Hulu has released the first trailer for MODOK, its upcoming animated show that will see Patton Oswalt voice the titular Marvel villain in a more light-hearted, Robot Chicken-style take on the franchise’s usual portentous superhero dramas. The show also got a release date: it’ll debut on May 21st on the streaming service.
MODOK (Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing) has been a long-running bad guy in Marvel Comics as the leader of the evil scientific group AIM. (A more serious take on the character serves as the primary antagonist for Square Enix’s Avengers video game, released last year.)
In the new Hulu animated series, MODOK has managed to bankrupt AIM, resulting in the supervillain being fired as the organization’s leader and leaving the massive floating head to sort out his professional and family problems on his own.
MODOK was originally part of a larger slate of animated Marvel shows planned for Hulu in 2019 by the now-defunct Marvel TV, alongside Hit-Monkey, Tigra & Dazzler, and Howard the Duck series. The four shows were then slated to cross over in a special called The Offenders (a take on existing crossover shows like the Avengers films or Netflix’s Defenders for its Marvel heroes).
Those plans would be upended later in 2019 when Marvel TV was shut down, studio head Jeph Loeb (who was overseeing the new animated shows) left the company, and future Marvel TV efforts were placed under Kevin Feige’s Marvel Studios division (which has a staggering number of Marvel shows planned for Disney Plus over the next several years). Shows that were already in development under Marvel TV — like the final seasons of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Hulu’s Helstrom, and MODOK — were allowed to finish up their work, but the other shows were summarily canceled.
In that light, MODOK isn’t just a wacky spin on the Marvel universe; it’s a final glimpse at a different path that the company’s comics adaptations could have taken before the MCU fully took over the future of Marvel TV shows.