WONDERCON ’21: Villains & HAMM at the MARVEL’s M.O.D.O.K. panel

Comic News

On Saturday, March 27th, 2021 at noon, the “Hulu & Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. Fan Q&A” panel was released for streaming on YouTube.

Animated by Stoopid Buddy Stoodios (Robot Chicken), the panel gave us a glimpse of an excerpt of an episode near the end, and it looks as though the show is primed to exceed even your wildest M.O.D.O.K. related dreams.

Secret History

Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. was initially announced back in February 2019, as part of a four-show deal between Marvel TV and Hulu that would also include series based on Hit-Monkey, Howard the Duck, plus a Tigra/Dazzler team-up. The four shows were meant to culminate in a crossover series called The Offenders.

But the course of True Believers never did run smooth! In December 2019, it was announced that Marvel TV would be shut down, and the Kevin Feige-led Marvel Studios would be taking over the remaining productions.

But in January 2020, it was revealed that the majority of the other shows were cancelled during production, including The Offenders crossover.

Since then, Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. has continued to impress, regularly showing up with exciting material at virtual conventions like NYCC ‘20 to provide tantalizing glimpses of the ten-episode series, and WonderCon @ Home 2021 this past weekend was certainly no exception.

M.O.D.O.K.’s impressive cast

What was immediately clear from the panel is the stellar quality of the show’s main voice cast.

Marvel's M.O.D.O.K.
The Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. cast at WonderCon ’21.

The cast is led by series co-writer and executive producer Patton Oswalt as the eponymous Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing. This is technically a return to the on-screen Marvel universe for Oswalt, who had a recurring role as Agent Koenig(s) on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. And lest you believe he is forsaking his onscreen Marvel roots, during the course of the WonderCon ’21 panel, it was revealed that S.H.I.E.L.D. would indeed make an appearance in Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K.

Marvel's M.O.D.O.K.
Plenty of Lou heads!

Ben Schwartz, who voices M.O.D.O.K.’s son Lou, made a point of mentioning Oswalt’s voice talent resume, citing Remy the rat from Ratatouille (it should be noted that Schwartz has some pretty impressive voice over credits himself).

MARVEL’s M.O.D.O.K.
M.O.D.O.K. and Jodie.

Meanwhile Aimee Garcia (Lucifer) plays Jodie, M.O.D.O.K.’s wife, who has something of an awakening (which may not be great for M.O.D.O.K.). The cast emphasized that Jodie is not the stereotypical “long-suffering” archetype, but has a unique perspective on the events of the series.

Melissa (left) and Melissa.

Meanwhile, his daughter, Melissa, played by Melissa Fumero (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), is a gifted figure skater in spite of being very similar to her father in appearance… we suspect there are some great sight gags on the horizon here!

The original appearance of the Super-Adaptoid!

Finally, Jon Daly (Tuca & Bertie) will voice the Super-Adaptoid. Judging by the details revealed in the panel, the Super-Adaptoid’s whole thing is that he doesn’t want to be roped into the proceedings but doesn’t really have a choice.

And one of the exciting details revealed during the panel was the fact that Jon Hamm will be voicing Tony Stark for the animated series.

However, he wasn’t the only exciting voice actor announced during the panel…

M.O.D.O.K.’s Villain Cards 

Perhaps one of the most exciting details to be unveiled during the panel were a series of Villain Cards created by series co-writer and executive producer Jordan Blum. These exceedingly familiar cards featured some of the absurdly exciting guest stars who will be playing some truly exciting deep-dive characters.

The first villain card revealed was Nathan Fillion as Wonder Man. This bit of meta-casting pulls from the Marvel Studios legend that Fillion was meant to appear in a cameo as Simon Williams in Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2, written and directed by James Gunn. Fortunately, we’ll finally get to see Fillion voicing the donor of Vision’s original mind-map on Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K.

Marion Pouncy, A.K.A. Poundcakes, will be voiced by Whoopi Goldberg. While Goldberg has too many impressive credits to include them all, the fact that the Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. panel opened with an Enterprise reference necessitates a shout-out to her role as Guinan on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

And the final two villain cards both belong to characters who will be played by voice over legend Bill Hader. The first is The Leader, who will be taking over A.I.M. after the position has been vacated by M.O.D.O.K. The second villain card is for Angar the Screamer, who is especially exciting because Blum revealed that a 70s rock style song was written for Hader to perform for Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K.

M.O.D.O.K.: Head Games

MARVEL’s M.O.D.O.K.
M.O.D.O.K.: Head Games #1

But why is M.O.D.O.K. living a suburban family life in the upcoming Hulu series? Doesn’t that seem somewhat incongruent from his many previous appearances? There may be clues at your local comic shop. That’s because the four-issue series M.O.D.O.K.: Head Games – written by Blum & Oswalt, with art by Scott Hepburn, colors by Carlos Lopez, and letters by Travis Lanham – is currently through its third issue, and dropping tantalizing hints about what might lead to the circumstances on Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K.

As M.O.D.O.K. clashes with Monica Rappaccini (voiced by Wendi McLendon-Covey on the show), he begins seeing glimpses of… another life. One that will look strikingly familiar to those who have been poring over the promotional pictures for Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K., in fact!

MARVEL’s M.O.D.O.K.
Melissa is a Lila Cheney fan.

Can M.O.D.O.K. figure out what’s afoot? How does the M.O.D.O.K. we know from the 616 relate to the M.O.D.O.K. arriving on Hulu on May 21st? As Blum pointed out after the villain cards had been revealed on Saturday, there had been hints about some of the characters who would be appearing on Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. hidden in M.O.D.O.K.: Head Games. Could there be more…? 

Whether there are or not, it’s clear from these three issues that Blum and Oswalt really know their Marvel Comics – check out the cameos at the super-villain trade show in issue 2 if you need more evidence.

MARVEL’s M.O.D.O.K.
The Sentinel here is giving me serious Mile High Comics vibes.

And in issue 3, Gwenpool’s appearance demonstrates that they can shift from madcap comedy to legitimate human emotion on a dime, all while meaningfully drawing on a character’s canonical history… what can this mean for Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K.? Only good things!

MARVEL’s M.O.D.O.K.

Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K., arriving May 21st

All ten episodes of Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. will be available for streaming on Hulu on May 21st, 2021, and you can watch the panel yourself right now on YouTube. Let The Beat know what you think, either on social media @comicsbeat or in the comment section!

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