While M.O.D.O.K is not a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe like WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, it proves that not every new Marvel series has to be because it stands (or floats) tall on its own.
The series follows the famous Marvel villain M.O.D.O.K aka Mechanized Organism Designed Only for Killing, who, due to his own mishandling, finds his company A.I.M going bankrupt and sold to a rival company, GRUMBL. That coupled with his personal life quickly turning into a tattered mess, M.O.D.O.K finds himself on the verge of a mid-life crisis.
When I first watched the trailers for this new series, I admit that I didn’t care for what I saw. The animation looked great, but I felt no incentive to invest in the series. That being said, I’m glad I watched it because M.O.D.O.K is such a goofy delight, and it’s exactly the kind of show Marvel Studios needs considering that most of their shows are superhero-action, barring WandaVision, which spans multiple genres.
The series is as funny as it is captivating, what with the interesting animation style brought to us by Stoopid Buddy Stoodios. The stop-motion animation is clearly reminiscent of the studios most famous works, Robot Chicken, although the characters look slightly less like posable action figures. The decision to replicate Robot Chicken’s famous art style is one of the best choices that the creators could have made, even if it looks a little too similar at times. Still, the often silly style fits perfectly with the surreal comedy that M.O.D.O.K delivers.
The series is filled with fantastic vocal performances, so much so that there isn’t a bad one, although three performances stood out to me the most. Co-creator Patton Oswalt takes on the titular character. Despite using his regular voice, his sharp and recognisable tone suits the Marvel villain perfectly. It gives him that extra mad scientist layer that only helps add to the ridiculousness of the series.
Amy Garcia plays Jodie Tarleton, M.O.D.O.K’s wife, who has started to question not only her husband’s role as a maniacal supervillain but her relationship with him. Garcia helps ground the series in some levels of reality, even if the moments are brief. But through her eyes, we see what it’s like to be the wife of a supervillain and the strenuous toll it can bring on a family. That is until Jodie decides enough is enough.
Beck Bennett takes on the role of Austin Van Der Sleet, the smarmy owner of GRUMBL, the new parent company of A.I.M. Austin is as irritatingly obnoxious as he is hilarious, and Bennett does such a wonderful job voicing him that his appearances are some of the best scenes, especially when he’s paired with Oswalt’s M.O.D.O.K.
The recent string of Marvel Studios shows haven’t been at all bad, but M.O.D.O.K provides quite the breath of fresh air due to its unusual approach and adult nature. It also does not require the knowledge you might require for other Marvel shows like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
M.O.D.O.K is available on Hulu in the United States and on Disney+ internationally. Unlike the US, where the whole first season was made available on May 21st, international fans will have to wait a little longer because the series is streaming weekly, with one episode releasing every Friday. At the time of writing, only the first episode is available.