M.O.D.O.K. finds himself in conflict with Thor-Angela (“Thongela?” Yeah, that’s about right), and also with his programming. Apparently, Angela thought that M.O.D.O.K. was responsible for her crashing to earth/losing her Thor-hammer, and thus it’s a classic Marvel-style misunderstanding-before-the-team-up kind of battle.
There’s also a bit of a subplot as the Assassins’ Guild prepares to send all their forces on M.O.D.O.K., but basically that’s about it. It provides a showcase for some extended hand-to-hand combat, which is always fun to see in a comicbook, and certainly the pages here are fun to read. M.O.D.O.K.’s depiction is hilarious as he tries but does not try to engage with Angela’s attacks, and again we have some visual humor with the array of M.O.D.O.K. weaponry that keep popping out of nowhere. Actually, Angela seems like she might be nicely paired with him, as judging from her portrayal here she has a superpower of suddenly holding a weapon in any given hand in the space of a panel. Unintentional parody here?
Because I think the humor overall has to walk a fine line between being pathetic and parody. M.O.D.O.K. is essentially an easy mark— he’s a giant caricature after all. But whereas the previous issue maintained a nice juxtaposition between M.O.D.O.K.’s grotesquery and his capability, highlighting how monstrous he would truly be, in this issue he’s bumbling and a fool. For love, yes, but still. The readers are essentially laughing at M.O.D.O.K.’s expense rather than in spite of it, and that’s going to wear very thin if it’s going to remain this way for the remainder of the series.
The art supplements the tone and character of the series. Although not technically as polished in figure drawing (there are more than a few skewed anatomies and awkward facial depictions. Yes, Clea, I’m talking about you on page 12), it’s never distracting or calling attention to itself. It works in M.O.D.O.K.’s favor, emphasizing his gangly body and exaggerated emotions/expressions. I particularly appreciate the way his face is being blown back by the force of the null bomb as it engulfs him. The colors, too, are nicely deliberate, with some mysterious purples at the beginning of the misunderstanding and dawn-like yellows at the resolution.
And judging from the last panel, we have the promise of a M.O.D.O.K. versus Hit Monkey battle next issue, and that is AWESOME.
One of the best things about this series is the unknown about it. Just where exactly is all this going? We don’t know, and this issue is just the latest step along the way. There’s not a lot of depth to the classic Marvel team-up structure that makes up this chapter, but it’s fun, with more than a few actual laugh out loud lines. The only downside is the near-parody that it threatens to fall into, but so far I’m on board.