Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. has some big shoes to fill in. You’ve had WandaVision and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier this year, with more shows coming out later. M.O.D.O.K. is a bit strange for the superhero/villain genre. It’s a comedy in the vein of Robot Chicken or Big Mouth, but it doesn’t go as all out as those two shows do. You’re not going to be horrified or cringed out like watching Big Mouth, but you aren’t going to want to show this to your kids either. If you have some mature kids that can handle some language, then sure, go for it. They’ll think it’s just as hilarious as you will.
If you compare M.O.D.O.K. to those other shows though, you can actually see some parallels. It comes from Jordan Blum, Patton Oswalt, and features an all-star voice cast. Oswalt voices the titular M.O.D.O.K. (Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing), Melissa Fumero voices his daughter Melissa, Aimee Garcia voices his wife Jodie, Ben Schwartz voices his son Lou, Wendi McLendon-Covey does his rival at work Monica, Beck Bennett does the hot-shot that buys A.I.M. Austin Van Der Sleet, in addition to guest spots from Jon Daly, Nathan Fillion, Bill Hader, Whoopi Goldberg, Jon Hamm, and others.
The origin story of M.O.D.O.K. in the comics is gone, and replaced by this new one. He’s a family man, that also runs A.I.M., just not well. His life gets upended when his company is bought out by a hipster millennial (Austin Van Der Sleet) and his wife divorces him. But without going into spoilers, let’s take a deeper look into what makes M.O.D.O.K. so great.
Rapid-Fire Laughs Every Episode
This isn’t an exaggeration, all the episodes are directed by Eric Towner and Alex Kramer, who come from Robot Chicken. The season doesn’t really follow a set path, and you can watch a couple episodes here and then wait. The only real narrative progression comes in the final three episodes. Each episode is a pretty self-contained story. My favorite of the bunch was the fourth episode, “If Saturday Be… For The Boys!”. It’s all about the actions of a group of D-list supervillains from Marvel’s past that help M.O.D.O.K. steal something from S.H.I.E.L.D. that he needs.
Patton Oswalt was seemingly destined to voice this character. He’s so fantastic in the role, that if Marvel ever brings it to the MCU, he would be the only choice. Not only does Oswalt give M.O.D.O.K. his patented villain-ish charm, he adds a touch of humanity to the character. In the sad and emotional scenes of the show, you really feel it in his voice. Through the entire 10-episode, you run through all his character work, and it’s a great metamorphosis that he goes through, even with all the silliness and laughs along the way.
The show never loses sight of that character development like other comedic animated shows might. The other characters on the show grow and change, even if they’re only on for one or two episodes. His family is well voiced, with Aimee Garcia particularly sticking out as Jodie. Her character is what drives most of the change and humanity for M.O.D.O.K..
This Show Will Test Even The Biggest Marvel Fan With Its Cameos And Backgrounds
Every shot of this show seems like it has some sort of Easter Egg in the background. For superfans of Marvel Comics, you’ll be right at home with this show. It’s likely going to warrant second and third viewings because of what the creators and animators put in the background. Some of the nods to the movies and comics are on the nose, but this is one for the fans of the character.
Each episode seems to get better as it goes along, culminating in a time-bending finale that leaves on a cliffhanger for a (hopeful) second season. You get it all with M.O.D.O.K., a family piece, Marvel comics, tons of laughs, and surprisingly good action when it happens.
There isn’t a bad episode among the bunch, you’d be remiss as a Marvel fan, or just a fan of media in general to miss out on this one. You can check out M.O.D.O.K. Hulu this Friday, May 21st, 2021.
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