Review: M.O.D.O.K. Assassin #1

modokIf there is one overall generic complain about the big two comic publishers and their superhero franchises, it is that they rarely think outside of the box.  They take what is a fairly common formula and repeat it time and again forcing the readers into a repetition of stories.  While entertaining it also causes that very few individual issues stand apart in terms of their concepts.  There are certainly exceptions to the rule, as for instance Gotham Academy from DC has been very different and also very popular, but mostly with the relaunch or introduction of new characters the same happens time and again.  It is thus interesting to see Marvel take on a project such as M.O.D.O.K. in the midst of Secret Wars and Battleworld.  Although extremely deadly the character is often regarded as somewhat of a joke among come readers due to his weird name and bizarre appearance.

This issue introduces the character and makes it very clear that he is one to be taken seriously.  Set within the Killville section of Battleworld, M.O.D.O.K. proves himself more than willing to act as the guardian for his realm, one that is defined by the presence of assassins.  Elsewhere on Battleworld, the plot line has either mostly ignored the fact that denizens of each zone are required to stay within their areas or else face punishment, but here the story revels in it.  M.O.D.O.K. not only has to deal with unexpected assailants into this land, but chooses to deal with them directly as a source of fun, if M.O.D.O.K. can indeed experience fun (though he is evidently capable of experiencing something to be funny.)

This story is exactly the type of gamble that Marvel or DC should be taking.  While there are still lots of fun and engaging stories to be told with superheroes, this one takes a completely different approach to the genre, and laughs in its face while doing so.  It might not be the most exciting comic to ever grace the stands, but it is one of the best so far of the Secret Wars tie-ins, and one of the few that is really trying something very different.  M.O.D.O.K. shouldn’t be, but comes off almost as a hero in this title, and it is a testament to the ability of the creative team to pull something so novel out of the company wide crossover.

Story: Christopher Yost Art: Amilcar Pinna
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy