Who is M.O.D.O.K.?
This big head is going to change the world!
It's not easy being megalomaniacal Marvel Super Villain, but perhaps you just lack the ambition. M.O.D.O.K., however, he knows he's meant for greatest. You just need the superior intelligence and the will to do what needs to be done.
In Marvel's M.O.D.O.K., M.O.D.O.K. (voiced by Patton Oswalt) has long pursued his dream of one day conquering the world. But after years of setbacks and failures fighting Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, he has run his evil organization A.I.M. into the ground. Ousted as A.I.M.’s leader, while also dealing with his crumbling marriage and family life, the Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing is set to confront his greatest challenge yet! Can he rebuild A.I.M., fix his crumbling marriage, appease his teenage daughter, and help his son prepare for his upcoming bar mitzvah? Those are just some of the many challenges M.O.D.O.K must conquer!
Before you meet him in his brand-new series, Marvel's M.O.D.O.K., this May 21 on Hulu, let's dive into his humble comic origins and learn what set him on the path to being the head, quite literally, of Advanced Idea Mechanics (A.I.M.). Get ready to submit to his will!
Birth of M.O.D.O.K.
As seen in the pages of TALES OF SUSPENSE #94, M.O.D.O.K. was a mere human guinea pig for A.I.M.’s experimentation. However, in growing his brain, they underestimated his ambition’s ability to match his superior brain, as well as his thirst for exacting vengeance on those who experimented on him, leading him take over the entire organization.
The Man Behind the Massive Cranium
M.O.D.O.K.'s story began over 50 years ago but we wouldn't know of the man behind the brain until nearly a decade later in CAPTAIN AMERICA #133.
Before he became the entity known as M.O.D.O.K., he was simply an A.I.M. lab tech named George Tarleton — and an unwilling 'volunteer' for the Scientist Supreme (Lyle Getz) who viewed him as a disposable, nameless agent of A.I.M. The diabolical think tank sought to build the Cosmic Cube, but they needed enhanced brain power, a living computer, so they forced Tarleton into an Alteration Chamber.
Once he emerged from the Chamber, Tarleton was appalled by his monstrosity. The Scientist Supreme envisioned the Mental Organism Designed Only for Computing (M.O.D.O.C.) as the greatest brain on Earth and the deadliest weapon in A.I.M.'s arsenal — the ultimate intelligence!
Recognizing his newfound immense power, Tarleton killed the Scientist Supreme with his mind blast, used his psionic superiority to take control over the organization, and renamed himself. As the new leader of A.I.M., he replaced the 'C' in his name to a 'K,' making clear his new objective was not for 'computing,' but 'killing.' However, not all members within the organization were keen to the new boss and tried to have A.I.M.'s enemies take him out. Unfortunately for them, if you don't serve M.O.D.O.K. then you must die.
The Hero He Must Destroy
As A.I.M.'s destructive driving force, M.O.D.O.K. clashed with multiple heroes, including the Avengers. As his ambition and ego grew, so did his list of enemies, which even included A.I.M. ally, Red Skull, when the Skull stole the Cosmic Cube.
However, there was one main hero who M.O.D.O.K. set his focus on — Captain America. He was resentful Cap, another experiment subject, was able to become "straight, tall, and handsome," while he emerged a "grotesque and pitiful freak imprisoned in a nightmare form." As a result, "I hate him all the more — for he is what I was — what I can never be again!"
In his efforts to control everything and carry on with his own plans for domination, M.O.D.O.K. manipulated events in Captain America's life unseen for a time.
Originally created to be the most powerful brain in the world, M.O.D.O.K.'s mind can process and store massive amounts of information. Despite mutating into a grotesque monster, A.I.M.'s Alteration Chamber did grant him with a host of incredible psychic and psionic abilities, including Mind Blasts, telekinesis, force field generation, pattern solving, and telepathy.
However, when his brain mutated and grew into a gigantic size, his body was no longer able to support that weight. In order to remain mobile, he used a weaponized-hovering throne — the Doomsday Chair, which had the ability to boost his mental powers. This vessel has also been known to conceal and control massive weapons.
All of these attributes make him a formidable foe capable of taking on heroes like the Hulk.
Plays Well With Others....Sometimes
A meeting of the minds isn't usually a cause of concern, but when those brilliant minds belong to some of the most dangerous criminals on Earth, then it's understandable that it might stop many heroes in their tracks.
A long time ago, the Leader assembled the world's most intelligent criminals to form the Intelligencia. Their sole purpose was to acquire the most complete library of knowledge the world has ever known, which involved the plundering of the greatest intellectual treasure of all time — the Library of Alexandria. The first iteration naturally betrayed each other and went their separate ways, but after some time, M.O.D.O.K. was driven to carry out what they started. He convinced the group they will be able to exact revenge on all those who ever wronged them; all it required was a Hulk they could control. Thus, the Red Hulk was born.
Additionally, there was a time when he attempted to regain control of his beloved A.I.M., he hired a few baddies to do a few jobs for him. Due to the nature of villains, it's a given you can't trust them. However, thanks to his massive brain, he took their duplicitous natures into account and was still able to achieve his goal and wound up back in power.
Let's also not forget that while M.O.D.O.K. is quite attached to A.I.M., they're not always on board with his leadership skills as the Scientist Supreme. Due to his narcissistic and vengeful nature, he often exhausts the organization's resources for his elaborate schemes. His place at the head of A.I.M. has always been a strained one, filled with many coups and power struggles. At least our man is unrelenting—despite his failures, he will never stop at his goal to take over the world, except for that one time...
Sweet, Sweet Retirement
Once upon a time, M.O.D.O.K. teamed up with the good guys—he's always doing the absolute most—as a Secret Avenger. He had been usurped by Andrew Forson as the head of A.I.M. Unhappy with how Forson turned the group into a haven for religious fanatics, he turned to Maria Hill and S.H.I.E.L.D.
Did you know M.O.D.O.K. is the ultimate manifesting king? Long story short, his old ex-assistant Snapper wanted to unleash an ancient entity and open an otherworldly realm of monsters called Tlön. Thankfully for us, M.O.D.O.K. masterminded a showdown in a communal mindspace where the universe was saved thanks to the force of positive thought! Their mission was simply to imagine the best possible universe.
After all those positive vibes, M.O.D.O.K. decided to retire in Ohio, of all places, and get some needed R&R. Maria Hill, who he was quite smitten with, actually visited him there and thanked him for his help.
Thankfully for us, M.O.D.O.K.'s a man of ambition and got bored with retirement. He even tried his hand at heading out west to Los Angeles and tried to rebrand himself as B.R.O.D.O.K. (Bio-Robotic Organism Designed Overwhelmingly for Kissing), but that's another story for another time.
For now, you've got the basics on our favorite Mental Organism Designed Only for Kissing...er... Killing! Be sure to check out M.O.D.O.K.'s most mental moments below and then stream his new series tomorrow!
All 10 episodes of Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. premieres on May 21, only on Hulu.
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