It’s tough being a supervillain that’s basically a giant head with arms and legs sticking out. No one takes you seriously, so you’ve gotta work even harder to instill fear in the hearts of the populace. Marvel’s MODOK is under a lot of stress, and to make matters worse, the coffee machine at his supervillain lair is busted.
But there’s another side to MODOK barely anyone sees. He’s a family man…well, only partially now. His wife just divorced him and has entered a relationship with Wonder Man (voiced by Nathan Fillion in a reprisal from his Guardians of the Galaxy appearance). This leaves MODOK alone to raise their two kids — one a normally proportioned human and the other a big-head type like MODOK.
It’s an unusual offering from Marvel at this point in time, an outright mockery of the MCU at an age when they’re spending a ton of cash to make their TV productions seamless from the movies, and wholly respectable. It’s the last surviving project from Marvel’s 2010-era strategy for TV, which was to make shows, lightly connect them to the MCU but let them do their own thing.
That strategy produced Agents of SHIELD and a few gritty Marvel action-drama shows, but the last project before the company shifted was a string of animated programs for Hulu starring outlier characters like Howard the Duck. They were to eventually meet and fight in a crossover called “The Offenders,” riffing on the crossover for all the gritty Netflix shows.
But two things happened: one, The Defenders didn’t work out very well and isn’t remembered today…two, Kevin Feige gained control of all Marvel television in addition to the movies, and he went to work greenlighting things like Wandavision and cancelling the Hulu comedies.
Except for MODOK. For some reason, MODOK survived, and here it is.
Could it be good? There’s potential in it. Patton Oswalt as a supervillain is such inspired casting that we’re surprised no one’s done it before. And the show turns out to be stop-motion animation, which adds another layer to the jokes. Based on this trailer, we’re optimistic.
Marvel’s MODOK takes over Hulu May 21.