With Marvel owned by Disney, many of its characters have been stars of animated shows, mostly on the Disney Channel, but the new Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. on Hulu isn’t like those other shows…it’s target audience is older teens and adults.
M.O.D.O.K. (short for Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing) was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and first appeared in Tales of Suspense #93–94 (September–October 1967). He is a giant-headed genius whose computer-like cranium is so packed with evil plans to destroy the world, he can only travel via hoverchair.
Created by Jordan Blum (American Dad) and comedian Patton Oswalt (who also voices the title role), Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. finds its villain right in the middle of a midlife crisis.
His evil empire, called A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics), has gone bankrupt after countless attempts at world domination, and is bought out by tech bro Austin Van Der Sleet (Beck Bennett) and his trendy tech company GRUMBL.
Homelife is also not working out, as his author/blogger wife Jodie (Aimee Garcia) has kicked him out of the house. His daughter Melissa (Melissa Fumero) takes after dad, both in needing a hovercraft to get around and creating evil plans, while his son Lou (Ben Schwartz) takes after mom, but with tons of teen angst.
Over the course of the 10 half-hour episode first season, the more M.O.D.O.K. tries to get A.I.M. back, take over the world, and get his family back, the worse he makes all three. Of course, he doesn’t realize he’s his own worst enemy.
Visually, the show really stands out. Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. utilizes stop-motion animation by Stoopid Buddy Stoodios that is so good, it almost seems computer-generated.
But the tone of the show is really what make the series stand out, as it’s not the usual family-friendly content Marvel favors for its animated shows. There’s mild profanity and gore (including blood), so it’s definitely not for young kids.
Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. streams on Hulu starting May 21, and it’s a quirky, silly, irreverent, and sometimes crass, animated Marvel show that feels like “Robot Chicken” meets “Pinky & The Brain.” I’m giving it a 3.5 out of 5.
MARVEL’S M.O.D.O.K. (2021)
Cast: Patton Oswalt, Aimee Garcia, Ben Schwartz, Melissa Fumero, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Beck Bennett, Jon Daly, Sam Richardson, Jon Hamm, Nathan Fillion, Whoopi Goldberg
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