Sunday, February 26, 2023

Look How They Massacred My Boy!

Ever since I was old enough to pick up a Marvel comic, I've always loved the character of M.O.D.O.K.— created by Stan Lee and the amazing Jack Kirby.

What's not to like? He's a super-intelligent evil artificial lifeform who's basically a giant head on a withered body, who rides around on a rocket chair. The whole concept is so over the top and outlandish it just naturally appealed to me.
In fact I liked M.O.D.O.K. so much I even drew my own version of him a few years back!

As the MCU films became more and more popular, I kept hoping that we'd eventually see M.O.D.O.K. in live action. Welp, be careful what you wish for, I guess!

I couple years ago Marvel Studios produced a M.O.D.O.K. stop motion animated series for Hulu. This show reeeeally pissed me off, as the character was voiced by comedian Patton Oswalt and was played completely for laughs.

I figured that was the end of it, and we'd never, ever get a proper live action version of the character after that.

Incredibly, I was wrong about that! Turns out the new Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania film (which I haven't seen and likely never will) actually features M.O.D.O.K. in a supporting role. 

THIS is what M.O.D.O.K. looks like in the film (cue sound effect of a phonograph needle scratching on a record). Are you fucking kidding me right now?

This version of the character has a completely new origin, and has absolutely nothing to do with the one in the comics. That in itself would be bad enough, but... just look at it What the hell?

This movie reportedly had a budget of $200 MILLION DOLLARS, and this is the best they could do? Jesus fuck! It literally looks like a CGI effect from twenty years ago, and not a current year film.

Why is his head so stretched out and distorted? I work in graphic design, so I recognize a low-res image that's been blown up too much when I see one— and this is a low-res image that's been blown up too much! Did the director let an intern work on this character?

He looks for all the world like the evil Vorok in Creating Rem Lezar

And to add insult to injury, once again M.O.D.O.K. is played for laughs in the new Ant-Man film. Sigh...

I've seen lots of chatter online from fans who say this new version is perfect, because he's always been a "joke villain." That's patently not true! M.O.D.O.K. regularly clashed with Captain America in the comics, where he was a serious and deadly threat.

He's rapidly becoming a joke villain though because that's the way the goddamned MCU keeps portraying him! The comedic version's the only one folks have ever seen these days!

I also see people saying the character's never going to work in live action, because he's just too goofy looking. Again, that's not true. If done properly, M.O.D.O.K. would be a creepy and deeply unsettling character.

As an example, the 2020 Marvel Avengers videogame featured a realistically rendered M.O.D.O.K, and played him absolutely straight. As a result he was truly disturbing and frightening, and proved the character can indeed work in live action, if they'd only treat him seriously. Feh.

RIP MCU, 2008 - 2019.

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