MODOK’s role in Marvel’s Secret Avengers pushed him in a surprising new direction and provided readers with a thorough exploration of his character.
MODOK is such a fun concept for a character — his lively energy and outlandish design make him perfectly suited for the comic book industry. And he certainly didn’t disappoint in Secret Avengers (by Ales Kot, Michael Walsh and Matthew Wilson), where he proved that he’s come a long way from his roots as the head of A.I.M.
Secret Avengers was a highly underrated run with its self-aware humor and focus on characters who don’t usually appear in the spotlight. MODOK was a particular delight to follow over the course of the series. He worked closely with S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Maria Hill in exchange for immunity, providing gadgets for the Secret Avengers to use on field missions. The creative team made great use of MODOK, demonstrating that there are many different sides to his character.
The Complexity of MODOK in Secret Avengers
Secret Avengers brilliantly distilled the “mad scientist” aspect of MODOK, as his gigantic ego was on full display in those early issues. He clearly lacked any regard for others, often shown belittling his scientific subordinates and verbally sparring with Maria Hill. It also seemed as if he had an ulterior motive for everything he was doing, making him dangerously unpredictable. So although he was supposed to be working alongside S.H.I.E.L.D., MODOK still seemed like his usual self.
But as Secret Avengers progressed, the series began to really peel back the layers of MODOK’s character, revealing his hidden vulnerability. Readers first got a glimpse of this partway through the series, in a tender moment that painted him as a deeply tragic figure, subject to A.I.M.’s negative influence all his life, unable to form any kind of attachments. This scene flawlessly exemplified what the Secret Avengers creators set out to do with MODOK, proving that he’s far from being a goofy, one-note character.
Secret Avengers Took MODOK on an Ambitious Personal Journey
MODOK was given a nice redemption arc in Secret Avengers, as he underwent a personal reawakening. At long last, he broke away from A.I.M.’s programming to embrace his path as an Avenger. It was satisfying to see the former criminal mastermind use his remarkable intellect to do good rather than indulge his own selfish desires. As the series reached its culmination, MODOK learned to open his heart, helping his teammates and even falling in love.
Ultimately, MODOK went through an astonishing amount of character growth in Secret Avengers. Aligning the long-time villain with a covert branch of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes was a bold move, but one which absolutely paid off. By placing him in this radically different status quo, the creative team was able to present an incredibly unique exploration of his character. With MODOK set to appear in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, this Secret Avengers run will undoubtedly be of interest to those looking for a series that encapsulates what makes him such a good character.