George Tarleton, aka MODOK, former head (ho ho) of AIM, has fallen on hard times. He’s unable to pay his minions and super-villain patron Norman Osborn hasn’t given him a plum position in his HAMMER organisation. Finally, sick of MODOK’s needy girlfriend-style answerphone messages, he makes him head of operations in . . . Erie, Pennsylvania, which happens to be MODOK’s home town. Moving in with Mom and Dad saves on secret headquarters costs, but can he put up with his braggart father, cope with a high school reunion and deal with his lackeys’ ceaseless demands?
It’s definitely worth finding out in the book that makes Marvel’s long-winded Dark Reign event/infestation worthwhile. Cartoonist Ryan Dunlavey (which sounds a bit like Reign Delay – well, to me) makes the old Mobile Organism Designed Only for Killing almost sympathetic. Mainly, he makes him funny as he tries to settle into smalltown life, little knowing he must soon face the fearsome mutant machine master, Box. Along the way we see that bigshot supervillain he may (sometimes) be, but it’s the everyday things that trouble MODOK – no wonder he’s not the nicest of souls (click to make little MODOK bigger). I loved this comic – which debuted on Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited – from beginning to end, for the joy with which Dunlavey played in the House of Ideas’ toybox. Madison Jeffries, for example, may not have much room to shine now he’s an X-Man, but as fellow Alpha Flight alumni Diamond Lil’s mildly henpecked hubby he’s a hoot. And MODOK’s minions and parents add a touch of humanity to bighead.
I’m not sure whether MODOK could carry another book (well, those arms are tiny) but I hope we see more Marvel, and indeed, some DC work from Dunlavey soon.