Archive for MODOK

Friday Night Fights: Free for All!

Well, my children, it’s the end of another thoroughly gruesome week, and one measly weekend just ain’t really gonna settle things down for us. But it’ll help. So let’s celebrate while we can with everyone’s favorite: FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Tonight’s battle comes to us from February 1983’s Marvel Two-in-One #96 by Tom DeFalco, Ron Wilson, and Mike Esposito. Ben Grimm is stuck in the hospital after a rough battle, and now a whole bunch of supervillains are on the way to finish him off.




But Marvel’s superheroes aren’t gonna let Aunt Petunia’s favorite nephew down, are they?


That’s a bunch of Marvel’s greatest superheroes beating up on the Rhino, MODOK, and a bunch of Moloids. Not a bad way to kick off the weekend, is it?

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A Dose of Awesome: MODOK!

Putting a solid definition on what precisely “awesome” means is one of the most difficult tasks out there. What makes a robot or a pirate or a shark or a chainsaw so awesome? As compared to lots of other very nice things? It’s really hard to say exactly. Ultimately, they’re awesome because they’re awesome, and that’s the only definition we can come up with.

But sometimes, things are awesome just because they’re so unbelievably weird and funny. That’s when you know we’re talking about MODOK.

So who is MODOK? He’s Marvel’s Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing. He’s got a giant head, a floating chair, tiny arms and legs, and a pompous attitude. He runs the evil science organization called AIM. Oh, and it seems he stole Steven Tyler’s mouth.

He has rare moments of badassery — deeply offset by truly spectacular failures — and this is mainly because MODOK is hilarious. He’s got an immense head and itty-bitty limbs! He’s ugly as sin! His minions wear yellow beekeeper outfits! And despite all the failure and humiliation, lots of people love the stuffin’ out of him, specifically because he’s so awesomely weird.

I actually think I trace the current MODOK renaissance to the great Marvel Adventures: The Avengers #9 in 2007, which featured the Avengers being temporarily turned into MODOKs. It’s one of the funniest issues of a deeply fun and funny series, and I think it was the first time I realized that I wanted to see more of MODOK just because he was such a schmuck.

In summation: MODOK: even adorably kid-sized, he’s still dorky, and he’s still awesome.

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Friday Night Fights: 1,001 Brain Blasts!

Yes, yes, we all love a little violence on our Friday nights, but let’s talk about what’s really important tonight — my 1,001st post! Namely, this one! Yes, I’m going to milk this just as long as I can, so go lump it, haters.

My initial thought was to try to find a fight sequence that would match up thematically with the number 1,001. That’s kinda a tall order. There’s “The Thousand and One Nights” and that’s really about it. “Fables” had a storyarc focusing on characters from Middle Eastern folklore and fiction, but I actually stopped collecting that series a bit before that arc began. There’s the extraordinarily brilliant 50th issue of “Sandman,” with the story titled “Ramadan,” but that one’s entirely free of violence.

So I finally decided, the heck with a theme, I’ll go with something that’s just plain awesome.

From March 2007’s Marvel Adventures: The Avengers #9 by Jeff Parker, Juan SantaCruz, and Raul Fernandez, here are Capdoc, Stormdoc, Spidoc, Hulkdoc, Gi-Doc, Irondoc, and Woldoc, transformed, obviously, into hyperintelligent brain-zapping MODOKs, taking on Attuma and his hapless army:

There is nothing in the world more wonderful than giant-headed superheroes riding around in floaty yellow chairs.

Y’all really wanna give me a “Merry 1,001 Posts on your Comic Book Blog” present, y’all head over to Spacebooger’s place after 10 tonight or any time this weekend, and vote for me.

And y’all have a great weekend…

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Just Another M.O.D.O.K. Monday


M.O.D.O.K.: Reign Delay #1

Hey, a one-shot issue starring everyone’s favorite colossal-nogginned megalomaniac, M.O.D.O.K., written and illustrated by Ryan Dunlavey, of “Action Philosophers” and “Comic Book Comics” — this is pretty much a guaranteed thumbs-up. But let’s give it a look-see anyway…

So, we got this “Dark Reign” crossover going on, where Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin, has basically taken over S.H.I.E.L.D. and is running the country with a bunch of supervillains in disguise. Well, M.O.D.O.K., the Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing, wants in on that action, but can’t get Osborn to return any of his dozens of calls. Finally, desperate to be rid of uber-craniumed pest, Osborn assigns him and a few of his minions to be to official “protectors” of… Erie, Pennsylvania. Luckily, M.O.D.O.K. grew up in Erie, so he can live in his parents’ home, get delicious pancakes for breakfast, attend his high school reunion, and fight an out-of-work Canadian superhero. And, of course, brainblast his sad-sack minions, which he does as often as he can.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Very enjoyably silly stuff. If you get only one comic this year that features a giant-headed supervillain being accosted in a bar restroom by grown-up bullies and given a swirlie, make it this one.


Marvel Adventures: Super Heroes #15

The Hulk and Tigra are attending a movie awards show because they were both in a documentary called “Don’t Look at the Camera: Three Days in the Life of the Hulk,” which has been nominated for an award. Unfortunately, Mysterio is also in attendance, because he owns a special effects studio that’s been nominated for another award. Unfortunately, when Mysterio loses the award, he reacts very badly — he plans to create illusions of an alien invasion so that Hulk, in the process of smashing the nonexistent aliens, will end up demolishing the entire auditorium. So why is Tigra the only person unaffected by Mysterio’s illusions, and can she stop the villain and his henchmen all by herself?

Verdict: Thumbs up. This one’s a bit iffy in places — I don’t mind funny, good-natured, peace-loving Hulk, but this version of Hulk was so sedate, he almost seemed tranquilized. And even on the printed page, Tigra really is an awful singer. But I did enjoy Tigra saying “Oh sneezes!” everytime something went wrong, and that made up for a lot.

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Glub Glub Glub


Marvel Adventures: Super Heroes #12

Captain America and Rick Jones are investigating Hydra and snooping around the Hydra homepage, which is full of happy families singing Hydra’s praises and an adorably mascot called Hydra Boy. Cap doesn’t really understand or trust this new-fangled “Internet” thingamabob — and with good reason, because Hydra is able to use webcams to recognize Cap and teleport him and Rick into the Internet itself! While Hydra Boy uses his abilities to alter the website’s environment to vex Cap, Rick sets out behind the scenes to phone for help and figure out how to alter the website himself. In the end, of course, Cap and Rick escape, riding a big search-engine locomotive.

There’s also a backup story, set stateside during WWII, in which Cap and Bucky fight this guy:


A prototype MODOK!

That’s really all I can say about it. Prototype MODOK! Whooo!

Verdict: Thumbs up. Hydra Boy was an amusingly nasty villain, and the story contained a wealth of great visual puns about the Internet. And again — Prototype MODOK!


Captain Britain and MI-13 Annual #1

One of the last issues of this comic we’ll see, as Marvel has already announced that they’ve cancelled it. Cancelling really outstanding comics seems to be the very favorite thing for comic publishers to do.

There are two stories here, the first focusing on Meggan, the mutant shapeshifter who used to be married to Captain Britain. Most of the story is a retrospective on her history, from her childhood, where she frequently got into trouble for accidentally using her shapeshifting powers to reflect back what people thought of her (at one point turning into a cartoonish stereotyped image of a Gypsy crone when someone accuses her family of being Roma) to her accidental imprisonment in Hell. However, she’s the only non-tormented soul in Hell, very optimistic and hopeful, which unnerves the rulers of Hell so much that they trick her into using her empathetic powers to let everyone in Hell shape her appearance. Once she’s been turned into a deformed monster, they exile her to a distant part of Hell, where she ends up leading a revolt, receives her first-ever superhero name, and meets up with Dr. Doom.

The second story puts the spotlight on Captain Britain as the rest of the MI-13 team spends an afternoon playing cricket. It’s a pretty amusing story — Blade can’t seem to pitch the ball correctly (Is “pitch” the right word? I know nothing about cricket.), Faiza Hussein is a cricket fanatic, and Spitfire uses very weird British slang.

Verdict: Thumbs up. More emphasis on Meggan than I would’ve expected, but it all seems to work out well. I really don’t understand anything about cricket, but I still thought the second story was funny. Sure, I didn’t understand very much of it because it was grounded so deeply in British culture, but I still enjoyed it.

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Fast as Lightning


The Flash #231

Well, the last time we checked, we had a single issue of “All-Flash” and before that, 13 issues of “Flash: Fastest Man Alive.” What’s with the #231? Well, before they cancelled the series before that, something like two years ago, they were up to #230. So they’re starting where that series left off.

Of course, a lot has changed since then. Wally West and his family have spent an unspecified amount of time in the other-dimensional Speed Source, his kids have prematurely grown into their pre-teens, and his wife Linda has used her pre-med skills, with the help of an alien race, to set up a ton of scientific equipment and expertise.

Anyway, the twins, Iris and Jai, have powers of their own — Iris can turn insubstantial by vibrating her molecules at superspeed, and Jai can “temporarily superaccelerate the myofibrillar hypertrophism” in his muscles — in other words, he can get superstrong, but only for a few minutes at a time. And the whole family is investigating a mysterious ferry accident that seems mundane until some fairly creepy monsters make their appearance.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I was expecting to be happy with Mark Waid’s story, but Daniel Acuna’s art is a pleasant surprise. I was really worried it would be too dark, but so far, he’s able to get the proper style of light humor and drama that a mainstream comic like “The Flash” requires. Of course, this level of detail usually means the artist will have to take a few breaks, so we should expect some fill-in artists over the next few months, too.


MODOK’s 11 #2

Last issue, we were given the basic skinny: MODOK, the Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing, wanted a bunch of low-rent supervillains to rob an alien super-fortress for him. This issue, we get to see the bad guys train (and mostly fail), the much-too-overconfident Mentallo goes snooping around in the other villains’ brains, and the Chameleon reveals some unexpected secrets. And what’s MODOK really up to? You can bet it’s nothing good…

Verdict: Thumbs up. So far, we’ve got a perfect heist caper. A devious plan, a bunch of expert operatives, and a few twists, betrayals, and surprises. I hope the rest of the series can keep up with the first two issues.


B.P.R.D.: Killing Ground #1

The B.P.R.D. — the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense from the “Hellboy” comics — is back with another miniseries. We see some new changes to the team. Johann Kraus, previously just a spirit confined to a diving suit, has acquired a new body — one of the manufactured superhuman bodies that the B.P.R.D. acquired in their last adventure. Ben Daimio finds himself frustrated by his coworkers’ mistrust of his grandmother’s Nazi past. Liz Sherman is seeing more and more disturbing visions of the future. Meanwhile, an unknown enemy has gotten access to many of the Bureau’s codes and secrets, Panya the mummy takes up residence in the B.P.R.D., and a savage wendigo captured by Hellboy years ago is brought to the Bureau’s containment facility.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I always expect good things from the B.P.R.D. comics. We’re just getting re-introduced to everyone now — Johann Kraus’ reaction to having a body after so many years is pretty amusing — he now spends all his time eating and chasing women. And Ben Daimio’s reaction to everyone’s suspicions is also good. They say things are gonna start going nuts next issue, so hold on tight.

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Awright, time for some reviews. This one actually came out last week, and while it was one I was keeping an eye out for, it sneaked under my radar. But I got it now, so let’s start with this one.


MODOK’s 11

Ahhh, MODOK. Is there any villain anywhere who’s as utterly lame and yet so mind-manglingly cool at the same time. MODOK — the Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing — is a super-genius with a giant head, an awful haircut, an oversized mouth, itty-bitty limbs, and a hoverchair. He looks utterly bizarre and he tends to get his teensy butt humiliatingly kicked every time he shows up. To be honest, that’s why we comic geeks love him so.

MODOK has a purebreed pedigree, too — he was created by Marvel’s greatest superstars, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Here’s a classic picture of MODOK (probably not by Kirby himself, but definitely in his style) which is far cooler than the one on the cover of this month’s comic:


I’ve got a headache this big

So a while back, there was an issue of “Marvel Adventures: The Avengers” in which MODOK showed up and turned the Avengers into giant-headed megalomaniacs like himself. This caused many people to giggle a lot and talk about how much they loved MODOK, so Marvel decided they’d better give him a miniseries.

Most of what we get in this first issue is MODOK recruiting various villains for a big heist — he calls on a bunch of also-ran villains like Armadillo, Puma, Mentallo, Deadly Nightshade, the Living Laser, Chameleon, Spot, and a very reluctant Rocket Racer, and they all get greedy and fight each other. A bit cliched? Maybe, but these guys are not A-list supervillains, so it serves more as an introduction for a bunch of characters who many readers may never have heard of.

Verdict: Thumbs up. A slow but very promising start. I like light-hearted comics, and I like heist comics, and I’ve got my fingers crossed that this will be a wonderful fusion of the two…

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