I've read the "Warlock" special editions printed in 1983, but they start well after the whole Counter-Earth saga, and reference it (and the High Evolutionary) only in recaps. When I later read about H.E. on Wikipedia, I was surprised to find out that he's human. That makes it even more puzzling. It's one thing for a cosmic troublemaker like the Stranger to have an Infinity Gem, but where would a human like the High Evolutionary have gotten hold of one?
Yes, the High Evolutionary did give Adam Warlock both his name and the first Infinity Gem to ever be named in the Marvel Universe, the Soul Gem. He hints to Warlock that he hope he would be the son he never had who would join him on his galactic wanderings. This gives us the hint the High Evolutionary spent some time away from Earth.
Marvel Premiere #1 where we first see Adam Warlock bequeathed the as-yet unnamed Infinity gem. It would be another issue of Marvel Premiere and two issues into Warlock's own title before it is officially named the Soul Gem.
- We will learn later the Soul Gem has a habit of taking the soul of its wearer over time.
- This necessitates it finding new hosts periodically as old ones wear out.
- Given the feeding habits of the Soul Gem, it is possible it found its way to Earth, even if the High Evolutionary did not travel to get it.
- It is also possible another of the Elders of the Universe brought it here. We learn later the Gardner is living on the moon and in possession of the Time Gem. Seeing one Infinity Gem, I see coincidence, two gems, I see planning.
- And by the way, do not sell the High Evolutionary short. He might only be human, but his technology makes him VERY formidable. He fought Galactus to a standstill and lived to tell the tale. (Okay, he had help. The Fantastic Four and the Impossible Man, but you still have to give him props for even thinking "Today, I plan to repel Galactus to save my planet.")
Fantastic Four #171, High Evolutionary vs Galactus