|Publisher Marvel Comics|
Alter ego George Tarleton
Creators Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
TV show The Super Hero Squad Show
|Created by Stan Lee
Played by Tom Kenny
Fictional universe Marvel Universe
Affiliation Advanced Idea Mechanics
|Team affiliations A.I.M.
Notable aliases MODOC (Mobile Organism Designed Only for Computing)
Abilities Superhuman intellect Psionic powers Exceptional ability to calculate probabilities
First appearance Tales of Suspense #93 (cameo, September 1967), Tales of Suspense #94 (October 1967, full appearance)
Similar Taskmaster, Red Skull, Doctor Doom, Dormammu, Galactus
Supervillain origins modok
MODOK (also written as M.O.D.O.K.; acronym for Mental/Mobile/Mechanized Organism Designed Only for Killing) is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. He is a former employee of Advanced Idea Mechanics, an arms dealing organization specializing in futuristic weaponry, who undergoes substantial mutagenic medical experimentation originally designed to increase his intelligence. While successful, this experimentation results in a freakishly overdeveloped head, causing the character's signature look and use of a flying chair for mobility. After the experiments, he rebels against his masters and takes control of AIM, becoming a supervillain and antagonist for Captain America and other Marvel superheroes.
- Supervillain origins modok
- Publication history
- MODOK Superior
- Powers and abilities
- Marvel Adventures
- Ms Marvel
- Marvel MAX
- Ultimate Marvel
- Amalgam Comics
- Marvel Zombies
- Earth X
- Spider Gwen
- Video games
The character first appeared in Tales of Suspense #93 (Sept. 1967), and later made his first full appearance in Tales of Suspense #94. He was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Debuting in the Silver Age of Comic Books, MODOK has appeared in over four decades of Marvel continuity, and starred in the limited series Super-Villain Team-Up: MODOK's Eleven #1–5 (cover-dated Sept. –Dec. 2008) and a self-titled one-shot publication MODOK: Reign Delay #1 (Nov. 2009). The character has featured in other Marvel-endorsed products such as video games and animated television series and merchandise such as trading cards and toys. IGN's list of the Top 100 Comic Book Villains of All Time ranked MODOK as #100.
MODOK first appeared in the title Tales of Suspense #93–94 (Sept. –Oct. 1967), and became a recurring foe for superhero Captain America. Writer Mike Conroy stated "Inevitably, he (MODOK) returned to plague Captain America, whose physical perfection he so resented."
MODOK reappeared in Captain America #120 (Dec. 1969) and #133 (Jan. 1971). The character also featured in a storyline in Sub-Mariner #49 (May 1972), before becoming the major villain in an extended storyline in Hulk #167–169 (September – November 1973). MODOK also participated in the "War of the Supervillains" storyline in Iron Man #74–75 (May – June 1975).
MODOK has a series of encounters with heroine Ms. Marvel in Ms. Marvel #5 (May 1977); #7 (July 1977); #9 (September 1977) and #10 (October 1977). Constant battles against the Marvel heroes followed, including Iron Man Annual #4 (Dec. 1977); Marvel Team-Up #104 (April 1981) and Marvel Two-In-One #81–82 (Nov.–Dec. 1981). Following a failed bid to use fellow Hulk foe the Abomination to achieve his ends in Hulk #287–290 (Sept.–Dec. 1983), MODOK is assassinated in Captain America #313 (Jan. 1986). The character's body makes a ghoulish return in Iron Man #205 (April 1986).
During the Taking AIM storyline in Avengers #386–387 (May–June 1995); Captain America #440 (June 1995); Avengers #388 (July 1995) and Captain America #441 (July 1995), MODOK is resurrected. More typical attempts to better the character's situation followed in Iron Man Annual 1998; Defenders vol. 2 #9–10 (Nov. –Dec.r 2001); Wolverine #142–143 (Sept. – Oct. 1999); Captain America & The Falcon #9 (Jan. 2005) and Cable & Deadpool #11 (March 2005).
The character then made three humorous appearances, in Wha...Huh? #1 (September 2005); Marvel Holiday Special 2006 (Jan. 2007) and GLA-Xmas Special #1 (February 2006). After appearing briefly in mutant titles X-Men #200 (August 2007) and Uncanny X-Men #488 (Sept. 2007), MODOK was featured in Ms. Marvel vol. 2, #14–17 (June – September 2007) and appears in two limited series: Marvel 1985 #1–4 (July–Sept. 2008); #5–6 (November 2008) and Super-Villain Team-Up: MODOK's Eleven #1–5 (Sept.– Dec. 2008).
MODOK also featured in Hulk #600 (Sept.2009); Astonishing Tales vol. 2, #2 (May 2009) and the one-shot publication MODOK: Reign Delay #1 (Nov. 2009).
In 2015, MODOK featured in the Secret Wars storyline under the title "M.O.D.O.K Assassin", which tells the story of him in a fragment of Battleworld called Killville. The series is ongoing as of 2015.
George Tarleton is a technician for the organization Advanced Idea Mechanics (AIM). He was born in Bangor, Maine. Having recently created the Cosmic Cube, the AIM scientists use advanced mutagenics to alter Tarleton and create the super intelligent MODOC (acronym for Mental Organism Designed Only for Computing) to study and improve the object. MODOC, however, becomes ambitious and kills its former masters and takes control of AIM. Calling itself MODOK (Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing), it comes into conflict with the hero Captain America, who is intent on rescuing SHIELD agent Sharon Carter from AIM.
MODOK becomes a recurring foe for Captain America, battling the hero on three more occasions, with the last encounter revealing the villain's origin. MODOK also battles Namor the Sub-Mariner and Doctor Doom, who is intent on claiming the Cosmic Cube.
MODOK reappears and kidnaps Betty Ross, changing her into the mutant Harpy in a bid to destroy the Hulk. The character follows the Hulk and the Harpy to a floating aerie, where the Hulk's alter ego Bruce Banner cures Ross of her condition. MODOK and an AIM team arrive in time to kill the creature the Bi-Beast, the guardian of the aerie, but not before activating a self-destruct mechanism, forcing the characters to flee. MODOK also accepts the offer of the other-dimensional being the Black Lama and participates in the "War of the Supervillains", but fails to capture the prize when defeated by Iron Man.
AIM becomes dissatisfied with the lack of scientific advancement and MODOK's obsession with seeking revenge against metahumans, ousting him from power. MODOK attempts to regain control of the organization and prove his worth by unleashing a nerve agent on New York City, which is prevented by Ms. Marvel and the Vision. MODOK seeks revenge against Ms. Marvel, attempting to mind control the heroine and then hire assassin Deathbird to kill her; Ms. Marvel overcomes these obstacles and finally defeats MODOK.
MODOK's ambitions grow and he seeks world domination, but is thwarted by Iron Man and superhero team the Champions. After an attempt to plunder the resources of the Savage Land and a battle with the savage Ka-Zar and the Hulk, the character develops a new biological agent called Virus X. MODOK's attempts to test the agent on the homeless is prevented by the Thing, Sub-Mariner, and Captain America, although the villain escapes and the Thing almost dies when exposed to the virus.
Abandoned by AIM for these failures, the character revives long-time Hulk foe the Abomination, planning to use the monster against his superiors. The plan fails when the Abomination is revealed to be unstable, although during the course of the storyline MODOK transforms Dr. Katherine Waynesboro (an associate of Bruce Banner) into a female version of himself. Horrified by MODOK's callous disregard for life, Waynesboro demands to be restored to human form, and MODOK complies. Wishing to disassociate themselves from MODOK, AIM hires the Serpent Society to assassinate the villain, with the character being killed by Death Adder. The Serpent Society return MODOK's body to AIM, with the organization using it as a supercomputer. A rogue AIM agent remotely operates MODOK's body in a bid to destroy Iron Man, with the battle ending with the body's destruction.
Although MODOK died, AIM temporarily replaced him with his more loyal and in some ways more effective female counterpart, MODAM.
During the Taking AIM storyline, MODOK is resurrected because AIM needs MODOK to assist with the creation of another Cosmic Cube. Eventually MODOK is stranded in an alternate dimension, but manages to return with the unintended help of the Headmen. After attempting to steal a device that boosts mental power MODOK aids the villainous group the Headmen. MODOK agrees to aid them in their plans of conquest, and after taking control of AIM once again, reneges on the agreement to avoid an encounter with superhero team the Defenders. MODOK clashes with Canadian superhero team Alpha Flight before being captured by a group composed of US Naval intelligence and a drug cartel. MODOK is lobotomized and employed to infiltrate spy satellites and manipulate the stock market, but it recovers and exploits the situation until captured and taken into custody by SHIELD.
During the GLX-Mas Special, MODOK and AIM fought Dum Dum Dugan and his S.H.I.E.L.D. squad but were defeated by Squirrel Girl and her sidekick Tippy-Toe.
MODOK then seeks a sample of the cybernetic species the Phalanx, and after brief encounters with the mutant X-Men battles Ms. Marvel once again, the heroine aided by fellow Avenger Wonder Man during an elaborate scheme by renegade AIM branches to kill MODOK, one of the rogues including MODOK's long-lost son as he seeks revenge for his abandonment. Employing an elaborate scheme and double-cross, MODOK restores his personal wealth and power and establishes himself as the leader of AIM once again.
It is also revealed that MODOK was involved in the creation of the Red Hulk, and belongs to a secret organization of super-intelligent supervillains.
During the Fall of the Hulks storyline, it is revealed that MODOK is a member of Intelligencia who had a part in the creation of Red Hulk and Red She-Hulk. They captured some of the smartest men and brought about the events that would lead up to the World War Hulks storyline.
When several heroes are subjected, by the Intelligencia, to the Cathexis ray which can transfer radiant energy from one subject to another, Amadeus Cho is affected as well. Unlike the others, who become 'Hulked-Out Heroes', his mind expands and becomes so powerful he gains the ability to warp reality within a ten-foot radius. Using this power, he reverses the process that created MODOK, turning him back into George Tarleton, who knows no better than to get away as quickly as possible.
George Tarleton was taken into custody by the US military and remains confined, where Bruce Banner occasionally calls on him to help defuse the "doomsday plans" MODOK installed in the case his master plan should fail. Tarleton, however, appears to remember next to nothing of his time as MODOK and in fact seems to be either traumatized or just a simple mind.
M.O.D.O.K. was later seen in Puerto Rico attempting to create an army of genetically enhanced monkeys to eliminate the recession in A.I.M., until he was defeated by Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman and the rookie Puerto Rican hero known as Vejigante.
Unknown to everyone, the doomsday plans left behind by MODOK serve as a distraction. The plans themselves are coordinated by a 'cluster' of brains, cloned from MODOK's own, who act as one non-sentient supercomputer. This cluster is destroyed by the Red Hulk, and the doomsday plans stopped. However, one of the cloned brains, rather than being utilized as an organic computer, was allowed to develop naturally and then uploaded with MODOK's own memories. This new MODOK (apparently free from the traumas and weaknesses of the original) declares himself MODOK Superior and prepares to make his own mark on the world.
Cooperating with the Intelligencia once again, MODOK Superior and Intelligencia to study the body of a Spaceknight, which had crashed on Earth for unknown reasons. When the Avengers attempt to stop them, the body is revealed to be the latest vessel for the consciousness of Ultron. In the battle with the Avengers, MODOK Superior takes on Thor, claiming he has the power of a god - and being immediately struck down.
During the Fear Itself storyline, MODOK Superior reviews the attacks by Skadi and tells his followers that she is actually Red Skull's daughter Sin who has tapped into the powers of the Asgardians. He then views from his surveillance that Red Hulk is fighting Thing (in the form of Angrir: Breaker of Souls). When he learns that Zero/One and Black Fog are also after Red Hulk, MODOK Superior plans to get to Red Hulk first. MODOK Superior prevents Black Fog from killing Red Hulk. MODOK Superior becomes intangible to keep himself from getting attacked by Angrir (who shoots down Zero/One's Helicarrier). MODOK Superior has his encounter with Zero/One and both of them declare a truce to help fight the soldiers of the Serpent. During that time, MODOK Superior starts to develop a crush on Zero/One.
In the prologue to the Avengers vs. X-Men storyline, MODOK Superior targets an ex-A.I.M. scientist named Dr. Udaku who was being escorted to the Pentagon by Wakandan forces. Before MODOK Superior could burn Dr. Udaku, Scarlet Witch arrives and fights MODOK Superior where smaller MODOK pawns surround Scarlet Witch. In the nick of time, Ms. Marvel and Spider-Woman arrive and help to defeat MODOK Superior and A.I.M.
MODOK Superior and some rogue A.I.M. Agents joined up with S.H.I.E.L.D. in order to make a deal to take down Andrew Forson (the current leader of A.I.M.).
After a brief retirement he returned and opened up a group of assassins named after him who were paid to kill bad people. However he made the mistake of recruiting Gwenpool when she killed his top assassin and took credit for his kills. When he found she was not a superhuman and had no special training he attempted to eliminate her, but she turned on him and sent him into space with an injured eye and damaged equipment. She then took over his agency for a brief time, but when her plans defeated a group of alien arms dealers but did not get them any money (having turned the client, an old Doombot who escaped from a fight in the past with Squirrel Girl, against them) the agency was disbanded and everyone went their own way.
Powers and abilities
George Tarleton is subjected to a mutagenic process that grants him superhuman intelligence, including a computer-like memory, the ability to scour and retain large databanks of information very quickly and solve abstract mathematical problems nearly instantaneously. He also has the ability to calculate the mathematical probability of any given event occurring; an ability so strong that it borders on precognition. However, his creativity remains at average human level. As MODOK, the character also has psionic powers enabling him to mentally control both individuals and large groups, and generate force fields able to withstand minor nuclear explosions. Courtesy of AIM technology, MODOK wears a headband that enables him to focus his mental power into a devastating beam. A side effect of the mutation was the growth of Tarleton's head to the point whereby his body can no longer support the weight, necessitating the use of an exoskeleton and hoverchair. The chair is equipped with a variety of weapons including missiles and lasers. Occasionally, Tarleton had the use of a giant humanoid vehicle that was proportionally sized to his head. Tarleton's organs also wear out quickly, necessitating the use of harvested clones, whose organs are used to sustain him. As the leader of A.I.M., MODOK has advanced technology and a personal army at his disposal.
A version called "MODOC" (Mental Organism Designed Only for Conquest) appears in the title Marvel Adventures: The Avengers, briefly turning the Avengers into (superior!) versions of itself before being defeated.
Over the course of both her series, she had several interactions with AIM and MODOK; among others, she was both saved from being disincorporated by 24 embryonic MODOCs who had been outfitted with reality-altering powers when working in unison, and separated into two separate entities to fulfill her fondest wish. Also, reference was made, by AIM personnel, to actual MODOCs, who apparently really did function the way MODOK was supposed to have (namely as docile organic supercomputers).
MODOT (Mobile Organism Designed Only for Talking, formerly Nobel Prize hopeful Dimitri Smirkov) appears in the third Howard the Duck limited series, and unlike predecessor MODOK can walk without the aid of a hover chair. He had no designs of world conquest, but instead was only interested in making money; this may be because the branch of A.I.M. that created him did so specifically so he could talk the head office into increasing their budget. He ended up practically ruling the airwaves, influencing millions of viewers through a hundred android hosts, anchormen and reporters, all controlled directly by him.
Iron Man has an encounter with MODOG (Mobile Organism Designed Only for Genocide) in the second volume of The Invincible Iron Man. Iron Man dispatches him with ease, dumping him in outer space.
The limited series U.S War Machine, published under the mature-audience Marvel MAX imprint, showcases another version of MODOK salvaged by SHIELD when it is discarded by AIM, apparently a victim of racial prejudice.
The Ultimate Marvel version of the character features in the title Ultimate Vision, experimenting with a Gah Lak Tus probe on an AIM space station. Although he starts the story as the amoral genius cyborg George Tarleton, after he is infected by Gah Lak Tus, he is eventually reduced to a disembodied head.
Another version of MODOK appeared in Ultimate Armor Wars #2, when the devious Dr. Faustus revealed he, too, was a cyborg, and harbored a tiny MODOK inside his hollow head.
At least four versions of MODOK, apparently based around Elvis Presley, were created by the Beyond Corporation© to defend their secret weapons factory, State 51. They were defeated by the Nextwave Squad. Their principal mode of attack seemed to involve shooting cheeseburgers at their target.
The following issue revealed that the Beyond Corporation was being run by a disguised infant MODOK, apparently conceived by a MODOK and MODAM. This MODOK escapes the Nextwave Squad, but it is subsequently killed by its master, Devil Dinosaur.
A version of the character features in a one shot title as part of the Amalgam Comics line, which is a sequel to the Marvel vs. DC series. MODOK is merged with DC Comics character Hector Hammond to form H.E.C.T.O.R., the Highly Evolved Creature Totally Oriented for Revenge.
An alternate version of MODOK is seen being eaten by zombified versions of She-Hulk and Hawkeye. Later, it is discovered that this universe's Ash had watched MODOK be devoured.
An alternate version of MODOK appeared in Earth X. In recent history, M.O.D.O.K, like every other telepath on the planet, was killed when the Skull's powers first manifested. M.O.D.O.K.'s hover chair, ironically, was later recovered by the Skull's army and the Skull used it as his personal throne.
A Dazzler-centered story, "Disco Highway", in the fourth issue of the mini-series "X-Men: Serve and Protect", released in February 2011, features a character named MODORD, the Mental Organism Designed Only for Roller Derby.
In the pages of Spider-Gwen that is taking place on Earth-65, Captain America fights against M.O.D.A.A.K., the Mental Organism Designed As America's King. The author based this character on American then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.