DISCLAIMER: This recap for Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. episode “If This Be … M.O.D.O.K.!” is rife with spoilers. You’ve been warned. Proceed at your own peril.
Welcome, pitiful humans! Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. kicked things off with a solid premiere outing. It’s reminiscent of Team America: World Police, but mostly in terms of animation style. Humor-wise, I’d say it falls more in line with The Venture Bros. Patton Oswalt voices the perfect megalomaniacal supervillain in “If This Be … M.O.D.O.K.!” Melissa Fumero rocks it as the angsty, overdramatic teenager. Even prior to watching, I knew she’d fit this role. The comedic chops she honed while playing Amy on Brooklyn Nine-Nine most certainly helped here. In this first episode, the jokes land and the one-liners are clever. I’m smitten.
Ready to delve into “If This Be … M.O.D.O.K.!”? Let’s get to it.
Now, we open with a flashback. We see baby M.O.D.O.K. (voiced by Oswalt) from 35 years ago. Kids at school are teasing him for his ideas. His mama (voiced by Fumero) encourages him to stand tall and boldly go forth with his dreams. Fast forward to the present. M.O.D.O.K. is squaring off against Iron Man (voiced by Jon Hamm). Amid their scuffle, ol’ IM loses his boot, which is promptly lodged into our titular character’s chair.
Next, M.O.D.O.K. celebrates his inadvertent acquisition of the Avenger boot at A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics), the company that he owns. After that, he surreptitiously sneaks home to take out the garbage. Hey, even supervillains do mundane human chores.
We see his wife, Jodie (voiced by Aimee Garcia), is in the middle of recording a video for her YouTube channel. M.O.D.O.K. ruins the final shot by eagerly showing her the Iron Man boot. His son, Lou (voiced by Ben Schwartz), also arrives on the scene. His daughter, Melissa (voiced by Fumero), barges into the living room after having ruined some girl’s life at school.
Then, M.O.D.O.K. is getting a financial rundown from one of his employees. Apparently, it’s expensive to run a company. They’re hemorrhaging money. They need to find a way to remedy this issue. Otherwise, A.I.M. is dead in the water. Later, our fave foe meets Austin Van Der Sleet (voiced by Beck Bennett), CEO of GRUMBL, a popular tech organization. Austin is interested in buying A.I.M. Naturally, M.O.D.O.K. is against this.
Next, M.O.D.O.K. invites his employees over to his house for a brainstorming session. Jodie muses whether it’s best for her husband to simply let A.I.M. go. Allow her to be the breadwinner of the family. Her channel is really taking off, anyway. However, M.O.D.O.K. is hellbent on retaining his position of power.
Now, Austin tries to woo our fearless mental organism designed only for killing. Austin takes M.O.D.O.K. out to eat, to an arcade and finally regales him with a sob story about his parents’ messy divorce. M.O.D.O.K. acquiesces to GRUMBL saving A.I.M., but only because he mentally bested Austin.
Later, M.O.D.O.K. arrives at work to find that Austin’s made significant changes. His torture chamber is morphed into a daycare center. There are now several types of cereal. Not to mention, M.O.D.O.K.’s mural is being desecrated by a bumbling GRUMBL peon.
In addition, Austin has fired his employees. This will not stand! M.O.D.O.K. will enact revenge! He proposes to his fired workers that they conduct a “mind heist” to essentially hijack Austin’s brain. Change his mind before he officially signs the contract that prevents M.O.D.O.K. from regaining control of A.I.M.
Meanwhile, M.O.D.O.K. lays the groundwork for the aforementioned mind heist. He utilizes Super Adaptoid (voiced by Jon Daly) as a ladder so he can reach his shrinking pills. There are, ahem, also enlarging pills, but … M.O.D.O.K. doesn’t need help in that department. After successfully shrinking himself, he’s launched into Austin’s office. Unfortunately, he winds up in another body — his wife, Jodie. She’s meeting with Austin in the hopes of forging a partnership with GRUMBL.
Then, M.O.D.O.K. watches a montage of his wife’s memories. Jodie has always shown unwavering support for his endeavors. But he hasn’t supported her. Hopefully, that changes. We see him control her movements as she starts attacking Austin. Against her will, of course. She even stabs him in the hand as he attempts to sign the contract. Suddenly, Jodie sneezes and M.O.D.O.K. goes flying outward. He resumes his normal size. After Jodie departs, M.O.D.O.K. learns that Austin already signed the contract, bloody hand and all. GRUMBL now owns A.I.M.
Next, Jodie and M.O.D.O.K. go out to dinner. He’s intent on destroying Austin so he can seize control of his company. However, Jodie reveals that she wants a divorce. She’s done with his bullheadedness and narcissism. And because he yells out his name during sex. But you don’t divorce M.O.D.O.K. … M.O.D.O.K. divorces you!
Overall, this is a fun entry into the Marvel sphere. M.O.D.O.K. is shaping up to be a promising season of television. I’m curious to see if it’ll tie in with the rest of Marvel’s TV slate/MCU or if it’ll be a separate entity. It’s sardonic, sassy and witty with a geeky bent. My kind of TV. I love a good supervillain story. Bring it on!
Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. is now streaming on Hulu.
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