MODOK has appeared in countless cartoons and video games, including as a playable fighter in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, where his ultimate plan was to steal and wear Galactus’ helmet. On the cult-favorite animated series Megas XLR, the legendary Bruce Campbell played a MODOK parody named Magnanimous. The Marvel area at Universal’s Islands of Adventure features a giant cutout image of MODOK getting smacked upside the head with Cap’s shield, leading tourists to wonder, “What the hell is that supposed to be?”
So if MODOK is such a big deal, why hasn’t he been in the movies? I suppose, in the end, MODOK is the Aquaman of Marvel. I don’t mean in the thematic counterpart sense (that would be Namor the Sub-Mariner, obviously). It’s just that despite being a classic fixture of comics loved by many fans, casual audiences and people who don’t follow comics might find his design a bit silly. Perfect for animation, but in live-action, a giant head with tiny arms and legs is a really hard sell.
Luckily, we’ve reached Marvel Phase 4 and people are a bit more open to high-concept, weirdo comic characters. Aquaman made all the money in the world by “making him sexy and likable.” Well, I can’t imagine we’re going to get a sexy MODOK (though I did just type that into Google Image Search out of morbid curiosity). It’ll take some effort to make MODOK look formidable and not hilarious or look like pure nightmare fuel for the kids.
What it seems we’re going to get in Marvel’s Avengers seems like a good start. When treated as serious, MODOK can be seen as the ultimate threat: giant brain with giant brain lasers. Considering AIM is supposed to have ties to the upcoming Black Widow movie, perhaps MODOK’s big video game final boss role could be a stepping stone towards doing him right on the big screen.