‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’: Is High Evolutionary Dead?

guardians of the galaxy vol 3 is High Evolutionary dead can he return to the MCU

High Evolutionary debuted in the MCU as a villain in the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. His sole purpose in the movie was to grab ahold of Rocket Raccoon to examine his brain to figure out why Rocket is the only independent-thinking creature he has ever created. The movie ended with the total destruction of Counter-Earth and High Evolutionary’s ship, which led many fans to question the current living status of High Evolutionary. Due to that, we’ve decided to analyze the movie’s ending in more detail. Let’s see, is High Evolutionary dead?

High Evolutionary is not dead. After repeated attacks on his ship, all systems were in critical condition forcing Guardians of the Galaxy to evacuate all of his experiments to Knowhere. High Evolutionary fell in combat after a brief fight with Rocket Raccoon, but this is not what killed him. High Evolutionary was seemingly left for dead, but Drax eventually saved him. High Evolutionary is currently imprisoned on Knowhere, as confirmed by James Gunn.

Now that we’ve covered that High Evolutionary magically managed to survive with Drax’s help, it’s time to explore his chances of returning to the MCU in future installments. If you’re interested in more, stay with us and keep reading!

High Evolutionary was bested by Rocket Raccoon two times

So far, we’ve covered Rocket’s history with High Evolutionary in great detail because this is what led to the initial conflict in GotG in the first place.

High Evolutionary extensively experimented upon Rocket, which is how Rocket ended up being an enhanced and intelligent version of the common raccoon. He was supposed to be transferred to Counter-Earth to Evolutionary’s perfect society, along with the rest of Batch 89 of Humanimals, but the plans fell through since Evolutionary wasn’t quite pleased with how the batch ended up.

GotG 3 What Did the High Evolutionary Do to Rocket

What further angered High Evolutionary was the fact that Rocket managed to outsmart him, in one instance solving a problem with the rapid evolution machine that bothered him for months. High Evolutionary got angry, and in a fit of rage, he revealed to Rocket that he plans on killing him and taking his brain and that he plans on eliminating the entirety of Batch 89 come morning.


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Rorkcet Raccoon planned an escape with the rest of Batch 89, but High Evolutionary intervened. He shot Lylla dead, and the security guards dealt with the Teefs & Floor.

Seeing his friends die, Rocket was beyond livid he jumped on High Evolutionary and tore his face to shreds using his claws, resulting in High Evolutionary having to wear a specially designed mask for the rest of his life.

This is the first time that Rocket dealt life-threatening injuries to High Evolutionary, and it won’t be the last time.

Rocket defeated High Evolutionary, but he didn’t kill him

We know that Evolutionary sent Adam Warlock to fetch Rocket Raccoon for him, a task that Warlock failed miserably. Instead of delivering Rocket to Evolutionary in one piece, he merely injured Rocket and then escaped from Knowhere, leaving his body behind.

This is how Guardians of the Galaxy discovered the kill switch and Rocket’s origin story. They had the opportunity to see with their own eyes what High Evolutionary did to Rocket using the hologram data they recovered at OrgoCorp archives.

At that moment, it was clear that High Evolutionary won’t get away with this in one piece.

After Guardians failed to uncover the kill switch password at OrgoCorp, they knew that they had to make their way to Counter-Earth because this was where Evolutionary spent most of his days. Guardians suspected they were walking into a trap, but none knew that High Evolutionary plans to destroy Counter-Earth completely.

The detonation of the planet’s surface began with Guardians still on the planet. High Evolutionary detached his giant ship from the planet’s surface and unknowingly trapped himself inside the structure with some Guardians still on board. Multiple detonations of the ship resulted in all critical systems of the ship failing. Nebula managed to control the ship just long enough for it to align with Knowhere so the test subjects could evacuate.

Meanwhile, Rocket Raccoon decided to save the animals from the ship when he encountered a cage with raccoons imported from Earth. Realizing that Peter Quill was right all these years that he was, in fact, a raccoon, he decided to save the animals from the clutches of evil experiments, which additionally made the evacuation harder.

Rocket Raccoon with a blaster

High Evolutionary located Rocket Raccoon in the ship’s hull and proceeded to attack him with his telekinetic powers, but being injured and unstable, High Evolutionary was overwhelmed, and Rocket managed to free himself, dealing deadly Blaster injury to High Evolutionary.

The rest of the Guardians arrived and beat High Evolutionary to submission, but Rocket ultimately decided to spare Evolutionary’s life but refused to save him from the impending ship explosion. Gamora ripped off Evolutionary’s synthetic mask from his face only to reveal nothing but exposed muscles and connective tissue underneath.


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High Evolutionary was left seemingly to die with his ship, but Drax eventually saved him, and High Evolutionary is currently captive at Knowhere. So he is still alive. This was a fan theory that James Gunn confirmed on social media.

Will High Evolutionary return to the MCU?

Considering that Gunn confirmed that he is alive, High Evolutionary might return to the MCU in future projects if he figures out how to escape from Knowhere and evade Guardians long enough.

High Evolutionary might also return through the multiverse, even though Kang the Conqueror and High Evolutionary are not connected in any way; the option is still on the table. The Council of Kang might pull an alternate version of High Evolutionary through time-travel shenanigans, much like Gamora has returned to the MCU. However, this is the most far-fetched theory, except if High Evolutionary has some use to Kang that we are still not seeing at this moment.