Marvel character highlight #27: MODOK

Name: M.O.D.O.K. (Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing)

Alias: George Tarleton (real name), Big Head, Chairman, Damocles Rivas, Gerlach, M.O.D.O.C. (Mental Organism Designed Only for Computing), M.O.D.O.F. (Mental Organism Designed Only for Fun), Mister Potato Head, Moddy, the Saint, Scientist Supreme

Affiliation: A.I.M., Intelligencia, K Sector

Special abilities: Super genius intellect, telekinetic blasts, force field projection, telepathy, mind control

Background: George Tarleton worked as a technician at A.I.M. in Pennsylvania. He was experimented on by the Scientist Supreme, which resulted in a mutation of a large head and dramatically increased intellect. Once the experimentation was complete, George was dubbed M.O.D.O.C (Mental Organism Designed Only for Computing) and placed in a weight-assisting vehicle to support his comically oversized head. Because of his vastly superior intellect, M.O.D.O.K. quickly overthrew his former boss and changed his name to reflect his murderous mindset. M.O.D.O.K. has since been depowered and returned to a normal human state by Amadeus Cho (aka Totally Awesome Hulk).

Relationships: M.O.D.O.K. Superior, clone; Sean Madigan (Head Case), son

First Versus appearance: Marvel vs. Capcom 3

Appearances in other media:

Television: Iron Man (1994 animated series), Iron Man: Armored Adventures, The Super Hero Squad Show, The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Ultimate Spider-Man, Avengers Assemble, Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel, Guardians of the Galaxy (animated short), Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers, Spider-Man (2010s animated series), New Warriors (canceled show), M.O.D.O.K. (upcoming animated series)

Video games: Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, Marvel Super Hero Squad, Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet, Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Marvel Super Hero Squad: Comic Combat, Marvel Super Hero Squad Online, Marvel: Avengers Alliance, Iron Man 3: The Official Game, Marvel Heroes, Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes, Marvel Future Fight, LEGO Marvel’s Avengers, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, Marvel: Contest of Champions, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, Marvel’s Avengers

Marvel character highlight #21: Venom

Name: Edward Charles Allan Brockvenom

Aliases: Toxin, Venom, Lethal Protector, 998th, Anti-Venom, White Venom

Affiliation: Agent Venom, Savage Six, Sinister Six, The Revengers, former partner of Vengeance, Spider-Man, Scarlet Spider, F.E.A.S.T.

Special abilities: Because of the bonding of an alien symbiote (that once partnered with Spider-Man/Peter Parker), as Toxin, Brock has the same basic abilities as Spider-Man. He can stick to walls, can change his identity and has unlimited webbing, environmental camouflaging, quick-healing abilities and superhuman tracking strength in which he can track anyone — not just other symbiotes — as long as he has something to begin from. As Venom, he has the same abilities such as superhuman strength, durability, stamina, speed, agility, reflexes, genetic memory, offspring detection, spider sense, webbing generation and immunity to Spider-Man’s spider sense.

Background: Eddie Brock grew up in an unloving home with his father, who blamed him for the death of Eddie’s mother during childbirth. Brock began to exhibit signs of his future sociopathic life during this time, making up stories to gain attention and move ahead in life. Brock began working at the Daily Globe newspaper as a reporter and got married to Ann Weying. During his career in journalism, Brock excelled but was eventually fired after he was made into a joke by unmasking the wrong man as the villain known as Sin Eater. Brock summarily lost his job and his wife divorced him. As he was humiliated by Spider-Man, Brock saw the superhero as the source of his problems in life and developed an intense hatred for Spider-Man.

As he was contemplating suicide in a cathedral one day, Spider-Man was battling his recently acquired alien symbiote. In an effort to defeat the alien life form, Spider-Man used sonic waves from the church’s bells to sever the bond between himself and the suit. As the suit separated, it was drawn to the nearest life force, which was Brock. Brock had become a vessel of pure hate and enmity toward Spider-Man, and the alien was drawn to and fueled by this hatred. Brock had also recently learned that he had adrenal cancer, which caused his emotions to destabilize.

With the bonding of Brock and the symbiote complete (Brock completely bonded mentally and physically with the symbiote; Spider-Man did not), he learned Spider-Man’s secret identity and went on to wage all-out war against Parker and his loved ones. Despite his penchant for seeking the destruction of Spider-Man, there have been periods of truce and calm between the natural foes. Others have taken up the mantel of Venom as well, and Brock has since changed his name to Anti-Venom and most recently Toxin.

Relationships: Ann Weying (She-Venom), ex-wife; Jenna Cole (friend); Peter Parker (Spider-Man), alien symbiote father spawn; Cletus Kasady (Carnage), alien symbiote father spawn; Beck Underwood (ex-girlfriend)

First Versus game appearance: Marvel vs. Capcom

Appearances in other media: Spider-Man (animated series), Spider-Man Unlimited (animated series), Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. (animated series), Ultimate Spider-Man (animated series), Spider-Man 3 (film), The Amazing Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin (video game), Maximum Carnage (video game), Venom/Spider-Man: Separation Anxiety (video game), Spider-Man (1995 and 2000, video game), Ultimate Spider-Man (video game), Marvel vs. Capcom (video game), Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (video game), Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects (video game), Spider-Man 3 (video game), Spider-Man: Friend or Foe (video game), Spider-Man: Web of Shadows (video game), Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (video game), Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 (video game), Marvel Super Hero Squad Online (video game), Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth (video game), Marvel Heroes (video game), Lego Marvel Super Heroes (video game), The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (video game), Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (video game)