MODOK, as featured on the cover of Super-Villain Team-Up: MODOK's 11 (September 2007).
Art by Eric Powell.
|First appearance||Tales of Suspense #93 (September 1967)|
|Created by||Jack Kirby and Stan Lee|
|Alter ego||George Tarleton|
|Notable aliases||MODOC (Mobile Organism Designed Only for Computing)|
Ability to calculate probabilities
MODOK (also written as M.O.D.O.K.; acronym for Mental/Mobile/Mechanized Organism Designed Only for Killing) is a fictional supervillain that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character first appeared in Tales of Suspense #93 (September 1967) and was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
Debuting in the Silver Age of Comic Books, MODOK has appeared in over four decades of Marvel continuity, also starring in the limited series Super-Villain Team-Up: MODOK's Eleven #1–5 (September – December 2008) and a self-titled one-shot publication MODOK: Reign Delay #1 (November 2009).
The character has featured in other Marvel-endorsed products such as video games and animated television series and merchandise such as trading cards and toys. IGN's list of the Top 100 Comic Book Villains of All Time ranked MODOK as #100.
- 1 Publication history
- 2 Fictional character biography
- 3 Powers and abilities
- 4 Other versions
- 5 In other media
- 6 References
- 7 External links
MODOK first appeared in the title Tales of Suspense #93–94 (September – October 1967), and became a recurring foe for superhero Captain America. Writer Mike Conroy stated "Inevitably, he (MODOK) returned to plague Captain America, whose physical perfection he so resented."
MODOK reappeared in Captain America #120 (December 1969) and #133 (January 1971). The character also featured in a storyline in Sub-Mariner #49 (May 1972), before becoming the major villain in an extended storyline in Hulk #167–169 (September – November 1973). MODOK also participated in the "War of the Supervillains" storyline in Iron Man #74–75 (May – June 1975).
MODOK has a series of encounters with heroine Ms. Marvel in Ms. Marvel #5 (May 1977); #7 (July 1977); #9 (September 1977) and #10 (October 1977). Constant battles against the Marvel heroes followed, including Iron Man Annual #4 (December 1977); Marvel Team-Up #104 (April 1981) and Marvel Two-In-One #81–82 (November – December 1981). Following a failed bid to use fellow Hulk foe the Abomination to achieve his ends in Hulk #287–290 (September – December 1983), MODOK is assassinated in Captain America #313 (January 1986). The character's body makes a ghoulish return in Iron Man #205 (April 1986).
During the Taking AIM storyline in Avengers #386–387 (May – June 1995); Captain America #440 (June 1995); Avengers #388 (July 1995) and Captain America #441 (July 1995), MODOK is resurrected. More typical attempts to better the character's situation followed in Iron Man Annual 1998; Defenders vol. 2 #9–10 (November – December 2001); Wolverine #142–143 (September – October 1999); Captain America & The Falcon #9 (January 2005) and Cable & Deadpool #11 (March 2005).
The character then made three humorous appearances, in Wha...Huh? #1 (September 2005); Marvel Holiday Special 2006 (January 2007) and GLA-Xmas Special #1 (February 2006). After appearing briefly in mutant titles X-Men #200 (August 2007) and Uncanny X-Men #488 (September 2007), MODOK was featured in Ms. Marvel vol. 2, #14–17 (June – September 2007) and appears in two limited series: Marvel 1985 #1–4 (July – September 2008); #5–6 (November 2008) and Super-Villain Team-Up: MODOK's Eleven #1–5 (September – December 2008).
MODOK also featured in Hulk #600 (September 2009); Astonishing Tales vol. 2, #2 (May 2009) and the one-shot publication MODOK: Reign Delay #1 (November 2009).
Fictional character biography
George Tarleton is a technician for the organization Advanced Idea Mechanics (AIM). He was born in Bangor, Maine. Having recently created the artifact the Cosmic Cube, the AIM scientists use advanced mutagenics to alter Tarleton and create the super intelligent MODOC (acronym for Mental Organism Designed Only for Computing) to study and improve the object. MODOC, however, becomes ambitious and kills its former masters and takes control of AIM. Calling itself MODOK (Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing), it comes into conflict with the hero Captain America, who is intent on rescuing SHIELD agent Sharon Carter from AIM.
MODOK becomes a recurring foe for Captain America, battling the hero on three more occasions, with the last encounter revealing the villain's origin. MODOK also battles Namor the Sub-Mariner and Doctor Doom, who is intent on claiming the Cosmic Cube.
MODOK reappears and kidnaps Betty Ross, changing her into the mutant Harpy in a bid to destroy the Hulk. The character follows the Hulk and the Harpy to a floating aerie, where the Hulk's alter ego Bruce Banner cures Ross of her condition. MODOK and an AIM team arrive in time to kill the creature the Bi-Beast, the guardian of the aerie, but not before activating a self-destruct mechanism, forcing the characters to flee. MODOK also accepts the offer of the other-dimensional being the Black Lama and participates in the "War of the Supervillains", but fails to capture the prize when defeated by Iron Man.
AIM becomes dissatisfied with the lack of scientific advancement and MODOK's obsession with seeking revenge against metahumans, ousting him from power. MODOK attempts to regain control of the organization and prove his worth by unleashing a nerve agent on New York City, which is prevented by Ms. Marvel and the Vision. MODOK seeks revenge against Ms. Marvel, attempting to mind control the heroine and then hire assassin Deathbird to kill her; Ms. Marvel overcomes these obstacles and finally defeats MODOK.
MODOK's ambitions grow and he seeks world domination, but is thwarted by Iron Man and superhero team the Champions. After an attempt to plunder the resources of the Savage Land and a battle with the savage Ka-Zar and the Hulk, the character develops a new biological agent called Virus X. MODOK's attempts to test the agent on the homeless is prevented by the Thing, Sub-Mariner, and Captain America, although the villain escapes and the Thing almost dies when exposed to the virus.
Abandoned by AIM for these failures, the character revives long-time Hulk foe the Abomination, planning to use the monster against his superiors. The plan fails when the Abomination is revealed to be unstable, although during the course of the storyline MODOK transforms Dr. Katherine Waynesboro (an associate of Bruce Banner) into a female version of himself. Horrified by MODOK's callous disregard for life, Waynesboro demands to be restored to human form, and MODOK complies. Wishing to disassociate themselves from MODOK, AIM hires the Serpent Society to assassinate the villain, with the character being killed by Death Adder. The Serpent Society return MODOK's body to AIM, with the organization using it as a supercomputer. A rogue AIM agent remotely operates MODOK's body in a bid to destroy Iron Man, with the battle ending with the body's destruction.
During the Taking AIM storyline, MODOK is resurrected because AIM needs MODOK to assist with the creation of another Cosmic Cube. Eventually MODOK is stranded in an alternate dimension, but manages to return with the unintended help of the Headmen. After attempting to steal a device that boosts mental power MODOK aids the villainous group the Headmen. MODOK agrees to aid them in their plans of conquest, and after taking control of AIM once again, reneges on the agreement to avoid an encounter with superhero team the Defenders. MODOK clashes with Canadian superhero team Alpha Flight before being captured by a group composed of US Naval intelligence and a drug cartel. MODOK is lobotomized and employed to infiltrate spy satellites and manipulate the stock market, but it recovers and exploits the situation until captured and taken into custody by SHIELD.
MODOK then seeks a sample of the cybernetic species the Phalanx, and after brief encounters with the mutant X-Men battles Ms. Marvel once again, the heroine aided by fellow Avenger Wonder Man during an elaborate scheme by renegade AIM branches to kill MODOK, one of the rogues including MODOK's long-lost son as he seeks revenge for his abandonment. Employing an elaborate scheme and double-cross, MODOK restores his personal wealth and power and establishes himself as the leader of AIM once again.
During the Fall of the Hulks storyline, it is revealed that MODOK is a member of Intelligencia who had a part in the creation of Red Hulk and Red She-Hulk. They captured some of the smartest men and brought about the events that would lead up to the World War Hulks storyline.
When several heroes are subjected, by the Intelligencia, to the Cathexis ray which can transfer radiant energy from one subject to another, Amadeus Cho is affected as well. Unlike the others, who become 'Hulked-Out Heroes', his mind expands and becomes so powerful he gains the ability to warp reality within a ten-foot radius. Using this power, he reverses the process that created MODOK, turning him back into George Tarleton, who knows no better than to get away as quickly as possible.
George Tarleton was taken into custody by the US military and remains confined, where Bruce Banner occasionally calls on him to help defuse the "doomsday plans" MODOK installed in the case his master plan should fail. Tarleton, however, appears to remember next to nothing of his time as MODOK and in fact seems to be either traumatized or just a simple mind.
Unknown to everyone, the doomsday plans left behind by MODOK serve as a distraction. The plans themselves are coordinated by a 'cluster' of brains, cloned from MODOK's own, who act as one non-sentient supercomputer. This cluster is destroyed by the Red Hulk, and the doomsday[disambiguation needed] plans stopped. However, one of the cloned brains, rather than being utilized as an organic computer, was allowed to develop naturally and then uploaded with MODOK's own memories. This new MODOK (apparently free from the traumas and weaknesses of the original) declares himself superior and prepares to make his own mark on the world.
Cooperating with the Intelligencia once again, MODOK Superior and Intelligencia to study the body of a Spaceknight, which had crashed on Earth for unknown reasons. When the Avengers attempt to stop them, the body is revealed to be the latest vessel for the consciousness of Ultron. In the battle with the Avengers, MODOK Superior takes on Thor, claiming he has the power of a god - and being immediately struck down.
During the Fear Itself storyline, MODOK Superior reviews the attacks by Skadi and tells his followers that she is actually Red Skull's daughter Sin who has tapped into the powers of the Asgardians. He then views from his surveillance that Red Hulk is fighting Thing (in the form of Angir: Breaker of Souls). When he learns that Zero/One and Black Fog are also after Red Hulk, MODOK Superior plans to get to Red Hulk first. MODOK Superior prevents Black Fog from killing Red Hulk. MODOK Superior becomes intangible to keep himself from getting attacked by Angir (who shoots down Zero/One's Helicarrier). MODOK Superior has his encounter with Zero/One and both of them declare a truce to help fight the soldiers of the Serpent. During that time, MODOK Superior starts to develop a crush on Zero/One.
In the prologue to the Avengers vs. X-Men storyline, MODOK Superior targets an ex-A.I.M. scientist named Dr. Udaku who was being escorted to the Pentagon by Wakandan forces. Before MODOK Superior could burn Dr. Udaku, Scarlet Witch arrives and fights MODOK Superior where smaller MODOK pawns surround Scarlet Witch. In the nick of time, Ms. Marvel and Spider-Woman arrive and help to defeat MODOK Superior and A.I.M.
Powers and abilities
George Tarleton is subjected to a mutagenic process that grants him superhuman intelligence, including a computer-like memory, the ability to scour and retain large databanks of information very quickly and solve abstract mathematical problems nearly instantaneously. He also has the ability to calculate the mathematical probability of any given event occurring; an ability so strong that it borders on precognition. However, his creativity remains at average human level. As MODOK, the character also has psionic powers enabling him to mentally control both individuals and large groups, and generate force fields able to withstand minor nuclear explosions. Courtesy of AIM technology, MODOK wears a headband that enables him to focus his mental power into a devastating beam. A side effect of the mutation was the growth of Tarleton's head to the point whereby his body can no longer support the weight, necessitating the use of an exoskeleton and hoverchair. The chair is equipped with a variety of weapons including missiles and lasers. Occasionally, Tarleton had the use of a giant humanoid vehicle that was proportionally sized to his head. Tarleton's organs also wear out quickly, necessitating the use of harvested clones, whose organs are used to sustain him. As the leader of A.I.M., MODOK has advanced technology and a personal army at his disposal.
A version called "MODOC" (Mental Organism Designed Only for Conquest) appears in the title Marvel Adventures: The Avengers, briefly turning the Avengers into (superior!) versions of itself before being defeated.
Over the course of both her series, she had several interactions with AIM and MODOK; among others, she was both saved from being disincorporated by 24 embryonic MODOCs who had been outfitted with reality-altering powers when working in unison,[volume & issue needed] and separated into two separate entities to fulfill her fondest wish. Also, reference was made, by AIM personnel, to actual MODOCs, who apparently really did function the way MODOK was supposed to have (namely as docile organic supercomputers).
MODOT (Mobile Organism Designed Only for Talking, formerly Nobel Prize hopeful Dimitri Smirkov) appears in the third Howard the Duck limited series, and unlike predecessor MODOK can walk without the aid of a hover chair. He had no designs of world conquest, but instead was only interested in making money; this may be because the branch of A.I.M. that created him did so specifically so he could talk the head office into increasing their budget. He ended up practically ruling the airwaves, influencing millions of viewers through a hundred android hosts, anchormen and reporters, all controlled directly by him.[volume & issue needed]
The limited series U.S War Machine, published under the mature-audience Marvel MAX imprint, showcases another version of MODOK salvaged by SHIELD when it is discarded by AIM, apparently a victim of racial prejudice.
The Ultimate Marvel version of the character features in the title Ultimate Vision, experimenting with a Gah Lak Tus probe on an AIM space station. Although he starts the story as the amoral genius cyborg George Tarleton, after he is infected by Gah Lak Tus, he is eventually reduced to a disembodied head.
At least four versions of MODOK, apparently based around Elvis Presley, were created by the Beyond Corporation© to defend their secret weapons factory, State 51. They were defeated by the Nextwave Squad. Their principal mode of attack seemed to involve shooting cheeseburgers at their target.
The following issue revealed that the Beyond Corporation© was being run by a disguised infant MODOK, apparently conceived by a MODOK and MODAM making "sweet monkey love by the light of a rack of World of Warcraft servers". This MODOK escapes the Nextwave Squad, but it is subsequently killed by its master, Devil Dinosaur.[volume & issue needed]
A version of the character features in a one shot title as part of the Amalgam Comics line, which is a sequel to the Marvel vs. DC series. MODOK is merged with DC Comics character Hector Hammond to form H.E.C.T.O.R., the Highly Evolved Creature Totally Oriented on Revenge.
An alternate version of MODOK appeared in Earth X. In recent history, M.O.D.O.K, like every other telepath on the planet, was killed when the Skull's powers first manifested. M.O.D.O.K.'s hover chair, ironically, was later recovered by the Skull's army and the Skull used it as his personal throne.
A Dazzler-centered story, "Disco Highway," in the fourth issue of the mini-series "X-men: Serve and Protect," released in February 2011, features a character named MODORD, the Mental Organism Designed Only for Roller Derby.[volume & issue needed]
In other media
- A much smaller MODOK appears in the 1994 Iron Man TV series, voiced by Jim Cummings. He serves as one of the minions of the Mandarin.
- MODOK is featured in Iron Man: Armored Adventures episodes "Ready, AIM, Fire", "Panther's Prey", "Designed Only for Chaos", "Uncontrollable", and "The Hawk and the Spider", voiced by Lee Tockar. In the show, the acronym is MODOC, with the 'C' standing for "Conquest".
- MODOK appears in The Super Hero Squad Show, voiced by Tom Kenny, with the 'K' standing for "Kicking-butt". He is a member of Doctor Doom's Lethal Legion and is often paired up with Abomination as the group's comic relief. The meaning of the acronym is joked upon in the episode "Hulk Talk Smack!", wherein the Gray Hulk jokingly states that the 'K' stands for "Kick-ball", causing MODOK to rebutt that this is not what it stands for.
- MODOK appears in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes episodes "Iron Man is Born", "Everything is Wonderful", "Widow's Sting", and "Hail, Hydra!", voiced by Wally Wingert. The character goes by the same altered acronym as the version from Iron Man: Armored Adventures.
- MODOK appears in Ultimate Spider-Man. In the episode "Doomed," MODOK was seen in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s database for the most wanted criminals. In the episode "Beetle Mania," S.H.I.E.L.D. security footage shows Beetle springing MODOK from prison.
- MODOK appears in Avengers Assemble, voiced by Charlie Adler. He is seen as an ally of Red Skull. MODOK first appeared in the episode "The Avengers Initiative" Pt. 1 where he helps Red Skull by disabling Iron Man and capturing Captain America at the Statue of Liberty. While in a HYDRA Base in Antarctica, MODOK operated a machine that would put Red Skull's mind in Captain America's body and vice-versa. The Avengers invaded the base and undid the body swap. MODOK gets away with Red Skull who swipes Iron Man's armor. In the episode "The Avengers Initiative" Pt. 2, MODOK uses microbots to control the bodies of Captain America, Black Widow, Falcon, Hawkeye, Hulk, and Thor while Red Skull targets the Arc Reactor in Avengers Mansion. Iron Man figures out how the microbots work and frees everyone from the microbots control leaving Hulk to beat up MODOK. MODOK gets away with Red Skull after Hulk, Thor, and Falcon sent the detonating Arc Reactor higher in the sky so that it wouldn't destroy Manhattan. On Red Skull's submarine, MODOK witnesses Red Skull sending a message to every supervillain to join his Cabal in a plan to destroy the Avengers. In the episode "Molecule Kid," MODOK controls Super-Adaptoid to target Molecule Man's son in order to obtain Molecule Man's wand so that he and Red Skull can shape the world. In the episode "Deep," MODOK controls Super-Adaptoid at the time when Captain America and Iron Man infiltrate Red Skull's submarine disguised as Crossbones and Grim Reaper. In the episode "The Ambassador," MODOK controls Super-Adaptoid as part of the Cabal's plot to target Doctor Doom at the United Nations. In the episode "Exodus," MODOK controls Super-Adaptoid into raiding Justin Hammer's company to steal some proto-weapons. During the fight with the Avengers at a Tesseract-powered device, Red Skull used the device to open a portal to different worlds where he assigned MODOK and Super-Adaptoid to take over Asgard. During this point, Red Skull considered MODOK to be his most loyal minion. After Thor had beheaded Super-Adaptoid, Iron Man used one of his remote-controlled armors to blow up in the portal that would've destroyed the Cabal members as MODOK is shocked at this discovery. In the episode "The Final Showdown," MODOK teleports the other Cabal members to Avengers Tower so that they can find the resources to defeat Cosmic Skull. During the fight with the Avengers, MODOK and Black Widow are teleported to another location. When it comes to the fight against Cosmic Skull, MODOK and Black Widow join the battle where they had actually been teleported to somewhere that's classified. Upon formulating a battle plan, MODOK removes Cosmic Skull's armor regressing him back to Red Skull and returns the Iron Man armor to Iron Man. After Red Skull and the Tesseract disappear into a portal, MODOK becomes the new leader of the Cabal and teleports them away to fight the Avengers another day.
- MODOK appears in the 2013 animated special Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel, with Charlie Adler reprising his role.
- MODOK appears in the 2014 Japanese Anime "Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers". The anime is only available in Japan.
- MODOK appears as a boss in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, voiced by Michael Gough. He leads Mysterio and Crimson Dynamo into invading the S.H.I.E.L.D. Omega Base in a plot to crash it into the nearby dam.
- MODOK appears in the Marvel Super Hero Squad video game and Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet, voiced by Tom Kenny.
- MODOK appears as a playable character in Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, voiced by Wally Wingert.
- MODOK is featured as a boss in the game Marvel Super Hero Squad: Comic Combat.
- MODOK appears as a villain character and as a playable character in Marvel Super Hero Squad Online.
- MODOK appears as a boss in Iron Man 3: The Official Game. At the game's climax, this version of MODOK is revealed to be Aldrich Killian whose consciousness had been "downloaded" by A.I.M. prior to his physical death in the movie and uploaded into a new, enhanced form. After Iron Man defeats him in combat, he attempts to survive by uploading his consciousness into the network of Stark Industries, but Iron Man willingly sacrifices the network (and, therefore, Stark Industries itself) toward destroying Killian for good.
- MODOK appears as a playable character in Lego Marvel Super Heroes, voiced by Dave Boat.
- The band Monster Magnet refers to MODOK in the song "Baby Götterdämerung" from the album Powertrip with the lyrics "So what would MODOK do, if his memory got too full? He'd find the power source, and then he'd pick what plugs to pull."
- Rapper Akira the Don has a song titled "M.O.D.O.K. (Supervillain Music)" on his "Superhero Music" mix-tape.
- Toy Biz produced a MODOK action figure for the 1994 Iron Man Animated Series.
- In 2006, a "Build-A-Figure" toy was produced by Toy Biz for Wave 15 of their Marvel Legends toy-line. This toy required you to buy all the figures in the wave with each figure coming with a piece of the MODOK toy. The pieces would snap together to make the MODOK figure complete.
- In 2010, Hasbro made a more kid-friendly version for its revised Super Hero Squad line, packaged together with Iron Man. He is described on the back of the pack as a "hovering psychic super menace." Originally MODOK was supposed to be called MODOC (Mental Organism Designed Only for Chaos) but was changed to his more familiar name, though the description does not reveal what the acronym really means.
- In 2014, LEGO released the Hulk Lab Smash set for its Marvel Super Heroes theme. Along with Hulk and Thor returning as minifigures, MODOK, along with fellow Marvel villain Taskmaster, debuted as a new minifigure in the set.
- In 2011 Bowen Designs released a statue of Modok that was designed and sculpted by the Kucharek Brothers.
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- Tales of Suspense #93–94 (September – October 1967)
- Captain America #112 (April 1969); #120 (December 1969); #133 (January 1971)
- Sub-Mariner #49 (May 1972)
- Hulk #167–169 (September – November 1973)
- Iron Man #74–75 (May – June 1975)
- Ms. Marvel #5 (May 1977)
- Ms. Marvel #7 (July 1977)
- Ms. Marvel #9 (September 1977)
- Ms. Marvel #10 (October 1977)
- Iron Man Annual #4 (December 1977)
- Marvel Team-Up #104 (April 1981)
- Marvel Two-In-One #81–82 (November – December 1981)
- Hulk #287–290 (September – December 1983)
- Captain America #313 (January 1986)
- Iron Man #205 (April 1986)
- Quasar #9
- Avengers #386–387 (May – June 1995); Captain America #440 (June 1995); Avengers #388 (July 1995); Captain America #441 (July 1995)
- Iron Man Annual 1998
- Defenders #9–10 (November – December 2001)
- Wolverine #142–143 (September – October 1999)
- Captain America & The Falcon #9 (January 2005)
- Cable & Deadpool #11 (March 2005)
- X-Men #200 (August 2007) & Uncanny X-Men #488 (September 2007)
- Ms. Marvel vol. 2, #14–17 (June – September 2007)
- Super-Villain Team-Up: MODOK's Eleven #1–5 (September – December 2008)
- Hulk #600 (September 2009)
- Fall of the Hulks: Alpha
- Incredible Hulk #610
- Hulk vol. 2 #28
- Hulk vol. 2 #29
- Avengers vol. 4 #12.1
- Hulk vol. 2 #37
- Hulk vol. 2 #38
- Avengers vs. X-Men #0
- Secret Avengers Vol. 2 #12
- Fall of the Hulks: Red Hulk #1 (March 2010)
- Marvel Adventures: The Avengers #9 (March 2007)
- Ms. Marvel vol. 2 #45
- Ms. Marvel vol. 2 #39
- Howard the Duck vol. 3, #1–4 (November 2007 – February 2008)
- Invincible Iron Man vol. 2, #2 (August 2008)
- U.S War Machine #1–12 (November 2001 – January 2002)
- Ultimate Vision #1-5
- Ultimate Armor Wars #2
- Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. #11
- Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. #12 (March 2007)
- Iron Lantern #1 (June 1997)
- Marvel Zombies vs Army of Darkness #3
- Earth X #2
- "'Marvel's Avengers Assemble' on DisneyXD -- EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK". EW.com. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
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