THE EVOLUTION OF MODOK PART FIVE: Sucking in the 70s

modok war of the super

For completists only, MODOK is referenced (complete with a picture) in Captain America #176, because everybody loves to draw MODOK.  It’s the famous “Captain America Must Die” storyline, which is great but it’s not really a MODOK story.  No, the big M really returns in 1975, in the pages of Iron Man, for the “War of the Supervillains” saga Iron Man #74, 75, 77, 80, 81).

The story features an invasion from another dimension by The Black Lama, who recruits MODOK to help him defeat a bunch of other dudes like Mandarin and Mad Thinker.  It’s not a great story, but it’s the first time MODOK fights Iron Man and it kind of cements his status as a major villain.  We also get see MODOK prove his ruthlessness, killing a henchman. 

modok war of super 2

But the major development for our antihero is that he loses his job as the head (ahem) of AIM.  He’s now on his own, a freelancer, which leads him to try to prove himself by doing a Joker thing.  He tries to infect New York City with Nerve gas, but he’s foiled by Ms. Marvel and the Vision in  a fairly protracted story that goes from Ms. Marvel #5 through 10.  Again, not terrible, but not great.

modok destroyed

Aside from a brief mention in Incredible Hulk #215 (acknowledging MODOK as the creator of the unfortunately named “Bi-Beast”), the last appearance of MODOK in the 1970s is in Iron Man Annual #4 (1977), in which he’s killed by Iron Man.  Which is weird, because superheroes usually don’t kill.

But I guess it’s okay to kill a guy with a severe deformity?  Hmmm.  Anyway, MODOK stays dead for a pretty long time.

Next: MODOK versus Ka-Zar!

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