Advanced Idea Mechanics

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A.I.M.
(Advanced Idea Mechanics, or Avengers Idea Mechanics)
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Strange Tales #146 (July 1966)
Created by Stan Lee (writer)
Jack Kirby (artist)
In-story information
Type of organization Terrorist
Technology
Leader(s) Baron Strucker
MODOK
Andrew Forson
Monica Rappaccini
Sunspot
Agent(s) Doomsday Man
Head Case
Allesandro Brannex

A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics) is a fictional organization of villains and supervillains appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, first appearing in Strange Tales #146. The organization was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. They are characterized as a network of terrorist arms dealers and scientists specializing in highly advanced and technological weaponry whose ultimate goal is the overthrow of all world governments for their own gain.

Publication history[edit]

The organization known as A.I.M. first appeared in Strange Tales #146 (July 1966), and was revealed to be a branch of the organization known as THEM in Strange Tales #147 (August 1966), a larger organization mentioned in Strange Tales #142 (March 1966), and depicted in Tales of Suspense #78 (June 1966) a few months earlier. It was later revealed that THEM was also parent organization to the Secret Empire and that it was, in fact, a new incarnation of the previously dissolved organization Hydra in Strange Tales #149 (October 1966).

Organization[edit]

A.I.M. is an organization of brilliant scientists and their hirelings dedicated to the acquisition of power and the overthrow of all world governments by technological means. Its leadership traditionally consisted of the seven-member Board of Directors (formerly known as the Imperial Council) with a rotating chairperson. Under the Directors are various division supervisors, and under them are the technicians and salesmen/dealers.

The organization supplies arms and technology to various terrorist and subversive organizations both to foster a violent technological revolution and to make a profit. A.I.M. operatives are usually involved in research, development, manufacturing, and sales of high technology. Members of A.I.M. are required to at least have a master's degree, if not a Ph.D, in some area of science, mathematics, or business.

A.I.M.'s reach is worldwide, including various front organizations such as Targo Corporation, International Data Integration and Control, and Cadenza Industries. A.I.M. has also operated under some other fronts including Koenig and Strey, Pacific Vista Laboratories, and Omnitech.

A.I.M. has had a number of bases of operations, including a nuclear submarine mobile in the Atlantic Ocean; a base in the Bronx, New York; Black Mesa, Colorado; West Caldwell, New Jersey; Asia, Canada, Europe, Haiti, India, Sudan and Boca Caliente (also known as AIM Island), an island republic in the Caribbean.

Technology[edit]

A.I.M. has created three major implements of deadly potential which stand far above the rest of their accomplishments. The greatest of these was the Cosmic Cube, a device capable of altering reality.[1] A.I.M. did not realize that the cube was merely a containment device, in which the real power was an entity accidentally drawn into this dimension. The Cosmic Cube eventually evolved into Kubik. Their second achievement was the Super-Adaptoid, an android capable of mimicking the appearance and superpowers of other beings. The Super-Adaptoid's powers were made possible by incorporating a sliver of the Cosmic Cube into its form. When Kubik repossessed the sliver after defeating the Adaptoid, the android was rendered inanimate. A.I.M.'s third and final major achievement was the creation of MODOK (Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing), an artificially mutated human with an enormous head and corresponding massive computational brain, and psionic abilities.[2] MODOK was originally an ordinary AIM scientist, George Tarleton, who was selected by A.I.M.'s leader at the time, the Scientist Supreme, to be the subject of the bionic and genetic experiments that turned him into MODOK.[1][3] After his transformation, MODOK killed the Scientist Supreme and took control of A.I.M., and later took advantage of the organizational chaos following the destruction of Hydra Island and the deaths of Baron Strucker and most of Hydra's leading members to sever A.I.M.'s ties with Hydra.

A.I.M.'s level of technology is as highly advanced as any on Earth, and its scientists have also built various cyborgs, robots, and androids; its agents utilize a variety of submarines, hovercraft, jets, etc. A.I.M. has also attempted to recreate versions of MODOK, including transforming Dr. Katherine Waynesboro into Ms. MODOK[4] and creating SODAM[5] (later revamped as MODAM).[6] Since A.I.M's redirection as an exotic arms dealer,[6] its members have access to whatever exotic weaponry is available in its warehouses.

A.I.M.'s leaders traditionally wear yellow three-piece business suits. Technical supervisors wear yellow jumpsuits, skull-caps, and goggles. However, the organization is renowned for the 'beekeeper'-looking helmets and NBC suit uniform of its underlings since the first appearance.

However, as a result of the "Scorpion: Poison Tomorrow" arc of Amazing Fantasy, A.I.M. has gained a new costume, which tends towards insectoid armor and large guns.

The Livewires member named Cornfed wears an A.I.M. uniform. He also wears a button referencing "The Real A.I.M".

Fictional organization history[edit]

A.I.M.'s origins began late in World War II with Baron Wolfgang von Strucker's creation of his subversive organization Hydra. Under the code name of Them, he created two Hydra branches called Advanced Idea Mechanics and the Secret Empire. A.I.M.'s purpose was to develop advanced weaponry for Hydra. They were close to developing and attaining nuclear weapons when Hydra Island was invaded by American and Japanese troops. Although Hydra suffered a major setback, it survived and grew in secret over the following decades.

A.I.M. has had numerous encounters with various superheroes and supervillains, and is the subject of ongoing undercover investigations by S.H.I.E.L.D.. It was responsible for reviving the Red Skull from suspended animation.[7] An A.I.M. android factory in a Florida swamp was once raided by S.H.I.E.L.D., which also involved Count Bornag Royale in a weapons deal negotiation with S.H.I.E.L.D.[8] A.I.M. then raided S.H.I.E.L.D.'s New York City headquarters.[9] As a result of these events, Royale was discredited, and A.I.M.'s headquarters was destroyed.[10]

A.I.M. employed Batroc the Leaper to recover an explosive compound called Inferno 42[11] and dispatched a chemical android against Nick Fury and Captain America.[12] A.I.M. also dispatched their special agent the Cyborg against Captain America.[13] A.I.M. was involved in a skirmish with the Maggia and its "Big M".[14] A.I.M. has also captured Iron Man in an attempt to analyze and replicate his armor.[15] A.I.M. was responsible for transforming Betty Ross briefly into the gamma-irradiated Harpy.[16] A.I.M. dispatched their special agent the Destructor to capture Ms. Marvel.[17]

For a time, a schism developed within A.I.M., causing it to split into the Blue and Yellow factions. These factions battled each other, employing Deathbird as an operative.[18] A.I.M. captured the Thing and Namor to test the Virus X on them.[19] The Blue faction later made an attempt to recapture the Cosmic Cube.[20] A second battle occurred between the rival factions,[21] but factions no longer seem to be active within A.I.M.

A.I.M. eventually hired the Serpent Society to kill MODOK, which they did.[22] A.I.M. was responsible for a jet attack on the West Coast Avengers compound[23] and then took over Boca Caliente[24] and unleashed a microbe aboard the Stark space satellite.[25] A.I.M. also sent an agent to attempt to confiscate the quantum-bands given to Quasar.[26]

The organization was revealed to have become a 'techno-anarchist' group, with no connection to Hydra, and even a hatred for fascism. With the introduction of the Death's Head 3.0 character, a pacifist future version of the organization is promised, with a surprise character as leader.[27]

It is later revealed that A.I.M. helped General Thunderbolt Ross and Doc Samson create the Red Hulk.[28]

A.I.M. was revealed to be behind the pocket dimension of Earth-13584 by using a sliver of time they obtained to alter certain events so they can obtain the technology and science from various individuals. They did this by exploiting the fluid nature of time brought on by the manipulations of Kang the Conqueror traveling back to alter the past. This lasted until the Dark Avengers ended up in this reality causing it to collapse. The Dark Avengers were able to get out before the pocket dimension collapsed.[29]

After the Secret Avengers recruited Taskmaster after freeing him from Bagalia, they send him to infiltrate the new High Council of A.I.M. which consists of Andrew Forson, Graviton, Jude the Entropic Man, Mentallo, Superia, and Yelena Belova.[30] Andrew Forson then leads A.I.M. into attending a weapons expo which led to A.I.M. fighting against the Secret Avengers. During the battle, Andrew Forson takes the opportunity to steal the Iron Patriot armor.[31]

Daisy Johnson launched an unsanctioned operation to send the Secret Avengers to A.I.M. Island to assassinate Forson, and they seemingly killed him. Johnson ended up suspended for breaking protocol and Maria Hill is put in charge of S.H.I.E.L.D. again. As Forson was revealed to be alive all along, the news of A.I.M. being a new permanent member of the Security Council is known.[32]

Using an as-yet-unidentified device in the pages of Avengers World, Andrew Forson and A.I.M. accelerate the flow of time within the limits of A.I.M. Island creating in a matter of hours for the real world year of progress and transforming A.I.M. into a technologically advanced empire.[33]

A.I.M. has a more violent offshoot, Advanced Ideas of Destruction (A.I.D.); the two competing organizations were major antagonists of Captain America in the mid-2000s.[34]

Avengers Idea Mechanics[edit]

During the Time Runs Out storyline which takes place eight months in the future, Sunspot reveals that he bought A.I.M and used their resources to investigate the incursions. Heroes working as part of Avengers Idea Mechanics include Hawkeye, Squirrel Girl, Songbird, Wiccan and Hulkling, White Tiger, Power Man and Pod . Sunspot reveals the group was much easier to deal with after much of higher management had been fired. Many heroes working in the primary Avengers team such as Thor and Hyperion, also find themselves working side by side with A.I.M.[35] Once they managed to create a machine to propel individuals across the Multiverse some of the heroes who were helping A.I.M. offered themselves to participate in a one-way trip to find the origin of the Incursions threatening all reality.[36]

As part of the All-New, All-Different Marvel, it was revealed that the A.I.M. members that fled when Sunspot bought out A.I.M. had been taken in by Maker where they work for his organization W.H.I.S.P.E.R. (short for World Headquarters for International Scientific Philosophical Experimentation and Research) as his personal tool to reshape the world.[37]

Following the fight against Maker, Sunspot meets with the government and they make plans to merge Avengers Idea Mechanics into the U.S. government. At the same time, the Avengers Idea Mechanics defeats A.I.M's splinter groups.[38]

American Intelligence Mechanics[edit]

The merger between the U.S. government and the Avengers Idea Mechanics resulted in the formation of the American Intelligence Mechanics.[39]

Membership[edit]

Leaders[edit]

  • Alessandro Brannex (Super-Adaptoid)[40] – An android and Chairman of the Board.
  • Monica Rappaccini[41] – Mother of Carmilla Black, Scientist Supreme, and an Italian national. She has a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Padua. She became a radical, developed poisons for the Black Orchestra and AIM. Monica sought to reestablish contact with her daughter.
  • George Tarleton (MODOK)[42] – Former A.I.M. scientist and current leader of A.I.M. under the rank of Scientist Supreme. He was mutated by George Clinton and driven insane by energies present at the creation of Earth's first Cosmic Cube. Also known as Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing, MODOC, Mental Organism Designed Only for Computing. Father of Head Case (Sean Madigan)

High Council of A.I.M.[edit]

Former[edit]

  • George Clinton[44] – Former Scientist Supreme. He was involved in creation of MODOC/MODOK and the Cosmic Cube. His mind was eventually drained by the Red Skull, Arnim Zola, and Hate-Monger (a clone of Adolf Hitler) in an attempt to recreate the Cosmic Cube.
  • Chet Madden[45] – Former head of A.I.M. and former client of Connie Ferrari.
  • Dr. Lyle Getz[44] – A former Scientist Supreme. He is currently deceased.
  • Head Case (Sean Madigan)[46] – The son of MODOK.
  • Maxwell Mordius[15] – Currently deceased
  • Valdemar Tykkio[23] – Scientist Supreme. He instituted a takeover of Boca Caliente. He is the brother of Yorgon Tykkio.
  • Wolfgang von Strucker (Baron Strucker)[47] – A Nazi and also the founder of Hydra

Avengers/American Idea Mechanics[edit]

Other versions[edit]

A.I.M. has outposts active in several other universes in the Marvel Multiverse, including the universes for Ultimate Marvel, Marvel 1602, and Age of Apocalypse.

Heroes Reborn[edit]

In the Heroes Reborn reality, AIM is led by Baron Zemo and MODOK as they take on Captain America and the new Bucky, Rebecca Barnes.[48]

2020 Death's Head Future[edit]

A future (2020) version of A.I.M was featured heavily in the Marvel UK limited series Death's Head II. This future organisation created the cyborg Minion, which was later taken over by the personality of Death's Head. A.I.M's representative Evelyn Necker became a popular character in the ongoing series that followed.

In Amazing Fantasy ##16–20, set further in the same future, A.I.M is on the point of making peace with the UN, when a renegade AIM scientist unleashes Death's Head 3.0 on the peace conference.

House of M[edit]

In the House of M reality, AIM is re-imagined as a human resistance movement led by Monica Rappacini to oppose Exodus, ruler of Australia and his cohorts.[49]

Marvel Adventures[edit]

In the Marvel Adventures version of Iron Man, AIM, through the use of dummy companies, acquired Stark International's hover platform and uni-beam technology in their invasion of Madripoor, a third world country. Gia-Bao Yinsen tried to tell the world about AIM's terrorist attacks on his country. However, his message is dismissed. During Tony Stark's test of his new solar-powered glider, AIM causes Tony to crash on their artificial island. Tony's heart is damaged, and AIM force him to build an EMP weapon to allow A.I.M.'s forces to finish their conquest of Madripoor. In exchange, AIM will repair his heart. Tony learns that Yinsen was also kidnapped, as A.I.M. wanted to prevent him from telling the world about their attacks on his country and to use his intellect to build technology for AIM. Similar to Iron Man's main Marvel Universe origin, Yinsen and Tony both build armor to escape. However, Yinsen destroys the generator powering the island in order to save his homeland. The explosion kills Yinsen, but Tony Stark lives. Tony becomes Iron Man to prevent people like AIM from committing evil against innocents. Here, the Supreme Scientist is a black-haired woman who is extremely brilliant. In addition, the uniforms that AIM uses are basically NBC orange suits. However, the Supreme Scientist wears black clothing in a style similar to Darth Vader.

Ultimate Marvel[edit]

In the Ultimate Marvel world, the AIM commissioned the Ultimate Mad Thinker to steal Cerebro from the Ultimate X-Men and frame the Ultimate Fantastic Four, as seen in the Ultimate X4 mini-series.[50] Ultimate AIM's full purpose and function has yet to be revealed. The mini-series Ultimate Vision introduces AIM as composed of several directorates spread across the globe, with George Tarleton as an AIM leader on an orbital research facility. Tarleton and his team attempted to take control of a Gah Lak Tus module that was left behind in orbit after the swarm was driven away. Being unable to do so on their own, they lured Vision to the station to help them by claiming they would use the knowledge to order the Gah Lak Tus swarm to self-destruct. Once the cyborg Tarleton had connected to the module using Vision, he had the module fire an energy beam at her. Tarleton then incorporated the Gah Lak Tus' circuitry into his own body, but it has seemingly taken him over, transforming him more into a machine, with a monstrous appearance. He has since taken over the entire station remotely and has set it to plummet out of orbit, along with the Gah Lak Tus module, which he says has "unfinished business on Earth."[51] Ultimately Tarleton was broken free of the module's control and helped the Vision and the Falcon aka Dr. Samuel Wilson in destroying the module.[52]

In Ultimate Comics: Avengers, a group of A.I.M. terrorists stole advanced technology (revealed to be blueprints for a Cosmic Cube)[53] from the Baxter Building and have some associations with the Red Skull.[53][54]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • Although unnamed, some A.I.M. agents made a cameo in the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends episode "The X-Men Adventure."[citation needed] They were seen in Firestar's flashback attacking the lab where she and Nathan Price worked at where an accident during the attack turned Nathan into Cyberiad.
  • A.I.M. has been reference in Marvel Anime:
    • In Marvel Anime: Iron Man, the Zodiac organization is affiliated with A.I.M., and is likely responsible for creating the mechs and advanced technology that they have.[citation needed]
    • In Marvel Anime: Wolverine, some A.I.M. Agents are shown chasing Tesshin Asano as Wolverine arrives slaying the A.I.M. Agents.[citation needed] Shingen Yashida is shown to have connections with A.I.M. as his Kuzuryu organization is their supplier. A.I.M. was also shown to have a stealth ship where Omega Red is taken after he was badly wounded by Wolverine. A.I.M. is responsible for constructing the robot Vadhaka for Shingen Yashida and Hideki Kurohagi in a plot to eliminate Wolverine.
  • A.I.M. appears in the Spider-Man episode "Symbiotic Relationship."[citation needed] A black-suited Spider-Man spots an A.I.M. agent near a construction site and confronts it only for more A.I.M. agents to come out wielding freeze guns. Spider-Man defeats the A.I.M. agents and webs them up for the police.

Film[edit]

  • A.I.M. appears in the 2013 film Iron Man 3. It is re-imagined in the film as a government-sanctioned, privately funded think-tank founded by Aldrich Killian, whom Tony Stark callously broke an appointment with.[56] In the film, A.I.M. is the developer of the Extremis virus and was also hired to design the Iron Patriot armor.[57]

Video games[edit]

  • A.I.M. appears in the Iron Man video game. They are seen working with Obadiah Stane to try to develop an army of Iron Men based on Tony Stark's original prototype suit. Other agents of A.I.M. that appear are the Controller, and the Melter. Although their attempts to develop an effective power source fail, they are able to create Titanium Man, but this version requires regular recharging during a fight, allowing Iron Man to defeat it. Iron Man then destroys A.I.M.'s attempt to acquire satellite power sources. A.I.M.'s collaboration with Stane created a continuity problem by conflicting with the film.[58]
  • A.I.M. (alongside their R.A.I.D. branch) appears in Marvel: Avengers Alliance. A.I.M.'s foot soldiers consist of A.I.M. Administrators, A.I.M. Directors, A.I.M. Firefighters, A.I.M. Managers, A.I.M. Safety Officer, and A.I.M. Scientist, and R.A.I.D.'s foot soldiers consist of R.A.I.D. Biotechnicians, R.A.I.D. Bioterrorists, R.A.I.D. Guards, R.A.I.D. Physicists, and R.A.I.D. Sub-Commanders. A.I.M. also has an Exoskeletal Battletank which is the latest in stolen Stark Industries technology that was incorporated into A.I.M.'s armament program.

Live performance[edit]

Miscellaneous[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Both A.I.M. and Hydra first appeared in the 1960s as analogs for the threat of Communism, but are also associated with Nazism and resemble organizations fought by Captain America in World War II; political science professor Matthew J. Costello has pointed out that this conflation of Communist and Nazi totalitarianism removes ambiguity from the threat and thus from America's moral superiority in the comics.[61] In contrast, in the post-9/11 context of Iron Man 3, Pepper says of Extremis' war profiteering, "That's exactly what [Stark Industries] used to do".[56] Whereas immediately after 9/11 Captain America was concerned with Islamic terrorism, by 2005–2007 he was primarily engaged with homegrown terrorists: A.I.M. and A.I.D.[34]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b John P. Doucet, "Chapter One: On the Design of Mental Organisms", in: Marie Hendry and Jennifer Page, eds., Media, Technology and the Imagination, Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars, 2013, ISBN 978-1-4438-4850-3, pp. 19–20.
  2. ^ Tales of Suspense #93–94
  3. ^ origin revealed in Captain America #133
  4. ^ Hulk #190
  5. ^ Solo Avengers #14–16
  6. ^ a b Quasar #8
  7. ^ Tales of Suspense #79
  8. ^ Strange Tales #146
  9. ^ Strange Tales #147
  10. ^ Strange Tales #149
  11. ^ Tales of Suspense #75–76
  12. ^ Tales of Suspense #78
  13. ^ Captain America #124
  14. ^ Iron Man and Sub-Mariner #1
  15. ^ a b Iron Man #1
  16. ^ Hulk #167–168
  17. ^ Ms. Marvel #2
  18. ^ Ms. Marvel #7–10
  19. ^ Marvel Two-In-One #81–82
  20. ^ Captain America Annual #7
  21. ^ Hulk #289
  22. ^ Captain America #313
  23. ^ a b Iron Man #201
  24. ^ Iron Man #207–208
  25. ^ Iron Man #215
  26. ^ Quasar #1
  27. ^ the Scorpion: Poison Tomorrow arc of Amazing Fantasy
  28. ^ Incredible Hulk #600
  29. ^ Dark Avengers vol. 2 #190
  30. ^ a b c d e f g h Secret Avengers Vol. 2 #2
  31. ^ Secret Avengers #3
  32. ^ Secret Avengers Vol. 2 #5
  33. ^ Avengers World #1
  34. ^ a b Christian Steinmetz, "A Genealogy of Evil: Captain America vs. the Shadows of the National Imagined Community", in: Robert G. Weiner, ed., Captain America and the Struggle of the Superhero: Critical Essays, Jefferson, North Carolina / London: McFarland, 2009, ISBN 978-0-7864-3703-0, p. 199.
  35. ^ Avengers Vol 5 #35
  36. ^ Avengers Vol 5 #36
  37. ^ Avengers Vol. 6 #0
  38. ^ New Avengers Vol. 4 #18
  39. ^ U.S.Avengers #1
  40. ^ Quasar #9
  41. ^ Amazing Fantasy vol. 2 #7
  42. ^ Tales of Suspense #93
  43. ^ Fantastic Four #610
  44. ^ a b Captain America #133
  45. ^ Captain America vol. 3 #35
  46. ^ Ms. Marvel vol. 2 #13
  47. ^ Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos #5
  48. ^ Captain America #6
  49. ^ The Incredible Hulk #83
  50. ^ Ultimate X4
  51. ^ Ultimate Vision #3
  52. ^ Ultimate Vision #5
  53. ^ a b Ultimate Avengers #3
  54. ^ Ultimate Avengers #5
  55. ^ http://www.newsarama.com/10284-marvel-and-sony-announce-new-iron-man-animated-feature.html
  56. ^ a b "Chapter 5: 'Nothing's been the same since New York': Ideological Continuity and Change in Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World", in: Terence McSweeney, ed., Avengers Assemble!: Critical Perspectives on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, London/New York: Wallflower-Columbia University, 2017, ISBN 9780231186254, n.p..
  57. ^ "Iron Man 3: Under the Armor with Guy Pearce". Marvel.com. March 22, 2013. Archived from the original on March 23, 2013. Retrieved March 23, 2013. 
  58. ^ Martin Flanagan, Mike McKenny, and Andrew Livingstone, The Marvel Studios Phenomenon: Inside a Transmedia Universe, New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2017, ISBN 9781501338533, n.p..
  59. ^ http://comicbook.com/gaming/2017/07/21/sdcc17-marvel-vs-capcom-infinite-live-blog/
  60. ^ Wheatley, Chris. "Marvel Universe LIVE! Reveals Villain Characters". IGN. 
  61. ^ Matthew J. Costello, Secret Identity Crisis: Comic Books and the Unmasking of Cold War America, New York: Continuum, 2009, ISBN 9780826429971, pp. 70–71.

External links[edit]