Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. on Hulu: A classic 1960’s evil villain battles modern family issues
The latest Marvel Comics television series “M.O.D.O.K” launches on May 21, with all 10 episodes immediately available on Hulu. This instantly creates the following question to a large majority of the viewing public: what the heck is a ‘Modok’?
The character/creature/villain M.O.D.O.K. was created from the imaginative minds of the two titans of 1960’s era Marvel Comics: Stan Lee, writer and editor, and Jack Kirby, creative genius and artist.
During the Captain America series of stories published in the comic book series Tales of Suspense, Steve Rogers/Captain America was often paired with Nick Fury, Agent of Shield, fighting all sorts of nefarious criminals and masterminds, in defense of the United States and it’s citizens. One group of evil combatants often appearing in these stories was the radical super-group, Advanced Idea Mechanics (A.I.M.).
AIM, originally touting themselves as a group of scientists dedicated to helping mankind, instead were bent on assuming global domination via their technological achievements and weapons. Eventually, one of their creations would gain so much power he would become the undisputed ruler of AIM.
M.O.D.O.K. is truly a classic, and absolutely bonkers, super-villain of the late 60’s era of Marvel Comics.
Credit: Marvel Comics
As you can see in the picture, this is not your standard super villain. Mutated by the scientists of AIM in order to become a super intelligent human, the process enlarged his cranium, making his arms and legs virtually useless. With the help of a hover chair, this massively intelligent figure would also turn into a massively ambitious villain, with nothing less than world domination inside it’s enlarged head.
Orginally dubbed M.O.D.O.C. by it’s creaters (Mental Organism Designed Only for Computing) you can probably assume what it’s new acronym would become. Yes, it could only be this:
M.O.D.O.K. Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing
MODOK and his minions kicked things off in Tales of Suspense #94. Published date October 1967. This CGC 8.5 sold on Ebay for $800 on May 19, 2021.
Collecting and investing options
M.O.D.O.K. may be an iconic Marvel Comics character, but he has never been considered one of the A-list level type of supervillains. You have to go all the way back to his first appearance in order to find a high value comic book, so he is a fun and easy to collect character.
Tales of Suspense #94. Before Captain America and Iron Man had their own series, the two legendary characters shared stories in this Marvel Comics title. After a brief appearance in issue #93, M.O.D.O.K’s first full appearance can be found in issue #94, and you can find it for reasonable money. EBay sales as of May 2021 shows you can buy raw copies for $200 or less. As for graded issues, recent sales include a very high grade version (CGC 9.4) sold for $1200, and a CGC 6.5 sold for $800.
A note on comic book grading; terms and acronyms to know:
“CGC”: This is the acronym for the third party company recognized to be the worldwide benchmark for the professional grading and certification of comic books, trading cards, magazines, and other collectibles.
The CGC comics division will grade each book it receives, encapsulating it in a sturdy plastic container designed to preserve the book in it’s current state, as well as offering a visually appealing case for it’s owner.
“Grading Scale”: Comic books are graded on a sliding scale starting at a perfect ‘Gem Mint’ grade of 10, all the way down to it’s lowest acceptable rating grade of .05. At this Heritage Auctions link, they provide a comprehensive summary of how the industry typically grades the conditions of a comic book.
You can always dabble in some Bronze Age, early 70’s goodness, while simultaneously picking up some issues that could very well include some massive names likely to show up in future Marvel Cinematic Universe films. The three issue arc that begins in Sub-Mariner #47 includes M.O.D.O.K., Prince Namor, and a certain all-time Marvel villain by the name of Victor von Doom!
This series has a little bit of everything, including AIM, cyborgs, Atlanteans, a quest for control of the Cosmic Cube, and more evil chatter than a Darth Vader convention. Ungraded issues can be found for less than $50, while high quality CGC graded issues are readily available now for less than $300.
Finally, here’s a rather spectacularly entertaining story from the 1980’s, featured in this Incredible Hulk run during issue numbers 288, 289, and 290. General Thunderbolt Ross, long-time nemesis of the Hulk, teams up with M.O.D.O.K, as they conspire to force the Abomination to attack and kill their hated enemy. Things don’t go as planned, chaos ensues, and we even see the appearance of, yes, Ms. M.O.D.O.K!
About the writer:
Here’s my back-story describing when my collecting days started years ago at the age of thirteen, and the truly amazing discoveries I found in my collection after taking many years off from this great hobby.