M.O.D.O.K. was created by Marvel Comics legends Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. His name was George Tarleton, a former employee of Advanced Idea Mechanics (A.I.M.), who, in an effort to increase his intelligence, did an experiment that failed and grew his brain to the point where it stunted his body, giving him his signature look. What started as a weird but still menacing counterpart to Captain America (an experiment gone wrong, this time all about brain over brawn) has in recent years become more of an avenue for writers to indulge in homaging and parodying the bombast and weirdness of silver age comics. Nowadays M.O.D.O.K. is more of a joke about a silly villain who considers himself serious and powerful.
This is why the M.O.D.O.K. of “Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania” works so well. In this version of the character, it is not Tarleton or A.I.M. carrying out a failed experiment. Instead, M.O.D.O.K. is Corey Stoll’s Darren Cross from the first “Ant-Man,” who tried to copy Hank Pym’s research by creating the Yellowjacket suit. Darren was ultimately defeated by Scott Lang, who sabotaged his suit and caused it to shrink uncontrollably. This sent Darren to the Quantum Realm, where the different parts of his suit shrinking at different degrees gave us the big-headed, baby-legged M.O.D.O.K. we all know and love. Now he works as Kang the Conqueror’s enforcer, sent to hunt down Scott and his daughter.
From the moment he first shows up after being teased as a menacing killing machine — a scary and unbeatable villain — the reveal that M.O.D.O.K. is just the goofy dude from the first movie but looking even goofier is hilarious