While the heroes are away fighting World War Hulk, the villains can play...M.O.D.O.K., sick of being hunted and hounded by A.I.M., gathers together an eclectic team of Marvel's Most Wanted to pull off one last, big score. But news travels fast along the grapevine of villainy - and pretty soon every bad guy in the Marvel Universe is gunning for the Big-Headed One's unspeakably powerful prize. Executing their heist may be the easy part, because getting away with their loot alive is going to be the real challenge for M.O.D.O.K.'s 11! Collects Super-Villain Team-Up/Modok's 11 #1-5.
Fred Van Lente is the New York Times-bestselling author of comics as varied as Archer & Armstrong (Harvey Award nominee, Best Series), Taskmaster, MODOK's 11, Amazing Spider-Man, Conan the Avenger, Weird Detective, and Cowboys & Aliens (upon which the 2011 movie was based), as well as the novels Ten Dead Comedians and The Con Artist.
Van Lente also specializes in entertaining readers with offbeat histories with the help of his incredibly talented artists. He has written the multiple-award winning Action Philosophers!, The Comic Book History of Comics, Action Presidents! (all drawn by Ryan Dunlavey), and The Comic Book Story of Basketball with Joe Cooper (Ten Speed September 2020).
He lives in Brooklyn with his wife Crystal Skillman, and some mostly ungrateful cats.
Genius idea. Ocean's 11 set in the Marvel universe. Van Lente pulls a bunch of D-List villains together to pull off the world's greatest heist. It's a lot of fun. Lots of double-crosses and humor. All masterminded by MODOK and his "minions" as he keeps referring to his cohorts as.
It's a time-heist and all your favourites are here! Armadillo! Living Laser! Deadly Nightshade! Rocket Racer! Some guy named MODOK! It's a veritable who's-who of Marvel villainy!
Fred Van Lente clearly doesn't have much to work with in the way of talent. But you know what? The guy makes it work. And pardon my language but this one is gosh darn hilarious. Both MODOK and A.I.M. are just the perfect comedic punching bags, aren't they? Yet, there's just enough gravitas for this story to feel like it matters. I never thought I'd be particularly interested in the antics of fourth-string villains, but here we are.
Despite being part of the Amazing Spider-Man brain trust that charted the Web-crawler’s Brand New Day adventures, Fred Van Lente is an underrated writer. He has a Rumpelstiltskin-like ability to spin story gold from little-known and little-used characters of the D-List set. His stories are infused with his signature humor, whether following Robert Kirkman on Marvel Zombies (an unenviable task it was) or teaming up with Greg Pak on the buddy book Incredible Hercules.
Van Lente turns his attention in this trade paperback to MODOK. No doubt the AIM mastermind can be a vexing villain with his super-evolved intellect and the resources of AIM to draw on, but he can easily be a cartoonish character, after all he is just a man with a very, very large head. In fact, through the years he has met defeat at the hands of various heroes that he has very much become a joke. If this was any other writer than Van Lente, that writer would have just made him into a token mad scientist. But Van Lente’s approach in this story in different is that he takes everything that makes MODOK a joke, but as the story progresses and the end reveal turns him into a calculating villain. MODOK used his weakness, his joke reputation, to catch his opponents off guard.
I enjoyed this story; Van Lente managed to do something refreshing by using these D-List characters in a caper story. If not wholly original, but still something that gives a comic reader a choice in comic shelves filled with derivative superhero pap.
What happens when the former head (literally) of an evil organization decides to gather up an assortment of down-and-out bad guys for a heist? Double-crosses and triple-crosses, of course!
MODOK, former A.I.M. Scientist turned monster/Chief Scientist of A.I.M. turned outcast.is after a powerful energy source. He gathers up a number of super-villains to steal it from China. Along the way, he and they face the threat of his former employers and its new Chief Scientist (who has a surprising tie to MODOK) – and each other. Oh yeah, and the Mandarin decides to crash the party, as well.
MODOK's 11 is a well-paced story that doesn't make the mistake of taking itself too seriously. It's a quick read, and is a good read if you're into comics / the Marvel Universe and don't insist that everything must be soaked in pathos and hidden meanings. Have fun with it – its creators obviously did.
Oh boy, here's another villain team-up I just couldn't make it through. I thought the idea of an Ocean's 11 style caper lead by MODOK sounded like a good one, but this story is just too convoluted, overloaded with sketchy backstory, and full of characters unfamiliar to me. Also, I expected it to be much funnier than it was.
A supervillain comic aping Ocean's 11, with ridiculous "big head" M.O.D.O.K. as the ringleader? From the premise alone, I was sold!
So it was actually a pretty major letdown that the comic itself was, after all this time of looking forward to it, kind of a disappointment. Part of it was maybe the decision to take this overly ludicrous premise and instead play it straight, making it more of a standard supervillain tale than the laugh riot I was expecting. It's also a bit convoluted - what with characters posing as other characters, double-crosses galore, and more factions at play than can really be given the proper spotlight. And while I can respect Van Lente's desire to do a proper "heist" tale, the fact that a super-futuristic fortress from the end of time has security which relies on a slowly-rotating video camera (and which can thus be dodged) is ... really, really dumb.
It's not a bad book, by any means. It's a light, easy way to pass the time. But it could have been so much more...!
This is just great. A Marvel novel dedicated to one of the most underrated villains in comics: M.O.D.O.K.(Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing). His squad of yellow suited scientists are always hunting him down & hassling him. A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics) never truly liked him, because he's a jerk: Demanding, short-tempered & always complaing about how he never wins. So, M.O.D.O.K. gets tired of this crap & decides to pull off something amazing: A heist!!. He gathers 11 villains to help him & half of the team betrays or abandons him before the mission even starts. Other villains gain word of this & begin to hunt down M.O.D.O.K. & claim the prize themselves. Overall, I liked this because not only is M.O.D.O.K. one of my favorite Marvel villains, he's one of my favorite comic villains of all time. Thanks, Marvel!!
Anything with the Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing in it cannot be half bad. This was good, even including a funny insight into MODOK's origin. I am just glad the character was not "re-envisioned" really--how can a psychotic due with a huge freakin' head and mental powers, all in the service of AIM, get any more crazy-amazing? I enjoyed the weird mix of off-beat Marvel heroes (Rocket Racer has never been so interesting). Fun, but except for the MODOK-has/had-a-girlfriend hook, mostly forgettable. This thing just needed MORE MODOK.
Great heist caper from Marvel. M*O*D*O*K (Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing) assembles eight grade-Z supervillains - including Nightshade, Rocket Racer, Puma and Living Laser - to steal an alien artifact from a spaceship.
The MacGuffin in question is a glowing ball called the Infinicide. Problem is, SHIELD, AIM and the Mandarin (an Iron Man villain) also want it. Half of M*O*D*O*K's team betray him before the mission starts. Features likable characters (some of the villains act positively heroic) and a plot with lots of twists.
This was a fun quick read - the levels of nerditry required to appreciate the humor and intrigue of it are so vast I really can't even begin to explain why it was entertaining (again, if only there were fractional stars - this was a solid 3.5) If you ever read Marvel comics in the mid-to-late 80's, and also if you like "caper" movies, this is a sparkling example of blending the two together very well.
A supergenius criminal mastermind recruits a team of supervillains to steal an object of unimaginably cosmic power. The thing is, everybody is playing their own angles, sometimes even two or three. This is a hilarious mashup of Marvel action, Rat Pack antics, and Tarantino-inspired dialogue. It ain't deep, but it's a hell of a fun ride.
This is good goofy super-hero fun, giving a kind of light-hearted caper treatment to the super-villain genre. I like Van Lente's run on Hercules and this has the same witty feel. I suppose it's a post-Alan Moore approach to villains which gives them as much character and sympathy as the heroic cast. Great art, funny story, doesn't outstay its welcome.
This one was a tremendously fun super-villain heist caper story. You don't see a lot of that these days I guess. My only complaint- not enough MODOK! Sure, he was the brains behind the whole operation but the members of the team got most of the focus. Great fun nonetheless!
A fun super-villain heist story, with a number of interesting twists. The author did exaggerate or tweak several characters from their normal portrayals to make them more entertaining, but it was worth it. (B+)