High Evolution, also known as Herbert Edgar Wyndham, has been a part of Marvel Comics history since the 1960s, starting with the Eastern European scientist whose affinity for creating the perfect human led him to create many animal-human hybrids. Over the decades, Wyndham’s experiments led to Jessica Drew becoming Spiderwoman and each mutant being briefly immobilized – and as Wyndham’s paranoia and grief grew after his wife’s death, he began wearing bright red armor for advanced protection. As High Evolution is associated with many Marvel Comics stories, one of the most famous is the birth of Wanda and Pietro Maximoff. Bova Aishir, a human-cow hybrid created by High Evolution, found the twins’ mother, Magda, giving birth in the mountains and acted as her midwife. After Magda died in childbirth, Bova brought the children to Higher Evolution and then placed them with foster parents.
How will this factor affect WandaVision? First, Herb (David Payton), one of Wanda and Vision’s neighbors, lives in the sitcom-ridden town of Westview. It’s true that Herb could also just be a generic name for one of the town’s residents – especially if, as the current trailer suggests, he’s already somehow been identified by SWORD and appears to have a middle-class name and a driver’s license. But the fact that his own name in Westview is so close to High Evolutionary’s real name is remarkable, especially when compared to the other Easter Eggs and the clues from the episodes released so far. Episode 2 not only features an animated advertisement for Bova milk, but Herb later offers Vision a stick of Big Red gum, which could be a reference to High Evolutionary’s purple costume. Herb was also seen several times using a cutting tool – first with a pair of scissors in the aforementioned animated opening sequence of Episode 2, then again when he sawed the fence in half during the 1970s sequences of Episode 3 – which could easily be a literal take on the highly developed splitting DNA.
Many theories about WandaVision assume that Mephisto is manipulating Wanda’s reality and using her various memories and traumatic experiences against her. No aspect of the series is excluded, right down to the idea that the recurring actors in the WandaVision commercials could be Wanda’s parents – or at least her adoptive parents. If the series decides to fully embrace the legacy of Wanda’s comic book – and possibly recycle mutants into the MCU in the process – it will eventually need to explore how Wanda and Pietro were taken in by their adoptive parents, a sequence that will surely be enhanced by an appearance or reference to High Evolution. While the Herb we saw on WandaVision isn’t actually a High Evolutionary, it’s possible that it’s a carefully selected vessel named Mephisto, meant to prolong the oppressive trauma of Wanda’s childhood. It will also highlight the High Evolutionary’s erratic role in the Marvel universe – something fans had hoped to see in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
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