For those who don’t know, MODOK (Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing) was once a brilliant human scientist named George Tarleton. Tarleton was originally only a technician in the employ of the nefarious Advanced Idea Mechanics (AIM). In order to better study the recently created Cosmic Cube, Tarleton’s bosses subjected him to experimental mutagenics, creating MODOC (Mental Organism Designed Only for Computing). As is so often the case in these Frankenstein-esque stories, MODOC rebelled, killing his bosses and becoming MODOK, the new leader of AIM. Ever since then, he’s been a consistent thorn in the sides of many of Marvel’s heroes, most notably Captain America, Iron Man, and the Avengers.
At long last, the final film in the 20th Century Fox X-Men line of films, The New Mutants, has been released. Set in a dilapidated mental healthcare facility, the film focuses on the titular team of young mutants uncovering a sinister conspiracy while also fighting their own personal fears and demons. With a promising cast and beloved comic book property, this movie was hotly anticipated… until Disney decided to buy Fox and shelved the movie. After its April 2018 release date was postponed 4 times, The New Mutants then spent three years in limbo before Disney decided to dump it in theaters this past weekend on Friday, August 28th, 2020. And ‘dump’ is more than appropriate when describing this movie.
With HOX/POX acting as a relaunch of Marvel’s X-Men titles, it’s fitting that the first ongoing monthly book to spin out of HOX/POX is X-Men, written by “Head of X” Johnathan Hickman with art by the legendary Leinil Francis Yu. Unlike the other X-titles, X-Men serves as a bit of an episodic series, with most of its chapters not exactly relating to other issues, but instead mainly serving as a way to build this new world, so to speak. Introducing new enemies, establishing Krakoa’s position on the world stage, and creating new mythologies.
In 2018, Marvel Comics announced that it had reacquired the rights to publish and print comic books based on the works of Robert E. Howard, namely Conan the Barbarian. Along with relaunching previous 70’s ongoing titles Conan the Barbarian and Savage Sword of Conan, the Cimmerian made an official, canon jump to the mainstream Marvel Universe (Earth-616). First appearing in the event miniseries Avengers: No Road Home, Conan has continued to appear as the central character in both the Savage Avengers ongoing series and the Conan: Battle for the Serpent Crown miniseries.
In July of 2019, Marvel Comics, Johnathan Hickman, Pepe Larraz, and R.B. Silva completely upended and revitalized the mutant-centric X-Men line of comic book titles with House of X/Powers of X. The twelve-part event comic brought many changes to the structure of the Marvel Universe, as well as ten new monthly series, two limited series, three one-shots, and more on the way. With the next major event, X of Swords (read as ‘Ten of Swords’) on the way this September, it seems appropriate to recap all the titles and changes that lead here. Starting with the pivotal HOX/POX
On November 12, 2018, Stan Lee died. His words crafted the Marvel Universe, introducing the world to beloved characters such as The Amazing Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, The Fantastic Four, and so, so many more. Many of his stories featured a flawed hero facing insurmountable odds, enduring hardships, standing up for what is right, and somehow always managing to come out stronger than they were before. His stories were always meant to inspire readers to choose what’s right over what’s easy.