Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K: personification of 'big brain time'
A glance at the iconic rogue gallery of Marvel's top villains and you will come across the name of M.O.D.O.K, the iconic villain with an enormously oversized brain with tiny limbs floating on a machine. The most accurate personification of the term "big brain time". In the comics and past animated series and games, the character of M.O.D.O.K has played the role of terrifying arch-rival to the likes of Iron Man, Captain America, and the Avengers. Never before has the character received a series focusing solely on itself.
A Hulu original and Marvel's first animated comedy series, M.O.D.O.K crafts a deeply original series about the villain moving away from its rather gory origin series as reflected in the comics. The series showcases a light-hearted take on the villain, voiced by Patton Oswalt, who juggles between the duties of a super-villain hellbent on taking over the world, and a family man struggling to be a good husband and father to his wife and children, all of whom seem to be on ambivalent terms with him. Along with Oswalt, the show includes a stellar cast from the likes of Jon Hamm as Iron Man, Nathan Fillion as Wonder Man, and Ben Schwartz as M.O.D.O.K's overly annoying carefree son, Lou.
The animation resembles that of Robot Chicken and is saturated with humorous one-liners, pop culture references to Marvel and non-Marvel properties, and gags all over the place. The series starts with the iconic villain's life being turned upside down as his company, A.I.M, gets taken over by a shady scarf-wearing businessman, Austin, voiced by Beck Bennet of SNL fame. On top of losing his business, the supervillain has to deal with an impending divorce, his children's expectations, and wrestling with his legacy which constantly seems to be thwarted by his overconfidence and bad relationships. Filled with light-hearted moments in almost every episode, this might be the most humanized villain that we have seen from the comics canon in a while.
The humour and story-telling evolve with each episode humanizing the villain and with Patton Oswalt voicing M.O.D.O.K, the fun never skips a beat. From time travelling to mend relationships with his wife to attend his son's Bar Mitzvah to being ejected from the top tier villain's club, the series is imbued with hilarious attention to detail and numerous easter eggs that the viewer would not miss.
A 10 episode series, M.O.D.O.K might be Marvel's funniest entry into the world of comedy and with excellent animation sequences, well-timed scenes, and a hilarious screenplay, it might as well have done the trick. Each of the characters gets a good time for character development as M.O.D.O.K navigates the murky terrains of relationships as he tries to balance his duties side by side harbouring plans to defeat his arch-nemesis, Iron Man and take over his company. Featuring villains, heroes, and notable places from the MCU, the series does a great job of parodying the MCU universe.