The Mechanized Organism Designed Only for Killing, better known as M.O.D.O.K., is one of the more quirky antagonists in Marvel comics. Given this fact, plus the addition of the short-lived Hulu series, it didn’t seem as though the character would make it into the Marvel Cinematic Universe anytime soon. However, with the release of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, M.O.D.O.K. is officially part of the MCU. Do not read any further if you wish to avoid spoilers for Quantumania.
M.O.D.O.K. is George Tarleton in the comics and was created by Advanced Idea Mechanics (AIM). However, despite AIM existing in the MCU (featured prominently in Iron Man 3), M.O.D.O.K. has a completely new origin. He is Darren Cross, aka Yellowjacket from the first Ant-Man film, lost in the Quantum Realm after going toe-to-toe with Scott Lang. Kang rebuilt him, and gave Darren the MCU equivalent of the Doomsday Chair, creating M.O.D.O.K.
While M.O.D.O.K. is Kang’s “hunter” in the film, attacking a refugee camp and capturing Scott and Cassie Lang, Kang clearly looks down on him. It’s evident throughout the film that Darren has some self-confidence issues, and perhaps even suffers from mental illness. However, he gains a moment of clarity after a brief heart-to-heart with Cassie and decides to turn against his creator at a pivotal moment.
Breaching Kang’s defenses, M.O.D.O.K. manages to turn the tide of battle but is mortally wounded in the process. After a moment of reverence between M.O.D.O.K. and the Ant family, the character seemingly passes away. The question on everyone’s mind is, did M.O.D.O.K. actually die in Quantumania?
It’s safe to say that yes, M.O.D.O.K. did actually die. However, that doesn’t mean this is the last we’ve seen of the character. We have a couple of theories as to how M.O.D.O.K. can make a triumphant return.
In the comics, George Tarleton’s brain was copied. This copy was placed into a new body, but the resulting M.O.D.O.K. had a different personality and objective in life. Therefore, he altered his name to M.O.D.O.K. Superior. Given how Kang rebuilt Darren in Quantumania, and how the villain looked down on M.O.D.O.K., it’s entirely plausible that he made a copy of Darren’s brain during the rebuilding process. It’s even possible Kang already created M.O.D.O.K. Superior, potentially lacking confidence in the original.
The revelation of M.O.D.O.K. Superior existing still begs the question of how the new creation would make it out of the Quantum Realm. Once Kang obtained the Multiversal Engine Core to power his Time Chair, it’s possible that off-screen he may have sent M.O.D.O.K. Superior ahead to make preparations for Kang’s impending conquest of the multiverse. Whatever the case may be, it wouldn’t be difficult for a writer to get M.O.D.O.K. Superior out of the Quantum Realm in time for his next MCU appearance.
The Original M.O.D.O.K.
It’s also possible that the original M.O.D.O.K. gets revived. In the comics, M.O.D.O.K. dies at the hands of AIM. However, it’s later determined that AIM needs M.O.D.O.K. to solve a big problem, so they use the Cosmic Cube (which isn’t an Infinity Stone in the comics) to bring him back to life.
While it’s unlikely M.O.D.O.K. is revived with the Cosmic Cube in the MCU, it’s not out of the question for the inhabitants of the Quantum Realm to give him life again. We saw a wide variety of characters with all kinds of abilities in Quantumania, so to think one could potentially revive M.O.D.O.K. isn’t all that far-fetched.
The problem with reviving M.O.D.O.K. as he was at the end of Quantumania is that he would be a good guy. M.O.D.O.K. generally works best as an antagonist, which is why the M.O.D.O.K. Superior theory would be the best bet. That would allow M.O.D.O.K. to have a completely different personality, being more sinister and closer to his comic portrayal, instead of being tied to the Ant-Man series with baggage from Darren Cross.
In the comics, M.O.D.O.K. is closely tied to both AIM and Intelligencia, which already exist in the MCU. In fact, Intelligencia in the comics is led by M.O.D.O.K. and M.O.D.O.K. Superior at different points, with The Leader, Doctor Doom, and others as prominent members of the group.
Intelligencia was very different in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, but all signs point to Hulk and She-Hulk next appearing in Captain America: New World Order, where The Leader is already confirmed to be returning. With this in mind, it’s possible The Leader was behind the shenanigans of Intelligencia all along, which would make an easy connection for M.O.D.O.K. Superior to join the group, and even take control of it as he did to AIM a number of times in the comics.
That’s all speculation on our part, but the fact remains that bringing M.O.D.O.K. back would be a relatively easy task. With the multiverse, it’s as simple as having a M.O.D.O.K. variant, or a variant of M.O.D.O.K. Superior show up down the road for Avengers: The Kang Dynasty or potentially even Avengers: Secret Wars. There are quite a few possibilities for M.O.D.O.K. to return, so while this could be a one and done (two and done?), don’t be surprised to see M.O.D.O.K. show up again in the MCU.
If M.O.D.O.K. returns, would you prefer to see him as a protagonist to help the Ant family against the Council of Kangs, or should Marvel give us M.O.D.O.K. Superior as a sinister new villain? Let us know your thoughts in the comments, or on Twitter @ThatHashTagShow.
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