinkered with Grabsheid's space flight technology, building fly cycles, anti-graviton atomic steeds that his New Men would ride into battle.
Jonathan Drew returned, claiming to be possessed by Arthurian wizard Magnus, a former disciple of Morgan Le Fay. Magnus/Drew warned Wyndham that the Citadel was constructed where Chthon, an ancient demon, had been banished, but Wyndham believed that his partner's grief had driven him mad. Whydham refused to leave and Magnus stayed in Wundagore, each man watching over the other. Miles Warren began his own experiments and after one, an evolved Jackal, escaped into a nearby town, Wyndham asked Warren to leave. Warren convinced several New Men that Wyndham valued them only as experiments, and those New Men left with Warren. Magnus began training the remaining New Men, and over the next several years instilled in them a code of conduct derived from the chivalry of Magnus' youth; these Knights of Wundagore began respectfully referring to Wyndham as the Lord High Evolutionary. However, in 1958, Baron Russoff used the Darkhold, the book by with Chthon had been bound, in an effort to cure himself, allowing Chthon to break free. While the Knights of Wundagore and Wyndham battled Chthon's mystical forces, Magnus managed to rebind Chthon. However, a pregnant woman, Magda, had sought sanctuary in the Citadel, and the delivery of her twin children, midwifed by Bova, coincided with Chthon's defeat; a segment of his powers touched the twins, giving Chthon an avenue of access to our world. Seventeen of the forty New Men died in the battle, as did Russoff. Magda left not long thereafter, asking Bova to find someone to raise her children Wanda and Pietro, and Magnus/Drew also departed. Herbert sent Porga to locate parents for the twins; he brought Americans Robert and Madeline Frank to the citadel. Madeline was pregnant herself, and died while delivering a stillborn child at the Citadel. Bova informed Robert Frank the twins were his, but when she also told him Madeline had died, he fled into the night. Unable to find suitable guardians, Wyndham placed the twins into suspended animation, and years later personally delivered the twins to Porga's next choice, Django and Marya Maximoff, a gypsy couple who had lost their own twins, Ana and Mateo. Several years after that, realizing his New Men needed knowledge of the modern world. Wyndham had Porga recruit a teacher: Jane Foster, an American nurse. Foster's friend Thor invaded Wundagore in search of her and disrupted Wyndham as he was evolving a wolf using a new mutagen, Isotope C. The experiment went awry, creating Man-Beast. The combined efforts of Thor, High Evolutionary, and the New Men barely defeated the Man-Beast (and several men-beasts evolved by Man-Beast himself), and High Evolutionary decided that Earth could never accept his New Men; the Man-Beast and his men-beasts were launched into space towards the Galaxy Dromisana, and the Citadel also launched, traveling out to establish Wundagore II on another planet. A few New Men, including Bova, remained on Earth. The off-Earth New Men were adversely affected by Wundagore II's atmosphere, and began degrading into savagery. Seeking physical help to control them, High Evolutionary had his gatherers capture the Hulk and ship him to Wundagore II. The Hulk could not cope with the sheer numbers of New Men, and in desperation Wyndham treated himself with Isotope D, a mutagen which evolved him into a powerful disembodied intelligence. In this form, High Evolutionary returned the Hulk home and devolved the New Men to animal forms.
Wyndham restored himself, now possessing the power to evolve and devolve himself and others. He developed Project Alpha to create a new Earth, fully evolved but free of evil. Building his "Counter-Earth" in an orbit directly opposite the sun from his home Earth, he used Infinity Gems to draw elements from Earth, asteroids, space debris, and extra dimensional mass together with graviton rays, subjecting them to seven score hours of treatment with evolutionary bio-rays to create a fully evolved Earth, albeit one artificially held together with only one percent mass of true Earth. The exhausted High Evolutionary napped as the evolution concluded, and the Man-Beast intervened, instilling on Counter-Earth the evil High Evolutionary had so carefully excluded. High Evolutionary decided to destroy Counter-Earth and begin again, but the being known as Him convinced Wyndham to refrain, asking to live on Counter-Earth. High Evolutionary agreed, seeing in Him a like-minded surrogate son, and sent Him to Counter-Earth, gifting him with the Soul Gem, renaming him Warlock, and recruiting a Rigellian Recorder to observe the experiment. High Evolutionary placed Counter-Earth a micro-second out of dimensional synch to hide it from Earth.
When the planet-eating Galactus discovered Counter-Earth, Wyndham sought aid from the Fantastic Four and bargained with Galactus, gaining time to find him a new world to devour; High Evolutionary sent the Four to evaluate possible worlds. Believing they had failed, High Evolutionary fought Galactus and was banished to the Negative Zone, but the Four found Galactus a new world in his absence. When Galactus fell ill while devouring this world (Poppup), High Evolutionary temporarily evolved him into a disembodied force. The extra dimensional Beyonders later became interested in Counter-Earth and hired the Pegasusian Planet Movers, led by Sphinxor, to take the planet for them. Sphinxor caused Warlock to believe Counter-Earth was destroyed; in a fit of rage, Warlock attacked High Evolutionary and Wyndham's armor automatically super-evolved him for protection. Sphinxor removed Counter-Earth, and High Evolutionary was restored when Her, a being created in the same manner as Him/Warlock, came seeking Warlock. High Evolutionary tracked down his world, but allowed the Movers to take it in return for being allowed to accompany them; Counter-Earth's inherent instability threatened to one day destroy it, and High Evolutionary wished this fixed. However, the Beyonders were further above High Evolutionary than Wyndham was beyond humanity. Counter-Earth remained in the Beyoders' museum of curiosities, and High Evolutionary returned to Earth where he devolved himself to protoplasm.
His armor eventually restored him, and Wyndham decided to evolve humanity to surpass the Beyonders via a genetic bomb. High Evolutionary re-established Wundagore, placing New Man Count Tagar in charge. When the Savage Land was destroyed by the world-dismantling Terminus, the High Evolutionary built a fortress in the Land's ruins, studying the mechanisms placed there by the Nuwali race and their monument to the alien Beyonders. When another Terminus arose, High Evolutionary battled it beside the X-Men, and afterwards created evolutionary terraformers that restored the Savage Land from the mind and biology of Garokk, the Petrified Man, who had previously been attuned to the Land. High Evolutionary saw this as a last chance to enjoy the simple pleasures of uncomplicated creation before engaging in the final stages of his plan to evolutionarily accelerate the entire planet. High Evolutionary briefly aided humanity when the efforts of his old research assistant Miles Warren caused chaos; High Evolutionary altered Warren's notes to prevent humanity from learning the truth about Warren's cloning work, created a second version of the mutated Carrion with false memories to support deception, and later would cure the Carrion Plague which Warren had created.
High Evolutionary created an organization consisting of Gatherers collecting genetic data for him, Technicians studying and compiling the data, Purifiers sterilizing those whose genes were unfit, Eliminators killing those who acted against Earth's genetic benefit, and Priests (mostly New Men) managing the project. Notably, his Purifiers sterilized large portions of Earth's subterranean races, though the emergence of a telepathic Moloid named Val-Or, coupled with the interference of Apocalypse, caused High Evolutionary to see that the Moloids still could evolve, and he ended their sterilization. His Purifiers sterilized Earth's more genetically dangerous mutants; his Eliminators acted against the drug trade; and his Gatherers studied the genetic codes of the Eternals, Deviants, Inhumans, Atlanteans, and alien races including Skrulls and Melmacians. As the genetic bomb neared completion, one of High Evolutionary's Technicians warned the Avengers, and Wyndham's dreams were destroyed when the demi-god Hercules was super-evolved to be his equal; under the influence of Evolutionary's machinery, both High Evolutionary and Hercules evolved into disembodied forms. These forms attracted the Celestials, who collected and stored their essences.
In Wundagore, Count Tagar sought his creator and eventually located him at the heart of the Black Galaxy, a living Bio-Verse. With help from Thor, Tagar saw High Evolutionary and Hercules freed, and High Evolutionary chose to focus on pure research, tired of an unproductiveness of conflict. High Evolutionary built a world ship (New Wundagore) at the fringes of the Black Galaxy, adapted his Isotope C (now Isotope C2) and created three New Immortals (Nobilus, Juvan, Zon) partially based on Thor's genetic material. When the Black Galaxy began to "hatch" into a new Celestial, High Evolutionary bonded himself with a Rigellian Recorder to absorb more knowledge, evolving the Recorder into a more capable Analyzer. The data absorbed from the Celestial's creation was too much to comprehend, driving High Evolutionary insane. The New Immortals (with New Man Count Tagar, who had subjected himself to Isotope C2) seized control of High Evolutionary's world-ship, though Nobilus and several faithful New Men fled with High Evolutionary. The Man-Beast used this to seek revenge, freeing twelve mutated souls from Counter-Earth (shortly before its apparent accidental destruction at Thanos' hands) and setting them after High Evolutionary, but Warlock intervened to save Wyndham. His mind gradually returned, but Wyndham realized he had lost control of his own revolution and was randomly moving, both mentally and physically, both directions along the evolutionary line. He began developing Isotope E to control his genetic shift. Isotope E had short-lived effects, and he could not develop a permanent "cure". When the Recorder/Analyzer warned Wyndham that the New Immortals were creating an Earth-threatening weapon, High Evolutionary returned to Wundagore Mountain on Earth and built forces to oppose. He created newer and more powerful New Men, as well as the Godpack, effectively New Immortals created by treating humans rather than creating them anew. He created the White Tiger during this time, designed and to hunt out and destroy the Man-Beast. He allowed the Godpack and New Men to fight to further their abilities, and when the Godpack proved superior, he abandoned his New Men. The Man-Beast (calling himself Karnivore) took control of them and attacked Wundagore. The Man-Beast was driven off, and High Evolutionary apologetically reclaimed his New Men. High Evolutionary, with Thor, the Godpack, and his New Men, traveled to the New Wundagore worldship and defeated the New Immortals, despite betrayal by one of the Godpack. The New Immortals were placed in suspended animation, the Godpack sent to live in New York City, and High Evolutionary returned to Wundagore Mountain with his New Men.
During this time, the mutant Exodus and his Acolytes had captured High Evolutionary near Wundagore. Learning of Isotope E, they assaulted Wundagore and drove High Evolutionary and his New Men out. Leaving the New Men in the custody of Quicksilver, High Evolutionary retreated to his Savage Land fortress, there continuing work on Isotope E. When Ka-Zar shut down the Land-maintaining terraformers, their energies redirected through Ka-Zar's wife Shanna. High Evolutionary saw in Shanna a potential cure, and became infatuated with her sharing of his evolutionary talents. Ultimately, Shanna rejected him; High Evolutionary restored the terraformers and retreated to his fortress again. The Acolytes soon located and attacked him there and High Evolutionary, Quicksilver, and the New Men returned to Wundagore. However, the Man-Beast had been masquerading as one of High Evolutionary's New Men, and assaulted High Evolutionary, leaving him nearly comatose. While the New Men, Acolytes, Man-Beast and the Heroes for Hire (brought by the White Tiger, hunting the Man-Beast) all battled in Wundagore, High Evolutionary jumped to the high end of the evolutionary spectrum, insanely driving himself towards purging the world's life to end the chaos around him. The New Man Lord Delphis finalized a permanent cure from Isotope E; both Man-Beast and the White Tiger were devolved to animal forms, the Acolytes' leader Exodus was left comatose and placed in a seal chamber below Wundagore, and the Black Knight remained in Wundagore to train a new generation of Knights of Wundagore.
An aged Dr. Nathaniel Essex, who had inspired Wyndham decades before, recently sought out his old pupil and convinced him to remove the advanced mutations that had created super-powered mutants; Wyndham did so from a shielded space station. However, Essex was secretly the diabolical Mr. Sinister and betrayed High Evolutionary, turning the experiment to the rampant mutation of all life on Earth. The X-Men, despite being powerless, intervened and stopped Essex, and High Evolutionary voluntarily destroyed the equipment, restoring Earth to its prior form.
A returning Adam Warlock has recently found the High Evolutionary hoping to get help against the Phalanx and Ultron.