With Marvel's M.O.D.O.K. now streaming on Hulu, we suggest the 5 best comics to maintain your villain high.
Do you feel that? That little rumble that occurred last night? The pop culture landscape has shifted once more. Hulu's M.O.D.O.K. series has arrived, and it represents a bold new direction for Marvel Entertainment.
The half-hour comedy show is filled with some incredible comic book deep cuts and features one of Marvel's strangest oddities as its lead. If you had told any comic book fan twenty years ago that there would be a MODOK television series, they would have called you crazy. Well, boo on them, and yay for us.
Hulu's M.O.D.O.K. is a major shift in the style and tone we've come to expect from superhero movies, especially Marvel superhero movies. Created by Jordan Blum and star Patton Oswalt, the first season digs into the domestic bliss behind the A.I.M. madman. It mines great heaps of comedy from its concept but never comes off as cloying or mocking. Instead, this show loves the comics it spawned from, and it's a feast for those who've devoted themselves to the sequential stories. Better yet, it's a great excuse for the uninitiated to explore MODOK's world.
Whether you've watched one episode or the whole season, you're going to come away curious about our main-man M.O.D.O.K. Don't worry, we've got you covered. What you'll find below are our Top 5 favorite comic book storylines relating to M.O.D.O.K., or relating to the energy of the Hulu show.
M.O.D.O.K.: Head Games
The Head Games mini-series is where you'll want to start first. It's written by both Blum and Oswalt, and while it doesn't really behave or act like the Hulu series, it is still injected with their wit, humor, and charm. Head Games is very much a Marvel comic book, and it operates like other Marvel tales, which the Hulu series does not. The Hulu show is a touch more self-aware and self-referential, but don't get hung up on what Head Games is not. Focus on what Head Games most definitely is, and that's rockin' and rad.
The basic premise is that M.O.D.O.K. begins to stray from his A.I.M. duties after memories of a family he never knew he had surface in his back matter. Who are these people? Where are these people? M.O.D.O.K. must know, and his quest for truth offers certain miscreants the opportunity to push him out.
Scott Hepburn's pencils offer a perfect insight into M.O.D.O.K.'s diabolically strange perspective. Each page-turn brings something gnarly and wicked to gawk. The series recently wrapped, but the trade paperback hits shelves on July 6th.
Fantastic Four in ¡Ataque del M.O.D.O.K.!
No one really talks about the Fantastic Four collection, Island of Death. It's a darn shame. Not only is it a fabulous celebration of Puerto Rico, its culture, and mythology, but it features a riveting encounter with our most unfriendly MODOK. Written by Tom Beland and illustrated by Juan Doe, Fantastic Four in ¡Ataque del M.O.D.O.K.! features Sue Storm and Reed Richards vacationing in Puerto Rico and having a devil of a time securing some alone space. But, you know Reed; he has to go snooping wherever he travels. And where does that land him? Into M.O.D.O.K.'s lab fighting a bunch of rage-infected monkeys! Well, it's not exactly 28 Days Later, but close.
We first read this comic as we were researching our current Fantastic Four series for the podcast. It struck our hearts immediately, and for a while, was a serious contender for coverage. But, alas, we went in another direction.
Doe's art style has a flowing, cartoony feel. The colors pop, and the creature-work is top-notch. You'll be craving a proper FF cartoon after reading this one. After so many wretched cinematic adaptations, we deserve one of those, right?
Secret Avengers (Volume 3)
This criminally underrated series is a must-read for MODOK maniacs. It ran only 15 issues, but every one of them is golden. Written by Ales Kot and illustrated by Michael Walsh, the comic sees Nick Fury's kid, Agent Coulson, and Maria Hill gather a clandestine squad to do Marvel's black ops dirty work.
Who's on the team? A badass roster including Black Widow, Hawkeye, Deadpool, Spider-Woman, and M.O.D.O.K.. Uh, that last guy causes some problems and falls head over heels for a certain S.H.I.E.L.D. soldier. We won't say who here, but just know that their relationship will be covered on the podcast someday.
P.S. Special bonus points for the ultra groovy covers provided by the utterly, insanely talented Tradd Moore.
Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E
Okay, so M.O.D.O.K. barely makes an appearance in this series. However, during one incredible splash page, our heroes tear through a squad of M.O.D.O.K. Elvis lookalikes. It's just one of many, many, many absurd encounters in Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E.
Written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by Stuart Immonen, this comic jabs all the same funny bones as the Hulu series. So, while this story won't pick up any of the threads or ideas you see in the show, it does share a similar sense of mischievous glee. It's the kind of comic that if you pick up the first issue and connect with it, then you'll blitz through the rest. If you don't, well, don't bother. But we would be incredibly shocked if you didn't dig this after having enjoyed the Hulu saga.
West Coast Avengers (Volume 3)
Keeping to the spirit of the M.O.D.O.K. Hulu series, we close out our recommendations with West Coast Avengers. M.O.D.O.K. is not a huge influence here, but his hunky clone B.R.O.D.O.K. (Bio-robotic Organism Designed Overwhelmingly for Kissing) is a major force to be reckoned with. This comic is a total lark, but within its rampant cheerfulness hides some powerful character development. If you're a Kate Bishop fan or curious about her, this is another place to revel in her awesomeness.
Written by Kelly Thompson and illustrated by Stefano Caselli, West Coast Avengers is a rollicking ride that features the two Hawkeyes (Kate and Clint) struggling to control their team (including America Chavez, Fuse, Kid Omega, and Gwenpool) and save the world. And doing so from the sunny West Coast shore, far away from the more popular spandex types in New York City. Do we need to say more? We had you at B.R.O.D.O.K., right? Yep, for sure.