M.O.D.O.C.: I AM M.O.D.O.C.! I am the ultimate in human-machine interface! I am designed ONLY FOR CONQUEST!
The Wasp: Whatever you say, freak-show.
M.O.D.O.K. is a Marvel Comics super-villain created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Making his Silver Age debut in Tales of Suspense #93 (September, 1967), M.O.D.O.K. has been featured in over 40 years of Marvel canon. While originally a foe of Captain America, M.O.D.O.K is not tied to a single hero's Rogues Gallery. He has battled the likes of The Falcon, Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D., Iron Man, Namor, the Incredible Hulk. rival villains Mad Thinker and Yellow Claw, Ms. Marvel, the Champions (Angel, Iceman, Black Widow, Darkstar, Ghost Rider, and The Incredible Hercules), the Thing, and the Serpent Society. The later group managed to assassinate him back in 1986. But M.O.D.O.K. was revived in 1995 and has remained a prominent villain since then. In 2009, IGN.com ranked M.O.D.O.K. #100 on its Top One Hundred Comic Book Villains list.
A lowly technician working for Advanced Idea Mechanics (A.I.M.), George Tarleton was nothing special. One day, Tarleton is picked by A.I.M.'s Scientist Supreme to be genetically altered into a living computer code-named M.O.D.O.C.: Mental Organism Designed Only for Computing. The experiment was a success: Tarleton's brain became enormous, granting him superhuman intelligence and vast psionic powers. Driven mad by the procedures performed on him, M.O.D.O.C. kills his masters in cold blood. Enjoying the slaughter, M.O.D.O.C. renames himself M.O.D.O.K: Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing. Having eliminated the existing command structure, M.O.D.O.K. takes over A.I.M, declaring himself the new Scientist Supreme.
- Super-Villain Team-Up: MODOK's 11
- MODOK: Reign Delay
- MODOK Assassin
- LEGO Marvel Superheroes: M.O.D.O.K. is a mid-level boss in the level "That Sinking Feeling". Like almost any other character in a Lego game, he can be unlocked and played as in Free Play mode.
- Marvel Ultimate Alliance: A member of the Masters of Evil, M.O.D.O.K. is the final boss of the Omega Base level.
- Marvel Super Hero Squad: M.O.D.O.K. and A.I.M. appear early in the game, stealing an infinity fractal for Doctor Doom. Changing his mind, M.O.D.O.K. would use the fractal to power one of his doom cannons until Wolverine and the Hulk intervene.
- Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet: M.O.D.O.K. makes a cameo appearance, still working for Dr. Doom.
- Marvel vs. Capcom 3: M.O.D.O.K. appears as a playable character, taking Galactus's helmet in his ending.
- Marvel: Avengers Alliance: appears as a Boss several times, with A.I.M. serving as some of the games' Mooks.
- Marvel Future Fight: appears as one of the main antagonists, and as a playable character.
- Iron Man
- Iron Man: Armored Adventures
- The Superhero Squad Show (Most notably, his Day in the Limelight episode "Mental Organism Designed Only For Kissing".)
- The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!
- Avengers, Assemble!
In addition to these, he was included in The Marvel Experience virtual reality tour in the United States, where he was voiced by Kevin Smith.
Tropes associated with M.O.D.O.K. include:
- Ascended Extra: To a degree: he's made the host of the officially sanctioned clay/action-figure animated comedy series Marvel Super Heroes: What The-?!, appearing in nearly every episode, including having an episode devoted entirely to his M.O.M.E.N.T.S.note . However, he's treated as a Butt-Monkey even still.
- Ax-Crazy: There's a reason why he changed his name from M.O.D.O.C to M.O.D.O.K. Plus there's the fact that he murdered his creators as well as having a tendency to kill his own subordinates if they fail him.
- Back from the Dead: A.I.M. used a Cosmic Cube to bring M.O.D.O.K. back to life, believing that he would be loyal as originally designed. They were wrong.
- Bad Boss: So bad that A.I.M. had him assassinated by the Serpent Society for his obsession with killing superheroes.
- Bald of Evil: The current version.
- Big Bad: Leader of the Intelligencia, M.O.D.O.K. was the big bad during Fall of the Hulks.
- Bio-Augmentation: The source of M.O.D.O.K's giant cranium and superhuman powers.
- Body Surf
- Body Swap: M.O.D.O.K. once swapped bodies with Damocles Rivas. The two ended up sharing M.O.D.O.K.'s body for a while when things went wrong.
- Brain Uploading: M.O.D.O.K. found a way to upload his brain online, giving him the ability to travel by e-mail.
- Brains Evil, Brawn Good: Definitely applies when M.O.D.O.K. faces off against the Hulk.
- Butt-Monkey: M.O.D.O.K. is actually somewhat respected in the comics, but in a lot of his television and video game appearances, he ends up being a goof.
- This tends to be the rule for 21st century M.O.D.O.K. appearances, as the current generation of writers and artists can't really ignore the Narmtastic charm of his Kirbyesque design. Sometimes he's brought in purely for laughs (as in Nextwave) but sometimes he plays a slightly heavier note in an overall silly story (as in The Unbelievable Gwenpool).
- Cephalothorax: He does have a small, atrophied body, but you can't see anything but his head and limbs as long as he's in his chair.
- Cloning Gambit: The Red Hulk discovers M.O.D.O.K. had hidden a clone of himself away in case something happened to him. This version sees himself as an upgrade to the original.
- Combat Tentacles
- De-Power: In Incredible Hulk #610, a Hulked out Amadeus Cho uses his temporary reality warping powers to turn M.O.D.O.K. back into George Tarleton.
- Deflector Shields: M.O.D.O.K.'s shields are strong enough to withstand nuclear blasts.
- Distaff Counterpart: M.O.D.A.M., the Mental Organism Designed for Aggressive Maneuvers.
- Driven by Envy
- Evil Cripple: M.O.D.O.K. gained his powers at the cost of his mobility. Without his Doomsday Chair and headband, M.O.D.O.K. would be completely helpless.
- Evil Genius
- Evil Laugh
- Evil Sounds Deep: According Deadpool, he makes Terrence Stamp sound like Michael Jackson. Ironically, several adaptations have made M.O.D.O.K. sound high-pitched.
- Expendable Clone: M.O.D.O.K.'s organs fail often, so he has clones kept in storage for replacement parts. In Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, M.O.D.O.K. vs. M.O.D.O.K. fights usually end with the following:M.O.D.O.K.: Never again will I forget to lobotomize one of my clones!
- For Science!: A.I.M.'s primary goal is to achieve scientific breakthroughs. When M.O.D.O.K. loses sight of this goal, A.I.M has him assassinated.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: From nothing special to a murderous giant head monster.
- Humongous Mecha: Occasionally, M.O.D.O.K has used a large humanoid robot machine that is sized proportionately to the size of his head where he controls it at the neck base.
- Lighter and Softer: For an intents and purposes, his rendition in The Superhero Squad Show places him as a Butt-Monkey, while playing the part of Dr. Doom's right-hand man. He still has his moments where he becomes the designated Monster of the Week, and for the most part is a moderate threat to the Squadies, but mostly only by working with Abomination as Doom's henchmen. The rest of the time though, he's often subjected to humiliating wacky cartoon antics that the show loves to use all around.
- Like Father, Like Son: Tarleton's son joined up with A.I.M. and was rebuilt as the villainous Head Case after an encounter with Ms. Marvel. His body is normal size, but his head is a skull in a jar.
- Mind Probe
- A.I.M. henchmen don't have a very long shelf life.
- M.O.D.O.K.'s latest incarnation relies on Life Model Decoys.
- My Brain Is Big
- Never Say "Die": Animated series never know what to do with his name. The Iron Man half of the Marvel Action Hour never said it was an acronym. Iron Man: Armored Adventures makes it MODOC, with the C standing for Conquest. The Super Hero Squad Show keeps MODOK, and plays with the name (making the last letter stand for something different, as supplied by whoever's mocking him or whatever he's bragging about. However, what the K actually stands for is never given (Though he once admits it stands for "Kick-butt".) The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! does the same as Armored Adventures. However, it actually makes more sense given MODOC's modus operandi in the show and the fact that he isn't as Ax-Crazy.
- Old Shame: In-Universe example. George Tarleton is one for Monica Rappaccini, a Scientist Supreme of the splintered A.I.M. organizations, to the point where she's tried to have him killed more than once. M.O.D.O.K. enjoys reminding her of their one-night-stand.
- Powered Armor: M.O.D.O.K. wears an exoskeleton that allows him to move his limbs in conjunction with the Doomsday Chair.
- Psychic Powers
- Psycho Prototype: Originally designed as a harmless living computer, M.O.D.O.K. went crazy and killed his masters instead of following orders.
- Psychopathic Manchild: In "M.O.D.O.K.'s 11" he hatches an elaborate plot to steal the Hypernova (an exploding star caught in a temporal loop and contained in a Bigger on the Inside bottle) and sells it to A.I.M. for a billion dollars. The container deteriorates and explodes in A.I.M.'s headquarters, supposedly killing Monica Rappaccini. The goal of his whole plot was to get back at his ex-girlfriend.
- Spell My Name with an "S": M.O.D.O.K/C The name changes with the acronym with the c/k standing for killing, conquest and computing.
- Squishy Wizard: One of the most powerful psychics in the Marvel Universe, but he can throw a punch about as hard as you'd expect.
- Super Intelligence: The reason why he was mutated into M.O.D.O.C. in the first place.
- Super Wheelchair: M.O.D.O.K.'s Doomsday Chair gives him the power of Flight. It also has a number of on-board weapons like lasers, missiles, and bombs.
- Take Over the World
- Tragic Monster
- Even if he's been rendered crazy enough that he enjoys it now, it's not as if he really deserved to be transformed into M.O.D.O.C. There's a reason why the page image for Cephalothorax depicts M.O.D.O.K. weeping over what he has become.
- Taken up to eleven in Iron Man: The Animated Series, where M.O.D.O.K. gets an episode in the first season explaining he's not crazy like his comics counterpart and, arguably, isn't even evil. He was a scientist who was forcibly mutated into his grotesque form by a rival who was jealous over M.O.D.O.K.'s upcoming engagement — the only reason he has allied himself with the Mandarin at all is because the Mandarin has promised to use his powers to restore M.O.D.O.K. to human form if M.O.D.O.K. helps him. The plot of the episode is even based on M.O.D.O.K. being forced to come to Iron Man and beg him to save the woman who would have been M.O.D.O.K.'s wife if not for his transformation.
- Unexpected Character: His appearance in Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 definitely qualifies.
- Use Your Head: M.O.D.O.K.'s Battering Ram moves in Marvel Vs. Capcom 3.
- Weaponized Exhaust
- Weaponized Headgear: M.O.D.O.K.'s headband focuses his powers, allowing him to operate his Doomsday Chair and fire "psionic blasts" from his forehead.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity