With the obligatory slugfest out of the way in the last episode, the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Avengers must team up to save their teammates from the bizarre experiments of the High Evolutionary. Meet me after the jump for my thoughts on “Evolution Rock.”
The High Evolutionary
As it turns out the baddie behind all of last episode’s shenanigans is a character I have been aware of for decades, but really knew little about – the High Evolutionary. I was first introduced to him in Avengers when the origins of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch were first being uncovered. The villain was shown as a master of Wundagore Mountain who performed weird experiments creating beast-people.
The High Evolutionary was in fact human, I was surprised to find out, and had retroactive origins connected to the Inhumans, Mister Sinister, Spider-Woman, and even the Jackal. The animated version seems to be an alien of some sort who believes that genetically engineering creatures is art. Weird.
Wrong and Wrong
Typical of the Guardians animated series, logic and plot take a backseat to jokes and silliness, usually also at the expense of respect for the characters. For most of this episode there seems little reason for the Avengers to even be there other than as straight man to the Guardians’ usual antics.
Rocket, Groot, and Captain Marvel feature prominently as the High Evolutionary steals their powers. The villain comes off more like a cross between the Collector and the Super-Adaptoid than any version of the character I’ve seen before. Arrogance and appearance are about the only common traits.
The crux of this two-part story opening the second season is Thanos’ asteroid. We find that inside the asteroid is a weird looking cocoon, a sarcophagus. It should look familiar to comics readers and Marvel Cinematic Universe viewers alike – it’s the cocoon of Him, also known as Adam Warlock, and it was seen in the Collector’s collection in the first Guardians movie.
Not only was Adam Warlock an integral member of this incarnation of the Guardians of the Galaxy in the comics, in the hands of writer/artist Jim Starlin, he was one of the more epic cosmic characters of the 1970s, and perhaps Thanos’ greatest enemy. He was also at one time the true love of Gamora, just to make things even more complex.
Ultimately the High Evolutionary is after Thanos’ asteroid (and its contents) and the two teams stop him, with Rocket secretly snatching the cocoon. There are no real surprises but many leaps of logic, further impressing on me the possibility that all of the Guardians animated series is some dream, simulation, or alternate reality. It just doesn’t make sense.
And seeing as how Disney X-D recently aired the entire second season of the series, I can’t help but wonder if they weren’t all rushed into production to coincide with the release of the movie sequel. Perhaps the seeds are there, with Warlock, for improvement, but time will tell.
Next: “Lyin’ Eyes!”