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M.O.D.O.K. Month: Comics Pro Essays on ‘What M.O.D.O.K. Means To Me’

As MODOK Month draws to a close, I think it’s only fitting that we all take a moment to reflect on our personal relationships with the Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing. That’s why I asked a handful of comics creators including Fred Van Lente, Jeff Parker, and Colleen Coover and to write short essays on the theme “What MODOK Means To Me.”

Specifically, I pitched it to them as though it were a fifth-grade essay assignment, in order to better capture the honest emotions our Tarletonian celebrations have inspired. Join me in reflecting, won’t you?

“MODOK is awesome because he is a big head with arms who flies in a chair and he yells a lot at Captain America. He was made by Jack Kirby who also made Arnim Zola. Arnim Zola is a lot like MODOK in that he yells a lot, but he is also the opposite of MODOK in that he has a body with no head, just a TV on his chest. Jack Kirby was awesome.”

Colleen Coover, artist of Marvel’s “Girl Comics”

MODOK is all GET OUT OF MY WAY YOU LITTLE HEAD and you better do it because he can brain blast you so hard and you will be all OWWWWWW and he will say HAH and he floats around and I don’t know how he goes to bathroom.”

Jeff Parker, writer of “Marvel Adventures Avengers” #9

“The Mental Organism Designed Only for Kookiness has always represented Marvel’s greatest Silver Age creation. MODOK stepping in front of Peter Parker and sweeping Mary Jane Parker off her feet at the senior prom; MODOK capturing Captain America and giving him not only a Wet Willie but the dreaded Rear Admiral; MODOK persuading the Hulk to tune in, turn on, and drop out, leading to the immortal Hippie Hulk issues; MODOK swapping out the glue in Paste Pot Pete’s glue pot for liquid Playdough; MODOK designing a blouse for Millie the Model…great stories, all, and really what the Silver Age was all about. Don’t you agree?”

Jess Nevins, author of “The Encyclopedia of Pulp Heroes”

“On a metatextual level, MODOK represents the unleashed id of a superhero universe, Jack Kirby and Stan Lee seizing upon an idea and unleashing it without worrying about realism or marketing – he’s a pure dose of old-school Marvel Storytelling, the sort of thing that could only be created at that moment. Modern superhero fans can debate endlessly over the character and never quite know if their appreciation for him is genuine or ironic. As a reader, I’m firmly in the PRODOK camp and feel that those early comics by Jack and Stan warrant canonization, oddities and all, and love that his odd design (along with compatriots like Arnim Zola) has remained steadfast even as other outlandish characters have wandered down the path of cinematically-inspired dullness.

MODOK also has tiny little feet. Hello, little feet! Who’s a Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing? You’re a Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing! Yes you are! A-boo! A-boo!”

Kevin Church, writer of Agreeable Comics

“Every day at work, I sit in a chair and I use my brain to write. I very rarely use my legs, except to lean myself back in my chair. If I have to go get something, like a cup of coffee, I often wish that there was a rocket in my chair, directly below my ass, that could propel me where I needed to go so I wouldn’t have to get up. MODOK is my hero.”
Justin Aclin, editor of “ToyFare”

“Well, to promote my ‘Super-Villain Team-Up: MODOK’s 11′ mini-series, Marvel.com had me write a blog as MODOK called BLOGDOK in which I actually had to get inside the mind of a Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing which, I must say I’m a little disturbed at how easy I found it to do.

It was kind of an interesting experience. For one thing, I learned I’d never have the discipline to do a blog on a daily basis, even when pretending to be a ranting, megalomaniac floating head. Twitter is more up to my attention span when writing about myself.
One of the very first comments on my first blog post was ‘YOU’RE NOT ACTUALLY MODOK!!!’ He accused me of pretending to be MODOK. I didn’t quite know how to react to that. Clearly this guy had a real tough time with the mall Santa when he was a kid. And he was particularly offended by my incorrect use of “mind blast” when apparently the canonical phrase was “brain blast”.
Of course, I could have gotten that mixed-up just now too.

The one thing I really wanted to do but never got around to writing was inaugurating a long-running joke about MODOK being madly in love with then-Bush Administration press secretary Dana Perino. MODOK would paean long odes to her loveliness and skills at double-talk, and insist they would be put to much better use by his side at AIM, presumably in some kind of Victoria’s Secret teddy.
Come to think of it, it’s just as well I never wrote that, because I probably couldn’t have gotten it past Marvel.
But the blog was a huge success, in that all of fifteen people read SVTU, as opposed to just the 12 who would have read it without my FAUXDOK. “
Fred Van Lente, writer of “Super-Villain Team-Up: MODOK’s 11

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