Warning! This post contains SPOILERS for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 debuts The High Evolutionary, a major new villain who has genetically manufactured several different species in the MCU. Played by Chukwudi Iwuji, the High Evolutionary was responsible for the creation and brutal experimentation of Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper). However, the new MCU movie has confirmed several other species that can attribute their existence (and trauma) to the High Evolutionary as well.
In the final chapter of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, the High Evolutionary is introduced in connection with Rocket Raccoon. Seeing Rocket as proprietary technology who escaped his laboratory years before the first Guardians film, the High Evolutionary wants Rocket’s unique brain to further his mission of creating the perfect society. However, Rocket was not the first of the High Evolutionary’s creations, nor was he the last. Here is every confirmed species created by the High Evolutionary in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
First introduced as the secondary antagonists in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the golden-skinned beings known as the Sovereign are confirmed to have been created by the High Evolutionary in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Although the Sovereign were seemingly led by their High Priestess Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki), it’s revealed in this new chapter that she answers directly to the High Evolutionary himself. Describing the Sovereign as an aesthetic experiment gone wrong due to their overly inflated egos, the High Evolutionary threatens to end their existence if Ayesha can’t deliver Rocket with help from her own powerful yet half-baked creation Adam Warlock (Will Poulter).
Rocket Raccoon And Batch 89
Confirmed in detail via Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’s truly tragic flashbacks, Rocket was a baby raccoon who was viciously torn apart and put back together via cybernetics and extreme genetic manipulation. Designated as Subject 89P13, Rocket became part of Batch 89, at the time the latest attempt by the High Evolutionary to fashion beings worthy of a perfect society. Although Rocket befriended his fellow subjects Lylla, Teefs, and Floor, they were all seen as failures unfit to rejoin the “New World” as envisioned by the High Evolutionary. Although the villain did see value in 89P13’s brain, Rocket made his escape after the brutal murders of his friends.
Originating from Rocket’s own ingenuity that caught even the High Evolutionary by surprise, Batch 92 resulted in the successful creation of the humanoid-animal hybrids known as the Humanimals. They became residents of Counter-Earth, a world mirroring Earth itself which had inspired the High Evolutionary years prior. However, the Humanimals and future iterations of their species eventually proved themselves to be “imperfect”. This resulted in the High Evolutionary detonating Counter-Earth and killing the entire civilization, having already begun experiments for a future New World colony.
Upon the Guardians’ discovery of the High Evolutionary and his role in Rocket’s creation, Gamora (Zoe Saldana) confirms the villain is responsible for the creation of the race known as Xeronians. Featuring white skin and plates on their faces, a Xeronian was first seen in the post-credits scene for Thor: The Dark World when the Reality Stone was being delivered to the Collector. Another Xeronian can be seen on the planet Xandar in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie.
Gamora also confirms that the High Evolutionary created the Animen. In the original Marvel Comics, the Animen were servants and enforcers of the High Evolutionary. As such, the MCU versions of the Animen were likely either a past or future iteration of the Humanimals or perhaps precursors to his more monstrous Hell Spawn.
The High Evolutionary is often flanked by two his Recorders in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 named Thel (Nico Santos) and Vim (Miriam Shor). Likewise, there are multiple Recorders in the villains’ service throughout the movie. Seeing as how they all have the same features with bald heads, glowing eyes, and cybernetic implants, it’s quite possible that the Recorders were also genetic creations made to serve the High Evolutionary.
Phyla’s New Colony Species (Star Children)
Referred to in the credits for Guardians of the Galaxy as “Star Children”, the High Evolutionary’s next attempt at creating a perfect society after the Humanimals comes in the form of white-haired, genetically altered children. Having incredible physical and mental enhancements while requiring very little food or rest, the young subjects are thankfully discovered by the Guardians who waste no time getting the kids off the High Evolutionary’s ship and onto Knowhere. However, there may be more to the Star Children that was only hinted at in the first post-credits scene for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
One of the main Star Children is revealed to be none other than Phyla, a Guardian from the original comics who didn’t make the live-action cut with 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy alongside Adam Warlock. As such, it’s very satisfying to see James Gunn finally adding both Phyla and Adam to the team’s newest roster. Likewise, the post-credits scene shows Phyla (Kai Zen) wielding some level of cosmic power due to her glowing eyes and hands, a potential tease for her MCU future as Quasar.
During the final act of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, the High Evolutionary unleashes legions of his creations known as Hell Spawn on the Guardians and Knowhere. The Hell Spawn are depicted as monstrous cybernetic animal hybrids created for the sole purpose of protecting the High Evolutionary’s attempts at a perfect society. Two of the notable Hell Spawn creatures are named War Pig (voiced by Judy Greer) and Behemoth (Reinaldo Faberlle).
92 Confirmed Batches (But There’s More)
While the High Evolutionary’s 92nd batch appeared to be the successful creation of the Humanimals, they were made when Rocket was still quite young before his escape. Likewise, the villain also mentions in the present that he’s razed worlds and entire species many times before Counter-Earth when they ultimately proved to be failures in his eyes. It stands to reason that the High Evolutionary created many more species beyond the 92 known batches in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, especially considering the Star Children as his final genetic batch. As such, the High Evolutionary more than likely exceeded 100 different variations in the MCU before his apparent demise.
This story originally appeared on Screenrant