THE EVOLUTION OF MODOK PART SIX: The 2000s Brings All The MODOK variants!

In the 2000’s we got lots of versions of MODOK. I’ve already done a top 10 for these, which you can find here.

So, the ’90s were bad for MODOK. To be fair, they were bad for just about everyone. But then the 2000s came along, and things got better. After they briefly got worse in Citizen V and the V-Battalion (2001).  Never heard of it?  It was a Thunderbolts spin-off book.  And the art was terrible.


In 2003, Marvel got Jim Starlin to write another cosmic Thanos masterpiece.  I’ve written extensively about the mad Titan, I won’t belabor the point.


What point?” you ask? The one we’re honing in on right now…


MODOK was there!


From this single appearance in 2003, we move along to MODOK helping to launch one of the best comic series of the double-zeros.


Dan Slott’s She-Hulk was one of the best comics of the 2000s.  You’d think it was difficult to make She-Hulk worthy of a solo book, but quite a few creators have had great runs with her.  Her first run, by Stan Lee, was terrible.  Then we had John Byrne’s famous run, which was largely good but got tired at the end. Then the 00s run by Dan Slott, which was great, and Charles Soule’s fantastic book of 2014.  She-Hulk keeps getting better.

And MODOK was there to launch her first issue in 2004!


After that , he was part of the short-lived Captain America and the Falcon book by Priest (formerly Jim Owsley).  The book wasn’t his best work, but in #12 Priest delivered a brain-broken MODOK that got punched in the head by Hulk.  So that almost made the entire series worth having. (Actually, lots of people thought it was a good comic but for me it was just meh.)

Anyway, what can MODOK do now that he’s been given a lobotomy by the U.S. Navy and then captured by SHIELD?  (Yes, that’s really what happened.)  I know!  We can forget it ever happened!  His very next appearance was in Cable & Deadpool #11 (March 2005), where he’s back with AIM and all’s well.

This spawned a series of humorous MODOK appearances, which may (or may not) have also been canon, including the above panel from Cable and Deadpool #11, by one of my least favorite writers, Fabian Nicieza.  Actually, to be totally honest, this appearance was in 2005 so it predated Jeff Parker’s kids’ book appearance, but why let the truth get in the way of a good story.


In the years 2005-2007 we also saw MODOK appear in the Great Lakes Avengers book GLX-Mas Special #1, where he lashed out with the classic retort, “Pitiful mini-brains!  Cower before me!”  In 2006, MODOK appeared in the all-ages book Marvel Adventures #9, and had his greatest victory: Remaking the entire Avengers team into his own image!

But the ultimate funny MODOK appearance came in Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen’s classic book NEXTwave (which I’ve featured on this site extensively), in which he appeared in the famous widescreen issue in the form of Elvis…

In the late aughties, we experienced a renaissance of MODOK. For one thing, he got his own book: Super-Villain Team-Up: MODOK’s 11, by Fred Van Lente and Francis Portella, in which he led a team consisting of, among others, The Armadillo, Deadly Nightshade, Chameleon, Puma, and Rocket Racer, in a campaign to get revenge on his ex-girlfriend.

In addition to getting his own book, he was the main villain in the 2007 attempt to revive Howard the Duck. Howard got a four-issue miniseries at the end of 2007 by Ty Templeton and Juan Bobillo. It didn’t suck, but it wasn’t great, either.


But the Duck appearances were notable as the first appearance of MODOT: Mental Organism Designed Only for Talking. The ‘DOK also appeared in 2007 issues of Ms. Marvel, Marvel Zombies vs. Army of Darkness, and the X-Men. This continued in 2008 and 2009, which saw him in no less than fourteen(!!) books.  

Now, let’s close out the 00s.


First, pictured above, Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca brought us MODOG (Mobile Organism Designed Only for Genocide) in their brilliant reboot of Iron Man (“The Invincible Iron Man”).  He was not a formidable foe, but it was cool to see yet another acronym.  MODOK has reinvented himself more often than Hank Pym!

Mark Millar had a go at MODOK in the silent issue of his alternate reality series 1985, which, if you haven’t read, you really should.  It’s a great book.  With Mark Millar you either get something really cool or complete crap.  He’s nothing if not extreme. 


MODOK was a title character again in “Dark Reign: MODOK: Reign Delay.”  He was hungry.  Demanded pancakes.  Awesome. 

Couple that appearance with appearances in Ed Brubaker’s fiftieth issue of Captain America, The Incredible Hulk #600, and Wolverine #73 (among other appearances), and MODOK was almost ubiquitous.  Almost overplayed, even. 


But nothing tops his appearances in the anthologies Strange Tales #1 and Strange Tales II #2, by Nick Bertozzi (above) and Jon Vermilyer (below).


MODOK picking his nose.  Classic!

Strange Tales were titles in which Marvel let some indie/underground creators play with the Marvel toys and do whatever they wanted.  Truly great books.

Next: The 2010s and MODOK vs Red Hulk!

Leave a Comment