HistoryHerbert 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 of 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 Mernem 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 left Wundagore, with 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 was Bova, a cow-woman, Porga, a pic-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 (who later exterminated the mystically-born race of Cat People).
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 moon-like 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 stable "ghost LaGrange point" (between L7 and L8) 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 a 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 cosmic contractors. Curious as to the nature of the beings who hired them, the Evolutionary accompanied the Pegasusians to the world of the Beyonders. 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.
Powers and Abilities
The High Evolutionary has evolved his brain to its full potential; he has virtually unlimited knowledge and intellectual ability. His vast psionic powers enable him to rearrange matter. The full range of his powers is unrevealed; he can evolve and devolve life, increase and decrease his own size/mass, and travel extradimensionally. His abilities have fluctuated markedly due to his previously unstable evolutionary status, ranging from that of a virtually god-like being of pure intellect and energy to that of a gorilla-like man of barely human intellect unable to utilize the weaponry in his own armor.
EquipmentHe frequently uses machinery to control evolutionary effects, and his armor safeguards him of its own accord.
He owns a space-worthy Citadel of Science on Transia's Mount Wundagore, a research fortress in the Savage Land, an upstate New York castle, research facilities beneath several major citis, and space facilities ranging from asteroid bases to orbital ships to the worldship New Wundagore.
- 56 Appearances of Herbert Wyndham (Earth-616)
- 9 Images featuring Herbert Wyndham (Earth-616)
- 4 Quotations by or about Herbert Wyndham (Earth-616)
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