MODOK 15

Streaming On: Watch MODOK on Disney+

Season: 1

Actors: Patton Oswalt, Jon Hamm, Beck Bennett, Melissa Fumero, Ben Schwartz

Release Date: Friday 21st May 2021

Genre(s): Animation, Comedy

Running time: 250 minutes

Right from the very opening episode, 'MODOK' is more than willing to make fun of itself.

Iron Man is an egotistical asshole. AIM, the villainous organisation which MODOK rules in tyranny, is about to be bought up by a tech company after it sank all its money into meaningless terrorist plots. MODOK himself is a whiny father and awful husband who gets divorced by the end of the second episode.

MODOK, which stands for Mental / Mobile Organism Designed Only for Killing, is one of Marvel's oldest villains and arguably one of its more goofy looking ones. There's no way that a creature like him could exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so it makes sense then that the character was given over to Patton Oswalt and the animation studio behind 'Robot Chicken' to do with as they please.

Based on the two episodes we were shown, it's by far the funniest thing Marvel has done since it tried to bleach Chris Hemsworth's eyebrows in 'Thor'. What's so interesting about how Patton Oswalt voices MODOK and how the script handles him is that we see a villain who isn't that way for any other reason than he's actually a pain in the ass. MODOK is a nightmare to superheroes and his soon-to-be ex-wife, his employees, his investors, everyone - just because he is.

That's far more believable than the tired old trope of a villain who doesn't realise he's one. MODOK, in this instance, is just a maladjusted idiot who can't see past his own ego and sparks with anger when he doesn't get his way with things. He's constantly trying to get revenge on anyone who's slighted him - whether it's Iron Man, the makers of poorly-designed whiteboard markers, an electricity provider, his personal accountant - and it almost never works out as it should.

The voice cast throughout the season is a who's-who of comedy. Oswalt, as mentioned, voices MODOK. Jon Hamm voices Iron Man, 'SNL' star Beck Bennett is in there, Whoopi Goldberg appears in a later episode as does Bill Hader, 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' alum Melissa Fumero is MODOK's daughter and Ben Schwartz is MODOK'S son, and plenty more to come too.

Setting 'MODOK' in a sitcom environment works because while it may be high-stakes and world domination in every episode, he's that much of a f*ck-up that it never goes beyond silly situational comedy. He's more like a suburban putz than an international supervillain. The humour too works because it blends the fantastical and the familiar together, something that Patton Oswalt has always been able to do extremely well.

The vibe of 'MODOK' is similar to 'Robot Chicken', and as such, the rapid-fire jokes may not be to everyone's taste. However, if you liked 'Robot Chicken', you're going to love 'MODOK'.

New episodes of 'MODOK' arrive on Disney+ every Friday from May 21st.