Spider-Woman desperately needs help from a major Avengers villain, but how do you force a godlike being to do something he doesn’t want to?
Warning: contains spoilers for Spider-Woman #6!
Spider-Woman is currently hunting the High Evolutionary, one of the Avengers’ most successful villains. In Spider-Woman #6, by writer Karla Pacheco (Fearless), artist Pere Perez (Spider-Verse) and colorist Frank D’Armata (Iron Man), Spider-Woman, AKA Jessica Drew, is hot on the trail of the High Evolutionary to help cure her of the illness ravaging her body; she is also looking for answers as to why her mother, who she previously thought deceased, has returned.
The High Evolutionary was actually born a human – Herbert Wyndham. A geneticist, he has been performing experiments on humans and animals alike since his youth. Over the years, he has evolved into one of the most powerful humans on Earth: his intelligence rivals cosmic beings, and he was even capable of creating an exact duplicate of Earth called Counter-Earth, with his vast “experiments” bringing him into conflict with both the Avengers and the X-Men. He’s also tied to Spider-Woman’s origin; her father Jonathan was an associate of the Evolutionary (back when he was still Wyndham) at his base on Mount Wundagore, It was Jonathan’s time at Wundagore that initially made Jessica sick, which led to her transformation into Spider-Woman. In recent issues, Jessica has become sick again, and only the High Evolutionary holds the cure.
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Jessica, along with Captain Marvel, has followed the High Evolutionary’s trail to Counter-Earth. There, they meet up with the Knights of Wundagore, some of the High Evolutionary’s creations. The Knights tell her they summoned him to their base, but when he arrived, he was displeased with them and left to tend to more promising experiments. This came as a shock to the Knights, who venerated the Evolutionary.
The Evolutionary’s reaction should come as no surprise. He is in pursuit of genetic perfection, and he feels the Knights are his “most disappointing creations.” Blowing them off like he did is in line with a character who has been chasing his own goals for as long as he’s been a Marvel Comics villain, and who generally meets failure in terms of disappointing results rather than outright defeat. Yet how will Spider-Woman handle this indifference when he inevitably shuns her too?
As villains go in the Marvel Universe, the High Evolutionary is one of the most successful. While many of his schemes have been thwarted over the years, others have succeeded on a grand scale, such as his stewardship of Counter-Earth. He’s a simple human who, through scientific progress, has altered himself to the point where he is a truly powerful cosmic being – the bringer of life to entire planets, the potential creator of numerous heroes and villains, and one of the X-Man Beast’s first ports of call for help when his entire race was depowered. Yet soon he will be going up against Spider-Woman, whose condition has left her with rage issues. This battle will be interesting to see and raises some questions: will Spider-Woman even be able to defeat the High Evolutionary and get the cure she needs, even with Captain Marvel at her side? The High Evolutionary has been gone for a while; has he grown even more powerful, and what minions have his genetic experiments left in his thrall? These questions will be answered in the coming months.
Next: Which Version of Marvel’s Spider-Woman is the Strongest?
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