WandaVision: Is Another Marvel Villain Hiding in Plain Sight?

We're officially a few episodes into WandaVision, and its impact on the Marvel Cinematic Universe [...]

We're officially a few episodes into WandaVision, and its impact on the Marvel Cinematic Universe is gradually making itself known. The series, which is the inaugural Marvel Cinematic Universe installment to debut exclusively on Disney+, has been expanding on the Marvel Comics mythos of both Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and The Vision (Paul Bettany), and has teased quite a lot of major characters in the process. This has led to quite a lot of theories surrounding the film's villain, many of which have dived into the weirder aspects of Wanda and Vision's lore. But amid all of the speculation surrounding Mephisto and The Grim Reaper, there's another villain that the series could also be baking in -- the High Evolutionary.

Also known as Herbert Edgar Wyndham, High Evolutionary has been part of Marvel Comics lore since the 1960s, beginning as an Eastern European scientist whose affinity for creating the "perfect human" led to him making a slew of animal-human hybrids. Over the decades, Wyndham's experiments have led to everything from Jessica Drew becoming Spider-Woman to every mutant briefly being depowered -- and, as Wyndham's paranoia and grief grew following the death of his wife, he began to sport a bright red suit of advanced armor for his protection. While the High Evolutionary is associated with a slew of Marvel Comics storylines, one of the most famous is the birth of Wanda and Pietro Maximoff. Bova Ayshire, a cow-human hybrid created by the High Evolutionary, found the twins' mother, Magda, giving birth on a mountain, and served as her midwife. Once Magda died in childbirth, Bova took the children to the High Evolutionary, before he gave them away to their adopted parents.

So, how does this factor into WandaVision? For one thing, there's Herb (David Payton), one of the neighbors of Wanda and Vision inside of the sitcom-fueled town of Westview. Admittedly, Herb could very well just be a generic name for one of the townspeople -- especially if, as a recent trailer suggests, he's already been identified by SWORD in some capacity and appears to have a civilian name and driver's license. But the fact that his own name within Westview is so close to the real name of the High Evolutionary feels noteworthy, especially when juxtaposed with other Easter eggs and clues in the episodes that have been released thus far. Episode 2 not only features an animated advertisement for Bova Milk, but Herb later offers Vision a stick of Big Red gum, something that could be a reference to the High Evolutionary's crimson-colored costume. Herb is also seen holding cutting devices multiple times -- first, a pair of shears in the aforementioned animated opening sequence in Episode 2, and again when sawing a fence in half during the 1970s sequences of Episode 3 -- which could easily be a literal take on the High Evolutionary "splicing" DNA.

A lot of WandaVision theories have begun to suggest that Mephisto could be manipulating Wanda's reality, and is using her various memories and traumatic experiences against her. No aspect of the series has been off-limits from that possibility, down to the idea that the recurring actors in WandaVision's in-universe advertisements could be Wanda's parents -- or, at very least, her adopted ones. If the show does decide to fully embrace Wanda's comic-accurate heritage -- potentially retconning mutants into the MCU in the process -- that would eventually require an exploration of how Wanda and Pietro came into the care of their adopted parents, a sequence that would definitely be enriched by an appearance or reference to the High Evolutionary. Even if the Herb we've seen on WandaVision isn't actually the High Evolutionary, it doesn't seem out of the realm of possibility that he could be a carefully-selected vessel on behalf of Mephisto, with a goal of drudging up the repressed trauma of Wanda's childhood. It also would help tease the High Evolutionary's bizarre role in the Marvel universe -- something that fans have been hoping to see come to fruition in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

Do you want the High Evolutionary to appear on WandaVision? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

WandaVision debuts new episodes on Disney+ every Friday. If you haven't signed up for Disney+ yet, you can try it out here.

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