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GOTG Vol 3's High Evolutionary Is The Most Vicious Villain Marvel's Ever Had

To think of a high-tier villain in the MCU is to think of Josh Brolin's grape-colored stone-snatcher, Thanos. Besides him, there's Michael B. Jordan's stupidly cool family outcast, Kilmonger, or most recently, Tony Leung as supercool but evil-doing Dad, Xu Wenwu, aka The Mandarin. All of them might have just been topped, however, thanks to the new arrival of Chukwudi Iwuji as the High Evolutionary.

There's no doubt that James Gunn has all the bases covered for "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3," The story is pitch-perfect, and the performances from our titular heroes are stellar, but the real surprise is Iwuji's body-and-soul-splicing psychopath who, like the High Evolutionary himself, has stolen traits from some our most favorite foes and come out as a threat worthy of taking down all of them. As well as that, though, he's the stepping stone for Gunn to take his final chapter with the Guardians into territory that has seemingly always been set up but would lead audiences to loathe this new bad guy on the block even more than those that came before him.

The High Evolutionary is a mish-mash of Marvel movie villains

Stick Thanos' maniacal search for perfection, Loki's consuming jealousy, and the Red Skull's disguise of a monster behind a man in a blender, and the High Evolutionary will slither out the other side. Now admittedly, sharing the traits of previous villains might feel like a cheap move, but given the nature of this mad scientist, that's precisely what he would do. In his mission to make a faultless civilization and wreck any that don't hit the mark, the High Evolutionary is very much the next step in bad guy brilliance. Heck, he's so bad, even his subordinates are willing to turn on him.

Do you realize how twisted and evil someone has to be for their own henchman and second in command to turn on them? It's safe to say a lot. Seeing both scientists and soldiers raise their guns on the man they've been taking orders from feels like a first in the Marvel universe and a rarity in action movies in general. And yet, Chukwudi Iwuji sells it all, proving just how much of a bad egg this "Skeletor-looking" pain from Rocket's past really is. That being said, if there's any debate about him being a top-ranking D-bag of the MCU, there's only one thing he needs to do that will earn an army of boos, hisses, and "oh, well, that's it, kill this dude" proclamations that not even Thanos got — and it involves a stupidly cute otter.

Taking Lylla's life sealed the fate of the High Evolutionary

If you ever want the audience to go against a villain, just do one thing — have them kill an animal. It worked for Alfie Allen's Iosef Tarasov in "John Wick," and Scar in "The Lion King." The second High Evolutionary kills Lylla, and this unexpected big death certifies that the psychopath with a face like a band-aid deserves what's coming to him. Now sure, we've seen Marvel antagonists decimate planets (we literally see him do it to Counter-Earth minutes before this), but killing Rocket's best friend before Quill? Well, sorry, that sort of thing is unforgivable.

Admittedly, he was already reaching the end of the road when we saw (or didn't see) what he did to Rocket and his furry pals in his younger years. Even Nebula, a byproduct of torture and mutilation, admitted it was worse than what her father did to her. The difference was that there was a light at the end of the tunnel for Rocket, Lylla, Floor, and Teefs. They were keen to escape and avoid going on a mission of vengeance; they simply wanted to be free. It's just that High Evolutionary decided to throw a gut punch that will probably sting more than any other tragedy we've seen in the MCU for some time. Make no mistake, he might be dead and gone, but it will take a lot for future foes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to reach the lows of the High Evolutionary.