A society of the greatest intellects on Earth, Advanced Idea Mechanics (A.I.M.) likes to say their purpose is to benefit humanity, but they often attempt to advance science by any means necessary, and depending on their leader, they participate in criminal endeavors.
Aiming for Power
A.I.M. is an organization led by brilliant scientists dedicated to the acquisition of power and the overthrow of all governments by technological means. A.I.M. originated as the body of chief scientists who served Wolfgang von Strucker, AKA Baron Strucker, founder of subversive group Hydra. These scientists were instrumental in setting up Hydra’s technological resources and arming their men in preparation for the day when Strucker would send Hydra into battle.
Strucker directed the combined activities of Hydra, A.I.M., and the Secret Empire under the auspices of THEM, using the identity of the Grand Imperator. The leader of A.I.M.’s own ruling council was titled Scientist Supreme, a tradition which continues to the present day. Most A.I.M. personnel wear yellow radiation suits with cylindrical helmets while not on covert operations.
The Powers That Be
While A.I.M. sees its fair share of variety in styles of leadership, the organization is often led by scientists and would-be world conquerors. The head of A.I.M.’s ruling body is the Scientist Supreme and include the genius scientist Lyle Getz, the killing mutate George Tarleton, AKA M.O.D.O.K., Olinka Barankova, AKA M.O.D.A.M., Alessandro Brannex (A.I.M.’s creation the Super-Adaptoid in disguise), Chet Madden, former cultist Andrew Forson, X-Man Bobby da Costa, AKA Sunspot, and the ruthless biochemist Monica Rappaccini.
In the early days of the organization, A.I.M. is the scientific arm of Hydra and under the direction of Baron Strucker, who leads THEM as the Grand Imperator. A.I.M. provides scientific advancements and weapons to Hydra’s cause. When Strucker is killed, A.I.M. distances itself from Hydra. When A.I.M. goes public, Count Bornag Royale serves as their figurehead, but the organization often retreats back into the shadows due to the sensitive nature of their work being criticized by the outside world.
One of the most famous leaders of A.I.M. is M.O.D.O.K. who often faces rebellion within his ranks since he becomes hyper-focused on the Super Hero problem instead of science. When he is killed by his own people, who hire Serpent Society to do the deed, other leaders like M.O.D.A.M. and Super-Adaptoid try to take over but both fail. After M.O.D.O.K. is resurrected, he continues to serve as A.I.M.’s infrequent leader from then on, with the position of Scientist Supreme relegated to a post beneath his.
Andrew Forson takes this position but is eventually ousted when A.I.M. is bought out by Bobby da Costa, who changes the organization’s goals to fund his New Avengers team, renaming it Avengers Idea Mechanics. Long-time A.I.M. member Monica Rappaccini joins his ranks to help clean up the place, but ultimately finds his goals misaligned with A.I.M.’s true goals, and leaves to restart the organization under its original name as Scientist Supreme. She adds new members to her ranks including Amber Silverstein, AKA Seeker, Jeanne Foucault, AKA Finesse, and Brilliance.
Considering A.I.M.’s close affiliation with the terrorist organization Hydra, the often find opposition in the transgovernmental intelligence agency S.H.I.E.L.D. and its director Nick Fury Sr, waging war with both. Fury often attempts to expose them for their experiments and links to Hyrda and does so successfully and A.I.M. attempts to oust Fury from his directorial position.
Others that attempt to stop A.I.M. are Steve Rogers, AKA Captain America, Sharon Carter, and the Avengers. A.I.M. often will attempt to steal from technology from others such as S.H.I.E.L.D. and Tony Stark, AKA Iron Man.
A.I.M.’s own scientists often attempt to overthrow their leader, especially M.O.D.O.K. when they feel they’re not truly committed to the organization’s cause. When A.I.M. splits into factions, one focuses on the recreation of the Cosmic Cube while the other captures Ben Grimm, AKA The Thing and Namor McKenzie, AKA Namor the Sub-Mariner, to study them against their will. So they gain many foes over the years in the name of science.
Setting Sights On Scientific Partners
A.I.M. partners with Hydra, supplying their technological resources and armaments. The organization falls under the leadership of the Grand Imperator Baron Strucker who also coordinates the Secret Empire under the umbrella organization THEM. The relationship lasts as long as Strucker’s alive. Once he perishes, relations between A.I.M. and Hydra since then have ranged from collaborative to outright war, and Hydra has never adequately replaced A.I.M. scientific resources.
A.I.M.’s clients have included the country of Boca del Dios, Nathan Summers, Cable, Kearson DeWitt, Empire Chemical Enterprises, the Enclave, Fenris, the Junior Gates mob, Justin Hammer, businessman Inoshiro Kondo, the Life Foundation, Ophrah Industries, the Organizatsiya, U.S. politician Phil Oxnard, Plantman, the Roxxon Oil Corporation, U.S. military adviser Cecil B. Slinkard, European nation Slorenia, the Sons of the Serpent, and the Meryet Karim, AKA Sphinx. A.I.M. has made some alliances with the Maggia, but has usually been in opposition with their crime cartels. A.I.M. developments cover diverse fields such as robotics (AD-45 Riot Bots, Bulldozer, Cyber-Sentinels, Dreadbusters, Dreadnoughts, Guardians, Mechanoids, Null, “Walking Stiletto,” Warbot), arms manufacturing (anti-charge bazooka, cryo-cannon, omni-wave blaster, paralyzer ray, plasma blaster, q-bomb, sonatron), germ warfare (Omega Bacillus, Virus X), the radio-wave transmitted “broadcast power,” mind control, stealth, and teleportation technology.
A.I.M. creates mutates and robots, dubbed Adaptoids, to carry out their work. While some of their creations turn against them, such as M.O.D.O.K. and Super-Adaptoid, these creations take over the organization.
Superhuman agents developed by A.I.M. include Cache, the Cyborg, Betty Ross, AKA the Harpy (later Red She-Hulk), Jefferson Archer, AKA the Highwayman, Lenz, Madcap, Man-Killer, the Seekers (Chain, Grasp & Sonic), Strikeback, the Targoths, the Timekeeper, and Thaddeus Ross, AKA Red Hulk.
At one time or another, A.I.M. also employs Georges Batroc, AKA Batroc, and Paul Ebersol, AKA the Fixer, to steal for them. They also employ the Alliance of Evil, Batroc, Donald Gill, AKA Blizzard, Lester, AKA Bullseye, Cal’syee Neramani, AKA Deathbird, the Elements of Doom, the Ghost, Paul Duval, AKA Grey Gargoyle, Bruce Banner, AKA the Hulk, Ulysses Klaw, Calvin Zabo, AKA Mister Hyde, Aleksei Sytsevich, AKA the Rhino, Mac Gargan, AKA Scorpion (later Venom), Skeleton Ki, and Warrant. A.I.M. also explores alternate Earths, making an alliance with Dr. Evelyn Necker, head of A.I.M. on Earth-8410, allowing her to make use of their resources when she visits her Earth-616 counterparts.
One of A.I.M.’s earliest successes was when they tapped into an extradimensional power source and placed its infinite power into a containment unit called the Cosmic Cube. A.I.M.’s mutated servant named Mental Organism Designed Only for Computation (M.O.D.O.C.) was instrumental in the experiment, but exposure to the energies they tapped drove him insane and he slew many of A.I.M.’s leaders, claiming the title of Scientist Supreme and renaming himself Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing (M.O.D.O.K.). Before A.I.M. could take advantage of the Cosmic Cube, their then-ally Johann Shmidt Red Skull, arranged its theft, and attempts to recover the Cube afterward met with eventual failure.
Still covert, A.I.M. went public posing as a respectable arms manufacturer, with Count Bornag Royale serving as their figurehead. A.I.M.’s criminal activities were all carried out under the identity of THEM at the time, including their attempt to steal Inferno 42 (an explosive powerful enough to destroy a city) from S.H.I.E.L.D., and equipping the Fixer, for a raid on S.H.I.E.L.D. Central itself. They also tried to kill elite intelligence agency S.H.I.E.L.D.’s director Nick Fury Sr. using a chemical-based “Synthoid” android. As Count Royale attempted to persuade the U.S. government that Fury was ineffective and that A.I.M. would only share its resources if he were fired, Fury suspected that THEM and A.I.M. were related, and when he finally obtained evidence, A.I.M. destroyed its headquarters and shut down its public operations.
The destruction of A.I.M.’s base resulted in the premature release of the first Adaptoid, an android who could duplicate the powers and abilities of opponents, soon renaming itself the Super-Adaptoid. The Super-Adaptoid proved to be a rebellious creation, but A.I.M. continued Adaptoid research. M.O.D.O.K.’s status as A.I.M.’s true leader was eventually discovered by Captain America and S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Sharon Carter, and they were aided against him by agents of A.I.M. who resented M.O.D.O.K.’s leadership. This was the first of many rebellions against M.O.D.O.K.’s rule, though he reclaimed leadership after each defeat. When Baron Strucker seemingly died in the destruction of Hydra Island, A.I.M. broke off its ties to Hydra and the Secret Empire.
A.I.M. has also held a keen interest in exotic power sources such as extraterrestrial Nuwali and Shi’ar technology, and an ongoing interest in a new Cosmic Cube. They have also made illegal attempts at purifying the Antarctic Vibranium (“anti-metal”) of the Savage Land. One operation included employing the High Technician to mutate dinosaurs into humanoid servants, and reanimating a suit of Terminus armor by piloting it with one of their agents. This mining operation was shut down by T’Challa, AKA Black Panther, Captain America, and Kevin Plunder, AKA Ka-Zar.
When M.O.D.O.K. faced rebellion again within his ranks, the rebels attempted to create another leader in S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Katherine Waynesboro by turning her into a new M.O.D.O.K. Once transformed, she allied with M.O.D.O.K., merging her mental energy with his and became Ms. M.O.D.O.K. The relationship came to an end when M.O.D.O.K. displayed his cruelty and she fights him, only to end up back in the alteration chamber where she reverted to her human state.
At one of A.I.M.’s secret bases in Venture Ridge, Wyoming, where they developed radiation weapons, the base’s leader Timekeeper discovered the town was an energy source. One of the townspeople’s child Holly-Ann Ember made a wish for her idols to come to her rescue. These idols included Storm, Wasp, Tigra, and She-Hulk who were all forcibly brought to the town through Holly-Ann’s wish. The Timekeeper, his girlfriend, and AIM faced off with the heroines as they protected Holly-Ann who was the source of the power. The A.I.M. lost this battle and were turned over to S.H.I.E.L.D., while Holly-Ann who was deemed a mutant departed to join Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters.
Rebellion against M.O.D.O.K. led to faction leaders such as Victor Conrad, AKA Victorius, making grabs for power, and those loyal to M.O.D.O.K. eventually adopted blue uniforms. After a brief civil war, the blue faction prevailed, but both factions ultimately turned on M.O.D.O.K. and hired the Serpent Society to assassinate him. A.I.M. turned its attention back to public markets, operating through front companies such as the Adarco Corporation (and its battlesuit manufacturers ARMS), the Advanced Corporation, Alden’s Department Store, Cadence Industries, International Data Integration Control (IDIC), Koenig & Strey, Omnitech, Target Technologies and the Targo Corporation.
Finally, after conquering the Caribbean island Boca Caliente, they renamed it A.I.M. Island and made it their international headquarters. Possessing sovereign power, they were able to host infamous weapons expos for terrorist and super-villain customers. A.I.M. claimed to have abandoned goals of world conquest, but continued such operations covertly.
During A.I.M.’s tenure as the world’s preeminent weapons manufacturer, the organization was seemingly led by Alessandro Brannex, but he was actually the Super-Adaptoid in disguise, and he was in the process of replacing A.I.M.’s entire island-based staff with Adaptoids. A.I.M. developed Mental Organism Designed for Aggressive Maneuvers (M.O.D.A.M.) to replace M.O.D.O.K., but eventually lost her in an attempt to create a new Cosmic Cube and perished at the hands of Red Skull. A.I.M.’s alliance with Earth-8410’s A.I.M. leader Dr. Necker proved fruitful. Necker’s experiments at A.I.M.’s Pacific Vista laboratories resulted in the recreation of the cybernetic villain Charnel.
The original M.O.D.O.K. was restored via the Cube in order to take M.O.D.A.M.’s place, and during the tumult the Super-Adaptoid’s plot was exposed, and he was overthrown as A.I.M.’s leader. The Super-Adaptoid has been forced to serve A.I.M. since then.
M.O.D.O.K. served as A.I.M.’s infrequent leader from then on, except with the role of Scientist Supreme now a post beneath his own. For a time, A.I.M. leader Chet Madden manipulated super-soldier prototype Clinton McIntyre, AKA Protocide, into serving A.I.M., but Protocide eventually realized A.I.M. was evil and quit. Captain America subsequently captured Madden and brought him to trial.
The current Scientist Supreme of A.I.M. is Monica Rappacini, one-time lover of M.O.D.O.K.. Her ambitions for A.I.M. have included the development of Bio-Havens, artificial environments located worldwide in which new recruits can be brainwashed to serve A.I.M.. Rappacini also developed the “Waker” program of eugenically monitored A.I.M. offspring. One of the Wakers, Rappacini’s own daughter Carmilla Black, became the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent code-named Scorpion, and has opposed A.I.M.’s goals and thwarted the Wakers’ attempt to activate a nanobacteria bomb at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases.
Recently, a branch of A.I.M. broke away to serve the Red Skull, taking the alias Advanced Ideas in Destruction (A.I.D.), and later Radically Advanced Ideas in Destruction (R.A.I.D.). Due to the public acts of terrorism R.A.I.D. has performed, A.I.M. has attempted to clean-up their operations and reclaim their technology. A recent addition to A.I.M.’s forces in battling enemies such as R.A.I.D. are the Military Operatives Designed Only for Combat (M.O.D.O.C. Squad), a battalion of cybernetic combat units linked by a groupmind. A.I.M.’s continued interest in Adaptoid technology resulted in an alliance with Hydra where they transformed Yelena Belova, AKA Black Widow, into a new Super-Adaptoid, but Hydra exterminated her when she failed in combat with the Avengers. A.I.M. maintained a secret base within the town of Pilsburg, Iowa, recruiting virtually the entire town’s population, but an attack on them by Bucky Barnes, AKA Winter Soldier, followed by an invasion of their facilities by Sinthea Shmidt, AKA Sin, and Brock Rumlow, AKA Crossbones, exposed their operations to S.H.I.E.L.D., and they were shut down.
During the events of World War Hulk led by the Hulk, A.I.M. supported the Intelligencia, a group of brilliant minds and dangerous criminals, in their efforts to transform General Thaddeus Ross into the Red Hulk.
They decided to go public again, and conquered the island of Barbuda and renamed it A.I.M. Island where they hosted weapons expos for terrorists and Super Villains. Soon after they went public, Andrew Forson became A.I.M.’s Scientist Supreme. They advanced A.I.M. even further technologically speaking thanks to a time machine from their Earth-10943 counterpart. Their from-the-future advancements were soon halted by that Earth’s Avengers as well as Avengers of this world, and A.I.M.’s forces were defeated.
When universes collided across the Multiverse, dubbed Incursions, millionaire mutant Bobby da Costa sought to solve the problem. He bought out A.I.M., renamed it Avengers Idea Mechanics, and ousted Forson but kept Monica Rappaccini to help him turn the organization around. Though, Monica wanted nothing to do with this new version of A.I.M. and left his employ to restart A.I.M. Da Costa’s ultimate goal was to make Avengers Idea Mechanics a scientific global rescue squad with his New Avengers team, working from A.I.M. island, which he renamed Avengers Island. When some other original A.I.M. members left after Sunspot took over, they joined Reed Richards, AKA the Maker, from Earth-1610. Da Costa’s recruit Dr. Toni Ho then took over for da Costa and rebranded the organization R.E.S.C.U.E.
Monica saw an opportunity to reclaim the name A.I.M. and reformed it as the new Scientist Supreme. She added several scientists to her roster including rocket scientist Amber Silverstein, AKA Seeker, the polymath Jeanne Foucault, AKA Finesse, and chemistry expert and monster-creator Brilliance. Monica discovered that Horizon Labs possessed a cube and she attempted to steal it. The young Nadia Pym, AKA Wasp, interfered but Monica’s team successfully retrieved the cube. She then coordinated an attack on Pym Laboratories to steal technology.