In college, George Tarleton met a young woman named Linda and the two fell in love. However, he ran off when she told him she was pregnant with a son later named Sean Madigan. Later, after joining A.I.M., he had a one-night stand with a woman named Monica Rappaccini who wanted nothing else to do with him, possibly because of the perception that he was not very bright and lacked imagination.
Moments later he was plucked by the Scientist Supreme and forced into the Alteration Chamber to turn him into a living computer originally conceived as M.O.D.O.C. – a Mental Organism Designed Only For Computing – to help them build the Cosmic Cube.
However, having gained unlimited power, he wasted no time in exacting deadly vengeance on the Scientist Supreme and taking over the entire organization, re-dubbing himself the Mental Organism Designed Only For Killing, M.O.D.O.K.! Since then he's dedicated himself to the destruction of super-people, especially the ones that get in the way of his plans for world domination!
Thanks to the A.I.M. Alteration Chamber, the very average human known as George Tarleton became one of the most mentally powerful beings on the planet! They process granted him a computer-like brain that could process and store data at lightning speed. He was also granted psychic and psionic abilities that allow him to control individuals or use force blasts in both offensive and defensive applications.
All of those brains have to go somewhere, hence his larger-than-standard head. Given its girth, M.O.D.O.K. needs a floating chair to move around. He's tricked it out on more than a few occasions with any manner of weapons to use as he sees fit. He's also created reality-threatening weapons like the Cosmic Cube and highly advanced Life Model Decoys.
Full History – A Cap-tive Audience
Initially created by the scientists of Advanced Idea Mechanics, the weapon now known as M.O.D.O.K. quickly took over the group and ruled with an iron fist.
After hearing whispers about A.I.M., Captain America finally found their giant underwater base and, with some help from S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Nick Fury, he managed to infiltrate the facility, though M.O.D.O.K.'s agents got the drop on him. They also managed to get their hands on Agent Sharon Carter, who had been tasked by S.H.I.E.L.D. with finding out about the mysterious M.O.D.O.K.
Though he was only seen on a screen at first, Carter and Rogers soon found themselves face to face with the enemy. While M.O.D.O.K. entered into a classic battle of brain versus brawn against the heroes, a rogue A.I.M. faction decided to try and take their boss out! They succeeded in destroying his armor, but he managed to activate the sub's self destruct sequence, killing his betrayers in the process, though Cap and Carter escaped.
Far from dead, M.O.D.O.K. returned to ruling A.I.M. after encasing himself in a force field to survive the sub's destruction and send out a beacon to get picked up. He was not pleased when the Red Skull stole the Cosmic Cube and used it to switch places with Captain America. In retaliation, the mental giant tasked his minions with figuring out a way to cancel the Cube's power, which they successfully did, inadvertently helping Captain America and his new ally Falcon in their fight against the Skull.
In his effort 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. He even played on Doctor Doom's ego to create a robotic recreation of Bucky Barnes that would fool even Captain America into thinking his old friend still lived! Even worse, he planned to make it so that the Shield-Slinger would have to kill his old pal and slide into a deep depression that would allow him to be easily brainwashed. However, Doom built the robot so well that it felt an allegiance to Cap and destroyed itself instead of the hero.
When that plan failed, M.O.D.O.K. used a personally updated version of the Alteration Chamber to create the powerful Bulldozer, who took on Cap and Falcon. Wanting to see the heroes' downfall in person, M.O.D.O.K. entered the field only to seemingly get buried alive under the ensuing rubble.
Bring On the Good Guys
After focusing most of his villainous efforts on Captain America, M.O.D.O.K. encountered a variety of other characters both good and bad. Assuming both A.I.M. and its leader dead, Doctor Doom intended to steal the Cosmic Cube from one of the old bases. He even blackmailed an amnesiac Namor to help him, which lead to battles between M.O.D.O.K., his androids and both men. In the end, Namor "released" the Cube which lead to a huge explosion, taking the facility with it... but not M.O.D.O.K.!
From there, M.O.D.O.K. focused on taking out the Hulk, assuming that he would come up against the beast eventually. The big brain assumed he would need someone who had already been exposed to gamma radiation and also hated Hulk. M.O.D.O.K. would then bombard the subject with more than Banner got hit with and have himself a monster he could control! For that, he chose Betty Ross Talbot and turned her into the Harpy. She won a fight with Hulk but got sucked up into Bi-Beast's floating island. M.O.D.O.K. showed up next intending to take the green ones back, but instead decided he liked the island. However, Bi-Beast would rather see it destroyed and did exactly that!
Later, during an event dubbed the War of the Super-Villains, an inter-dimensional being known as the Black Lama offered him the Golden Globe of Power if he could defeat other baddies.
Having lost Black Lama's challenge, A.I.M. managed to force M.O.D.O.K. out as the head of their organization. With Iron Man and the Champions on his tail, the machine-man managed to set himself up as the leader of the west coast faction of A.I.M. and also take control of the Doomsday Chair, a weapon that boosted his mental powers. He seemed to disintegrate in the ensuing battle but showed up soon after to capture Carol Danvers, then known as Ms. Marvel, and use her to bolster his own forces. She escaped, though, and wrecked shop on his operations.
Far from out, though M.O.D.O.K. and his forces attempted to take control of another A.I.M. with some additional help from Death Bird. It just so happened that Carol Danvers had gone undercover in that same building to uncover the New York City chapter of the evil organization, so she got in on the action. While Ms. Marvel fought Deathbird, M.O.D.O.K. copied all of A.I.M.'s computer files and intended to use a missile facility in the Bronx, but the hero stopped his plans without catching him, but did vow to take him in.
M.O.D.O.K. continued his failed series of encounters with heroes in the Savage Land where he faced Spider-Man and Ka-Zar and then managed to mutate the Thing for a time before Namor, Goliath, and Captain America stepped in. He then broke into Project Earthfall and, with some help from General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, thawed out Abomination to destroy those who replaced him as the heads of A.I.M. However he hit a major roadblock when Abomination proved too scared from his many losses to Hulk over the years.
After conditioning Abomination to fear him more than Hulk, M.O.D.O.K. sent the beast against the Jade Giant. He couldn't beat Banner, so instead made off with S.H.I.E.L.D. scientist Katherine Waynesboro. However he turned her over to A.I.M. agents not affiliated with M.O.D.O.K., so they put her in the Alternation Chamber and created Lady M.O.D.O.K. She was even about to marry M.O.D.O.K. until he atomized Abomination right in front of her. Hulk knocked the villain around and as the lab crumbled around them, M.O.D.O.K. escaped and Lady M.O.D.O.K. returned to her Katherine form.
Eventually A.I.M. got so tired of M.O.D.O.K.'s machinations for returning to power that they hired the Serpent Society to take him off the board. Bushmaster and Diamondback caught M.O.D.O.K. unawares and damaged his chair as he escaped. The whole Society caught up to him and seemed to kill M.O.D.O.K. even with Captain America fighting through its ranks. They finished the job shortly after by stealing M.O.D.O.K.'s corpse from the morgue and delivering it to A.I.M. where they turned him into a giant computer.
However, an arrogant scientist in the group, Yorgon Tykkio tinkered with M.O.D.O.K.'s brain in an effort to use him like a drone to attack Iron Man who eventually destroyed the body.
A.I.M. attempted to fix their mistakes by creating a Mental Organism Designed for Aggressive Maneuvers who fought Quasar and Omega Red but died trying to secure the Cosmic Cube for her masters. To replace her and also figure out how to contain the Cube's energy they resurrected M.O.D.O.K. Since old habits die hard, the villain took control of A.I.M again and began causing trouble for Iron Man and Captain America.
M.O.D.O.K. made a whole new batch of enemies when he kidnapped Guardian and his synthoid copy in the form of Wolverine and Alpha Flight. Though the Canadian super team fell to A.I.M. soldiers, the X-Man managed much better on his own. To stop him, M.O.D.O.K. unleashed Kane, otherwise known as Weapon X, but that didn't stop Wolverine and Alpha Flight from freeing themselves and wrecking the place while leaving.
Over the next few years, he ran into problems with Citizen V and the V-Battalion and tried to create a legitimate tech company that hired Ghost to kill the opposition which garnered the attention of Iron Man. He then mixed it up with the Defenders and witnessed the Avengers destroy A.I.M.'s orbital space platform.
M.O.D.O.K. got another chance at a more normal life in a roundabout way when rogue Admiral Johnny Westbrook kidnapped him and used his body to spy on his enemies and make money in the stock market. Instead of getting buried, M.O.D.O.K.'s personality jumped into the body of Damocles "The Saint" Rivas, head of a drug cartel.
Retaining some of his abilities, M.O.D.O.K.-as-Rivas fought Falcon before getting shot in the head. Just before brain death, he leapt back into his old body and fought Rigas for control. Westrbook had also been working on an anti-M.O.D.O.K. Virus with Rigas who, with M.O.D.O.K. in charge, altered it to give his old form even more power! However, he also rigged it so that his own destruction would unleash M.O.D.O.K. DNA on an unsuspecting populace. Thanks to a stasis field, though, Captain America captured the villain.
Shortly after, M.O.D.O.K. needed to get a Gene Bomb to stop the damage done by the initial process that changed him. Unbeknownst to him, he was being used and manipulated by Sean Madigan, his son! Sean even placed the Gene Bomb inside his dad and sent him to Times Square, but Ms. Marvel and her group stopped him. Still, Sean wound up presumed dead, though really turned into Head Case by A.I.M. which was itself it shambles. As you might expect, M.O.D.O.K. escaped and got himself fixed up. However his recent experiences did not make him want to help Hank McCoy when the X-Man asked evil geniuses for help trying to figure out how to continue the mutant race.
In an attempt to regain control of his beloved A.I.M., M.O.D.O.K. hired Deadly Nightshade, Puma, Living Laser, Rocket Racer, Spot, Armadillo, Mentallo and Chameleon to do a few jobs for him to that end. However, with spies from more than one group in his midst, it seemed like M.O.D.O.K.'s plan to unseat his one-night stand Monica Rappaccini as Scientist Supreme would fail. However, he took their duplicitous natures into account and wound up back in power,
However, M.O.D.O.K. soon found a new focus. It was revealed that, at some point in the past he worked with a group of brilliant villains called the Intelligencia including the Leader, Doctor Doom, the Mad Thinker, Red Ghost, and the Wizard to pool their resources in an effort to acquire the most complete library of knowledge the world has ever known. However, they were eventually betrayed by Doom and went their separate ways. That is until M.O.D.O.K. tracked down Leader between the time when the Illuminati shot Hulk into space and when he returned for revenge on them all. Knowing that Hulk would return, M.O.D.O.K. floated the idea of creating their own Hulk, one who would be more powerful and agree to work with them.
Thus began a long reaching and complicated plan to remove the Hulk completely. They hacked Tony Stark's satellites to siphon off Hulk's energy at the end of World War Hulk, convinced Thunderbolt Ross to become the Red Hulk, turned Rick Jones into A-Bomb and even transformed the apparently-not-quite-dead Betty Banner into Red She-Hulk.
To cover himself in case of injury, M.O.D.O.K. set up a factory that cloned himself, but disengaged the thought processes on the brains, which he then used to control a Scorched Earth program in case he and his fellow villains lost. He also worked with the Leader to build a machine that would keep some of the most brilliant minds on the planet – including Doom, Reed Richards, and Bruce Banner – docile.
Eventually, Red Hulk broke out on his own and wanted to bring the villains down, so he made a deal to work with Banner. After a series of twists and turns – including their plan to turn heroes into Hulks – M.O.D.O.K. and Leader's plans fell apart around them and M.O.D.O.K. even reverted back to his George Tarleton form! George was moved to the Gamma Base facility, but claimed not to remember what he'd done as M.O.D.O.K.
But, M.O.D.O.K. had contingency plans on top of contingency plans. While his own Scorched Earth scenarios played out, distracting the heroes, one single uncompromised cloned M.O.D.O.K. brain had time to learn and grow, deciding for itself to become the real deal. Though it contained all of its predecessor's memories, this new version intended to reject the A.I.M. programming still kicking around and take a more practical, less ego-driven approach. So, even when Red Hulk closed down the Scorched Earth facilities on Monster Island, he still had a head start.
After using Zzzax on Red Hulk and failing, M.O.D.O.K. Superior – as he had taken to call himself – kept on eye on his enemy, forsaking the idea of world domination in favor of the more focused murder of an opponent. During FEAR ITSELF, M.O.D.O.K. watched as Red Hulk fell to the transformed Ben Grimm and even jumped in to stop a being called Black Fog from killing him. This lead to a meeting with another new life form called One/Zero who M.O.D.O.K. helped create during Scorched Earth. The two decided to work together and took out the oncoming Nazi robots attacking New York City.
Once, an Avenger
A while after getting beaten by Captain Marvel, Spider-Woman, and Scarlet Witch, M.O.D.O.K. appeared to Maria Hill, then head of S.H.I.E.L.D. to offer information that could help remove Andrew Forson as the head of A.I.M. M.O.D.O.K. did not appreciate how he had turned the group into a haven for religious fanatics. Though she didn't fully trust him, Hill did eventually make a deal that gave M.O.D.O.K. immunity and set him up with a secret science lab that would help S.H.I.E.L.D. as a whole as well as the Secret Avengers.
Though he began by working behind the scenes, M.O.D.O.K.'s presence was eventually discovered by his teammates. Even though he seemed to have turned over a new leaf, Hill never quite trusted him, especially when it seemed like strange things kept happening in his lab. However, that turned out to be the work of a lab tech named Snapper who wanted to unleash an old god. M.O.D.O.K. helped figure out a plan that saved the day, but also allowed him to float off and take up residence in Ohio where he could relax. Hill, of course, knew about the place and paid him a visit to thank M.O.D.O.K. for his service.
Back to Being Bad
Bored with retirement, M.O.D.O.K. eventually set up a hit squad. When Gwenpool accidentally took out his best men, he forced her to take his place by killing her friend Cecil. When he found out that she was a powerless kid from an alternate world, he first sent his killers after her and then took her on herself. He eventually lost when Cecil's ghost hacked his chair and sent him into space.
M.O.D.O.K. eventually returned to Earth and his old group the Intelligencia, this time consisting of the Leader, Mad Thinker, and Mr. Sinister. They intended to kidnap and find a way to harness the powers of the young boy Kei Kawade, otherwise known as Kid Kaiju. The intended to harness his abilities to bring creatures to life just from drawing them, but did not have the defenses to stop Elsa Bloodstone, Mole Man, and the Moloids who attacked. M.O.D.O.K. managed to survive that battle and even join the Army of Evil loyal to Hydra during the Secret Empire, but went underground shortly after.
Most recently, M.O.D.O.K. moved out to Los Angeles and tried turning over a new leaf, changing his programming so he could love and getting himself out there. He also gave himself a new body to help with the process. After getting rejected a number times, he decided to use his Advanced Image Mechanics to turn them – and Tigra – into giants that he could control.
While Tigra rampaged through downtown, M.O.D.O.K. presented himself as B.R.O.D.O.K. – Bio-Robotic Organism Designed Overwhelmingly for Kissing – and tried to get in good with Kate Bishop's new West Coast Avengers. The new name and look didn't fool Bishop and her crew, though. When B.R.O.D.O.K. discovered the files the Hawkeyes had stolen from his Advanced Image Mechanics building, he called the rest of the giants to attack L.A.
After getting turned back into his more traditional M.O.D.O.K. by Clint Barton, he got knocked around and tossed away, but soon joined up with Madame Masque, Lady Bullseye, Satana Hellstrom, the Eel, and Graviton as the West Coast Masters of Evil. They attempted and failed to break up the West Coast Avengers but continue to scheme!