Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Lame-ass villain #9 - MODAM



Let me state right off the bat that I am a huge fan of MODOK, which is the main reason I think MODAM is so damn lame.

MODOK, as you may know, is a kick-ass Marvel villain from back in the day who sprung like Athena from the fertile mind of comicdom's Zeus, Jack "King" Kirby. What is MODOK? A grotesque giant head with stubby arms and legs that scoots around in a little hover scooter. Sounds kick-ass, doesn't it? Created by the evil acronym loving scientists of AIM (Advanced Idea Mechanics), MODOK stood for Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing. He is one of the greatest super-villains ever, just because of the sheer audacity of his design and his inherent wackiness. I loves me the MODOK, and I know I'm not alone.

MODAM, on the other hand... Well, MODAM is the female version of MODOK that nobody asked for. It's MODOK with lipstick, razor sharp teeth, and presumably a high-pitched Miss Piggy voice. No breasts, thankfully. Nobody wants to see MODAM's boobies.

MODAM was just one too many trips to the well, if you ask me. Marvel should have left well enough alone and just stuck with the original. But no. Some Marvel writer (Mark Gruenwald maybe?) was hitting the Skull Bong pretty hard one night and came up with a female version of MODOK, and some lazy editor said, "Sure, whatever Mark." Thus MODAM was born both in the laboratories of AIM and in a cloud of sweet, sweet cannabis smoke.

Did you know that originally she/it was named Specialized Organism Designed for Aggressive Maneuvers, but then AIM realized that spelled out SODAM, which is perhaps a better name for a boy. So they renamed her MODAM (Mobile Organism Designed for Aggressive Maneuvers), which is a good name for a girl. Get it? Madam = MODAM? Clever little bastards, those AIM scientists.

Thankfully, I have only two comic books that feature MODAM, Captain America #387 and #388, parts one and two of "The Superia Stratagem," a storyline that is also known as "Utter Shit." The Superia Stratagem pits Captain America and the purple Paladin versus every lame female villain on a cruise ship. That's it. That's the story. Now you don't have to read it. You're welcome.

The one good part about the Superia Stratagem is that it features a fight between MODAM and Anaconda, who was Lame-ass villain #2 (back when I knew how to write short posts). Here are the two hideous harpies locked in mortal combat:



That is not attractive. Yet it's fascinating in a sick way because both Anaconda and MODAM embody the Freudian concepts of penis envy and vagina dentata. I mean, I'm sure that wasn't the intention, but that's how I read it.

Jeez, what is wrong with me?

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sweet Jesus, Dave, I have never laughed so hard! MODAM!!! That's classic...

Ugh...

Sleestak said...

Brilliant

Chris said...

Oh, and Dave, I followed the Anaconda (do you think her civilian name was Anna Conda? I wonder...) link to your earlier post and then followed that page to an old Daredevil review. Just wanted to say, I also LOVE the Ellison/Mazzuchelli issue in the old house of traps, AND the Silent GI Joe issue is my favorite comic EVER. EVER!!!!!!! it rocks.

Anonymous said...

Mental
Organism
Engineered to
Hurt
Others,
Whupping
Ass on
Retarded
Dunces

Jim
http://blowingsmokethemovie.com

Chuck Hollis said...

M.O.D.O.K. has asked me to pass along the word that he and M.O.D.A.M. have recently reconciled and that he would appreciate it if you refrained from calling her "so damn lame".

He further asked me to be sure to conclude his message with "So says M.O.D.O.K."

So there you go. Keep up the great posts.

Anonymous said...

I have a lot of the Gruenwald issues of Captain America, and I thought they were lame when I was 16 and I still think they're lame now. I have always liked the concept of Captain America, but the execution always seems to lack what I'm looking for.

Kind of off subject, but I was rereading a JLA from '89 last night and the Lords of Order told Dr. Fate and Spectre the time of the Kali Yuga had already came and that's why, post crisis and pre Zero Hour, they had withdrawn from the world of mortals.

So did Kobra acheive his goal and the story was never told in a comic or should I realize that at age 28 I really should stop giving hours of thought to this stuff.

Yail Bloor

kelvingreen said...

Now are we sure that MODAM is a distinct entity and that it's not just MODOK exploring his, er, femininity?

Because you know, that might be the most terrifying example of crossdressing I've ever seen, including that pic of the X/Y-Men Dave posted last week...

suedenim said...

Speaking of crossdressing, it's not especially terrifying, but Cap and Paladin engage in perhaps the least convincing examples (y'know, skintight costumes and all) in that Superia Strategem storyline, briefly wearing the costumes of some KO'ed villainesses.

But they were threatened earlier in the storyline with the full magilla of complete sex changes!

That was kinda the problem with Gruenwald - he came up with the occasional totally bizarre idea, but pulled his punches. What the heck, why not have Cap become a woman for a while? At least it's something they haven't done before. Or if you're too leery of doing that to such an iconic character, why not have Cap escape that fate, but Paladin (who AFAIK no one ever gave a damn aboout) fall prey?

And with regard to MODAM, I believe Gruenwald was his own editor during that run, which probably explains much....

Konstantinos Stamoulis said...

an obvious one:

Specialized Organism Designed for Offensive Maneuvers

Winterteeth said...

Not to put too fine a point on it but the dialogue between Anaconda and MODAM sounds a lot like my pillow talk with the ladies. Did the Gru date one of my exes?

Jeff R. said...

I still think that Mental Organism Designed Also for Maiming would have been a better acronym leading to MODAM than the one they used.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Cove West said...

Well, what do you expect from a bunch of world-conquering scientists with boxes on their heads? Gruenwald probably figured, during one of his acid trips (actually, I don't think he touched the stuff, but the guy sometimes out-weirded Grant Morrison, so you gotta wonder), that there MUST be a secret sect of man-hating women within AIM, so why not a female MODOK? Besides, considering that both MODOK and MODAM are pretty much just heads, gender can't be all that relevant, or else you just know there'd be a million little MOKIDS running about fighting the Power Pack or something.

This was actually pretty good timing, Dave. Just this week in CAP #8, Brubaker introduced MODOC (Military Operatives Designed Only for Combat), an army of hive-minded super-terrorists created by AIM. Gender was non-specific, however.

Anonymous said...
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Winterteeth said...

What is with spamming a blog? Man, that is annoying.

David Campbell said...

Yeah, that is annoying as hell.

"Great job on your blog! It's so brilliant, U R funny. Hey, I have a blog about fucking chickens, come take a look and comment! Peace out!"

Kevin Church said...

Jeez, what is wrong with me?

You don't let me post about my awesome chicken blog, that's what the fuck is wrong with you, Campbell.

Anonymous said...

"No breasts, thankfully."

Look at that cover again. Look closely. And then claw your eyes out.

Anonymous said...

Oh, that is so NOT okay...

Adrian James said...

But it's not a blog about actually fucking chickens. Which is only mildly more disturbing than MODAM boobies.

And according to this site, if I were a big-headed AIM creation my name would be Artificial Device Responsible for Infiltration and Accurate Nullification.

Adrian said...

Also, just how could you inaccurately nullify something, anyway?

Dan Coyle said...

I think the last we saw of MODAM was during the second Waid/Garney run on Captain America, where the Skrull-Hydra popped out of her/its mouth for a larf.

Wait, wasn't MODAM introduced originally as Hank Pym's long thought dead wife Maria in West Coast Avengers, later revealed NOT to be Hank Pym's long thought dead Maria and... I can't believe I just typed that?

Those hankering for Gruenwald nostalgia, heads up: Cable and Deadpool #20 features DP teaming up with a renuited B.A.D. Girls! Woo hoo!

Jeffrey said...

Just noticed it's "part one of six". Huh, I thought six-issue arcs were a recent thing...

Cove West said...

Dan, it's stuff like that that make me feel very, very small in knowledge of the Marvel Universe. Imagine explaining such things to a newbie:

"There's this guy y'see, Hank Pym, who invented these particles that make him grow really big or really small. When he's big, he's called Giant-Man. When he's small, he's called Ant-Man and he wears a helmet that communicates with ants. He had a girlfriend who could shrink too, called the Wasp. He created a robot, Ultron, who went mad with spite of his creator/father and tried to take over the world a dozen times, who created another robot called the Vision (with the brain imprint of fellow Avenger Wonder Man). Vision became an Avenger and had imaginary children with the mutant daughter of Magneto, the mutant supremacist. Meanwhile, Pym was exposed to gasses that caused him to develop a split personality, the villainous Yellowjacket, who kidnapped the Wasp, told her he killed himself, and married her. He got better and rejoined the Avengers, but then got worse, became a villain again, and was divorced. And then he got better again. And then he got worse again. And then better. Oh, and his first wife may or may not have been a female giant killer genius robot head built by the bucket-headed scientific division of a worldwide terrorist organization created by a Nazi."

There is NO stranger hobby than comics...

Workest said...

don't forget MODOFS, MODOSA, and MODOKMODOK: Mental Organisms Designed Only for Figure Skating, Signing Autographs, and Killing MODOK, respectively.

Law Dog said...

Didn' they put MODAM in the Marvel Swimsuit Special? No that wouldv'e been hot.

Bwahahahaha

Brendan T. said...

Sorry if this coming at you WAAAAYYY after the post, but MODAM is actually the second female incarnation of MODOK we have seen. In "The Incredible Hulk, vol. 1" issues 167-169, one of Banner's friends, Dr. Kate Waynesboro, gets transformed into Ms. MODOK. Being a decent, red-blooded MODOK appreciator, Both Ms. MODOK and MODAM are an affront to my MODOK appreciating sensibilities, since they make him less unique. However, Ms. MODOK takes the "lame cake" since she doesn't even possess her own acronym.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Mark Grunewald introduced her, I think it was... well, some idiot on West Coast Avengers. The idea was to bring back a load of villains from Giant Man's old 60s series. And his wife. Not the Wasp, no, his dead Hungarian wife. And to make her into SODOM. Sorry, SODAM. Then later, MODAM. Then, later, someone pointed out how retarded she was, and that making her a resurrected dead Hungarian who used to be married to a man who spent the 60s fighting intelligent gorillas and a man named 'The Voice Of Doom' was even more retarded. So they retconned her out of being Maria, or whatever her name was. And then killed her. I think. God, I just came across as nerdy.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to post so late, and you all probably know, but now, there's a baby MODOK in Nextwave.

Read it and know joy.

Socrates Johnson said...

Mark Gruenwald had the Serpent Society kill off MODOK around CAPTAIN AMERICA #315, so MODAM was probably intended to be AIM's replacement for him, using the dangling plot thread from West Coast Avengers. Obviously it didn't work out, and then they apparently brought MODOK back anyway, probably because he was too awesome to stay dead for long.

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