Hulu’s M.O.D.O.K series is getting a lot of eyes on this classic Marvel foe. M.O.D.O.K, aka the Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing, is a classic antagonist that has tangled with half of the Marvel Universe, and he’s even been spotlighted in the recent Avengers game. His visual design is so distinct and bizarre that it’s no wonder that he’s stuck around after all this time.
M.O.D.O.K. was created in October of 1967, so he’s been around a long time. That means there’s a lot of history behind the character, and much of it is locked in the heads of longtime Marvel Comics readers. What things about M.O.D.O.K do only comic fans know?
10 He Was Originally A Captain America Villain
M.O.D.O.K., aka George Tarleton, was originally a Captain America villain, first appearing in Tales of Suspense issue 94. He was the leader of A.I.M, aka Advanced Idea Mechanics, who, in this issue, brought Captain America and Agent 13 (Sharon Carter) before their leader.
However, it’s revealed that A.I.M. pretty much had become slaves to the immensely powerful and violent M.O.D.O.K, and they took this distraction as an opportunity to try and kill Tarleton. The A.I.M. agents manage to badly wound M.O.D.O.K, but they are taken down by Cap and Sharon Carter. M.O.D.O.K appears to die when the base explodes, but Tarleton appearing to be dead but not really being dead is something of a theme for this character.
9 He Almost Worked With The X-Men
After the Avengers Disassembled story and the ensuing in-universe event known as “M-Day,” much of Earth’s mutant population lost their powers. This is because of a spell cast by the Scarlet Witch in a moment of desperation and mental fragility caused by the manipulation from her brother, Quicksilver, and possible father, Magneto.
Later, Beast of the X-Men began reaching out to the biggest brains on the planet to try and come up with a way of reversing the effects of M-Day. Among those geniuses was M.O.D.O.K. However, like many of the individuals Beast contacted, M.O.D.O.K. turned Beast down.
8 He Once Was Part Of A Team Of Mad Scientist Villains
At one point, several of the biggest brains in Marvel villainy joined up for a common cause. This was a team that was retconned into Marvel history, but their first “present” story involved this team, the Intelligencia, teaming up to deal with the Hulk problem. This team consisted of the Leader, M.O.D.O.K, Doctor Doom, Red Ghost, the Wizard, the Mad Thinker, and Egghead. Their plan for the Hulk was vast and devastating, but it did, of course, ultimately fail.
Some of the members later reformed in a couple of different iterations, adding the Klaw (who was actually the Chameleon in disguise) and the Trapster to the team. However, these groups were far less impressive and successful.
7 He Scares Even Doctor Doom
An interesting fact revealed with the original unveiling of the Intelligencia was that M.O.D.O.K. even scares the likes of Doctor Doom, one of the most famous and powerful supervillains in comic book history.
This was revealed by the Leader, who was narrating the comic in which the background of the Intelligencia was revealed. When M.O.D.O.K announced himself to the rest of the Intelligencia, Doctor Doom, contacted through a video call, visibly flinched.
6 He Helped Create The Red Hulk
The biggest feat of the Intelligencia in its original formation was the creation of several Gamma-powered characters, most notably the Red Hulk.
This was part of a scheme to beat the Hulk with equally powerful life forms while also trying to take over the world (of course). The Intelligencia got into contact with famous Hulk-hater General Thunderbolt Ross and transformed him into the Red Hulk. They also transformed Ross’s daughter and Bruce Banner’s ex-wife, Betty Ross, into the Red She-Hulk and Banner’s best friend, Rick Jones, into monstrous A-Bomb.
5 He Wasn’t Always A Genius
Before becoming M.O.D.O.K., George Tarleton was just a run-of-the-mill A.I.M. technician. He was bright, but he wasn’t a genius. In fact, it was the process of becoming M.O.D.O.K. that made Tarleton into the immense genius that he is – or was, rather.
Tarleton has since returned to his normal human form thanks to the help of Amadeus Cho. He has since been giving the US government information about A.I.M’s activities and is in the process of reformation.
4 He’s Not The Only One Of His Kind
This would be the end of this character’s story, but there isn’t just one M.O.D.O.K. For one, there were a series of M.O.D.O.K. drones used by the Red Skull to attack Washington DC and the Avengers. There are also a series of M.O.D.O.K. variations that have been created such as M.O.D.A.M, M.O.D.O.T, M.O.G.O.Ds, M.O.D.O.G. M.O.R.D.OC, and M.O.D.O.R.D. There was also an amalgamated version of M.O.D.O.K. and A.I.M. supreme scientist Monica Rappaccini called M.O.N.I.C.A that briefly existed during the Infinity Wars story.
The most relevant M.O.D.O.K. copy, however, is M.O.D.O.K Supreme, or just M.O.D.O.K. It is a clone of the original M.O.D.O.K, George Tarleton, and was activated after the original villain was transformed back into Tarleton. It’s been carrying on the M.O.D.O.K legacy and wreaking havoc across the Marvel Universe since then.
One of the more peculiar and memorable actions of M.O.D.O.K Supreme was the attempted infiltration of the West Coast Avengers as B.R.O.D.O.K, aka the Bio-Robotic Organism Designed Overwhelmingly for Kissing. In this form, M.O.D.O.K transformed himself into a handsome California boy with a slightly large head.
The West Coast Avengers knew this was just a painfully obvious ploy by M.O.D.O.K, but the team entertained him until he revealed himself so they could stop whatever he had brewing.
2 He Has A Mohawk Now
In some of his most recent appearance, M.O.D.O.K. Supreme has given himself a green mohawk, which is weirdly fitting for this big-headed supervillain.
There’s not much to dive into with this one; it’s just something to marvel at.
1 He Helped Create Maestro
In an alternate future, the Earth dies in nuclear fire. In this timeline, M.O.D.O.K. and A.I.M. manage to capture the Hulk and hold him in stasis for decades. When the Hulk awakens, he’s not happy about being held prisoner but is aware it’s the only way he was able to survive armageddon.
After investigating what remains of the world, the Hulk decides he could run things better than puny humans. He met Hercules, who was ruling the city Dystopia as “the Maestro.” Hulk deposed Hercules and became the new Maestro. Later, Maestro used the weapons of the hyper-advanced superhuman society known as the Pantheon to kill M.O.D.O.K and what remained of A.I.M.