The Marvel Cinematic Universe is currently on pause. Kevin Feige announced the MCU’s Phase Four slate at last year’s San Diego Comic-Con, but the ongoing pandemic has shifted the release dates for Black Widow, The Eternals, and a number of upcoming films. As it stands, there’s no telling when another Avengers movie will be released. However, it’s a safe bet that Earth’s mightiest heroes will reunite in Avengers 5 and it's possible their next foe will be one of the weirdest and most formidable in Marvel history.
When it comes to Marvel villains, MODOK is probably one of the weirdest. MODOK (an acronym for Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing) first appeared in the 1967 anthology comic series Tales of Suspense #93-94. Before he became an oversized head, the supervillain was regular ole George Tarleton, a technician for the organization Advanced Idea Mechanics (AIM).
Following a series of experiments that altered his DNA and enhanced his intelligence, Tarleton’s head became enlarged. So he went about killing AIM’s scientists and ultimately took control of the organization. Armed with superhuman intellect and psionic powers, MODOK’s ambitions were small scale, at first.
He’s obsessed with getting revenge on all metahumans, battling everyone from Captain America to Hulk to Vision. What’s more, MODOK went to great lengths to take down his enemies and even attempted to mind control Captain Marvel before hiring alien assassins to kill her off.
When MODOK moved onto world domination and biological warfare, he got into hot water with the Avengers, who ultimately defeated him on several occasions. Ultimately, MODOK’s goals were to prove himself and obtain as much power and control as possible. That included getting his hands on the Cosmic Cube — aka, the Tesseract that was prevalent throughout the first three phases of Marvel movies.
With all that in mind, it’s possible that MODOK will make his debut in Avengers 5. Perhaps he crosses paths with Loki at some point to steal the Tesseract before using it to wreak havoc on Earth. That would, in turn, put him in the path of the Avengers. It’s also possible MODOK is fueled by his hatred of superhumans and plots to get rid of them, which would also put him on the Avengers’ radar. He’s a supersmart villain, so anything is possible.
What’s more, there’s good reason to believe that MODOK will show up in Avengers 5, or somewhere else in the MCU. The villain was very nearly a part of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and there were plans to use him on the show before it ended. Speaking with A.V. Club, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. producer Jeff Bell revealed why the plans for MODOK ultimately fell through:
“We had a lot of ideas where we were—and I’ll say this, I don’t care—we were given the green light originally to use certain characters from Marvel, and started to break story based on those characters—[Coughs.] MODOK—and then they retracted it. So there were a bunch of things that were going to get a little batshit crazy that were above our pay grade, in terms of the toys we were allowed to play with.”
It’s possible the only reason Marvel decided against MODOK’s use in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was because of plans to introduce him in the MCU. While it would have been interesting to see what the ABC series could have done with the supervillain, it’s safe to say that MODOK’s bizarre origins and grand scheming is more in line with that of Thanos and other MCU villains. Considering MODOK's advanced intellect and mental manipulations, the Avengers would be facing a worthy foe.
And, even if that doesn't happen, MODOK fans can take solace in the fact that he's also set to star as the main villain in Marvel's upcoming Avengers video game, even if his head won't be quite as big as it usually is.