Review: Super-Villain Team-Up: MODOK’s 11

In this climate of constant epic crossovers in comic books its nice when you can find a mainstream story that is fun and you know won’t commit you to buying dozens of books a month. For the majority of my childhood I was a pretty diehard DC Comics fan but recently have been dipping my toe in the Marvel waters. I’ve also been a big fan of book focusing on villains. Now these sorts of books can end up pretty terrible but in the right hands they can be magic.

coverI was very happy to find the current 5 issue mini-series from Marvel, Super-Villain Team-Up: MODOK’s 11. A little past the halfway mark, the series focuses on MODOK, a bizarre super-villain created way back during the 60s by the classic team of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Originally evil scientist George Tarleton, he became MODOK (Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing) after subjecting himself to an experiment that accelerated his evolution. His body dwarfed in size and he ended up with one huge head. Yes, a very strange idea but that was what made the Lee/Kirby creations so great, their willingness to try a weird idea out.

Present day, MODOK is on his own, all his ties with his former organization AIMissue one (Advanced Idea Mechanics) cut off. He assembles a group of D-list villains, each with a specific skill that will benefit the planned heist. As you can tell from the title, the concept is directly borrowing from the Ocean’s 11 movies but with a comic book twist. All but one member of the team has been revealed and with the way the book has gone so far its sure to play a key element in the resolution. So far we’ve been entertained by the strangeness of The Spot, a dalmatian colored man who can open portals from any point in space to another; Puma, a native American man possessing a mystic totem that turns him into a manimal; Living Laser, a villain whose name pretty much describes him, and many other wild characters.

issue twoThe stakes of the story are not as big as the recent Civil War storyline or the presently ongoing World War Hulk but they don’t need to be. This is just a fun, dark comedy with tons of action and betrayals. The writer, Fred van Lente hasn’t done any major work yet, lots of indie comics and lighter fare. Penciller Francis Portela has done some work on titles like Heroes for Hire, Black Panther, Arana, and some fill-in work on the Marvel handbook titles. Both men are making a good shot at a major breakout with this title. So if you’re looking for a fun comic that doesn’t lock you into a huge commitment and will deliver a complete story check this one out.

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~ by Seth on September 10, 2007.

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