Comics
Published April 29, 2019

Don’t Mess With the Head: The Very Best of M.O.D.O.K.

As he approaches another triumph in 'Avengers: Edge of Infinity #1,' see the previous successes of M.O.D.O.K.!

In AVENGERS: EDGE OF INFINITY #1, on sale now, M.O.D.O.K. -- Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing -- stands on the precipice of a total victory. Taking advantage of the rise of another villain, Lunar, M.O.D.O.K. seems poised to draft his way to crushing the Avengers. While no one really wants to root for a villain, M.O.D.O.K. certainly has put in the work to get a win.

Here’s a list of the heretical head’s finest moments to date.

From Computing to Killing

MODOK in Takes of Suspense #94
TALES OF SUSPENSE (1959) #94

Once upon a time, George Tarleton made a living as a humble Advanced Ideas Mechanics (A.I.M) scientist. However, when his fellow scientists subjected him to experimental mutagenics, he found himself growing super intelligent. His cranium grew while his arms and legs diminished. He had become M.O.D.O.C., Mental Organism Designed Only for Computing.

His wildly elevated intelligence, however, sparked an equal increase in murderous ambition. He morphed into M.O.D.O.K. by murdering his former co-workers and declared himself the new leader of A.I.M. Quite the splashy debut.

And I Shall Call Her Harpy

MODOK creates Harpy
INCREDIBLE HULK (1962) #168

You would assume that when M.O.D.O.K. kidnapped Bruce Banner’s love interest Betty Ross, it was the worst thing he did that weekend. It wasn’t.

His decision to alter her DNA with gamma radiation and turn her into a rampaging id monster must be the worst thing. Still not the worst.

The worst thing M.O.D.O.K. did on this particular occasion boiled down to a name. No matter how much you dislike someone or their large green boyfriend, calling them Harpy after you forcefully turned them into a monster will never sit well with anyone.

However, before he made that crucial error and Hulk made him pay for it, M.O.D.O.K. demonstrated an impressive skill at utilizing gamma radiation and manipulating human DNA to get what he wanted. Though it often crashed down around him as a result.

A M.O.D.O.K. Spurned

MODOK defeated by Ms. Marvel and Vision
MS. MARVEL (1977) #5

Frustrated by the ambitions of their leader, A.I.M. decided to kick M.O.D.O.K. to the curb and try some more low-risk, low-yield criminal activity.

M.O.D.O.K., though, refused to take the firing laying down. Like a dumped boyfriend, he realized he needed to make a grand gesture. Once A.I.M. saw all he could do, surely they would take him back!

The massive criminal scientific organization had been M.O.D.O.K.’s raison d'être, which called for a truly devious plan to release a horrible nerve agent on the unsuspecting population of New York City. Surely A.I.M. would see what they were missing now!

A brilliant plan for certain, and only the intervention of not one but two Avengers—Carol Danvers aka Ms. Marvel and the Vision—prevented it from being an utter success.

M.O.D.O.K. Looks Out for M.O.D.O.K.

At one point, due to an accident trying to create a new Cosmic Cube, M.O.D.O.K. found himself in a different dimension. Anxious to get home, he struck a deal with the villainous Headsmen promising to help them take over the world if they returned him to his proper dimension. They did so, and he extended the deal to include retaking A.I.M. They aided him in that as well and it proved successful.

Then, the Defenders began to get wind of the Headsmen plan and M.O.D.O.K. remembered there could be no honor among thieves. He decided to focus on running A.I.M. and letting the Headsmen get taken by the Defenders rather than involve him himself in a clearly failing proposition. Big brain equals good choices.

You Come at the Head, You Best Not Miss

MODOK and Son
MS. MARVEL (2006) #17

A rogue branch of A.I.M.—led by M.O.D.O.K.’s son!—decided to overthrow the right and proper leader of the Super Villain scientists. In addition to violating the whole “Honor Thy Father” thing, they turned out to be so ill-prepared. Only by roping Ms. Marvel and Wonder Man into the fight did this collection of betrayers achieve their goals.

Still, they left M.O.D.O.K. alive, which is just asking for trouble. Sure enough, the Fabulous Forehead roared back with a collection of allies. Not only did he seize control of A.I.M. once more, he made himself fabulously wealthy again.

New and Improved!

MODOK Superior
HULK (2008) #29

If you already know yourself to be a Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing and you have a genius intellect, how do you improve? Ditch the little human weakness you have, of course!

M.O.D.O.K. cloned a version of his own brain that, upon George Tarleton reverting to human form, began to grow and evolve on its own. In a short time, M.O.D.O.K. Superior became the result. All the smarts, all the deadliness, none of that homo sapien feebleness!

Diversifying the Portfolio

MODOK and Gwenpool
THE UNBELIEVABLE GWENPOOL (2016) #2

M.O.D.O.K. Superior decided that while running A.I.M. had its high points, he might be better served by starting his own organization. The result: Agents of M.O.D.O.K. (Mercenary Organization Dedicated Only to Killing)!

Focusing on eliminating “bad” guys—in order to best improve M.O.D.O.K.’s chances of running the world, no doubt—the plan not only let M.O.D.O.K. step out of the shadow of past mistakes, it proved really excellent PR. Unfortunately, then Gwenpool showed up and ruined the whole thing.

What will M.O.D.O.K.’s next brilliant plan be? You’ll have to read to find out!

AVENGERS: EDGE OF INFINITY #1, written by Ralph Macchio with art by Andrea Di Vito, is on sale now online and at your local comic shop!

Avengers: Edge of Infinity #1

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