M.O.D.O.K. Head Games #1
From Patton Oswalt and Jordan Blum, showrunners of the upcoming animated Marvel's M.O.D.O.K. show on Hulu, comes a journey into the mind of one of the biggest heads in the Marvel Universe! M.O.D.O.K. is the ruthless and brilliant leader of the terrorist organization AIM, outsmarting heroes and outmaneuvering his cutthroat colleagues gunning for his position... but when he begins to be haunted by memories of a family he never had, it leaves him unsure if he is losing his freakishly-large mind, or if perhaps there is a lot more to this enormous mind... or if there is something more sinister behind these visions.
Well you SOBs, you actually did it. Somehow, this exceptional combination of sharp, layered writing, gorgeous artwork with warm, vibrant colors, and some of the best lettering comics have to offer managed to make me– a lifelong hater of the character– actually care about M.O.D.O.K and what comes next.
I suppose I expected something a little more schtick-based which is certainly the fault of my own biases. Yes, there are moments where you are reminded that Patton is a comedian but what you may forget is that he is a genuinely caring human being as well. Where Head Games shines is highlighting these newfound insecurities in M.O.D.O.K.s programing (“A Freak.” “A Monster.” “A Coward.”). They are presented not as wallowing in pity but in a far more real way. A voice at the back of your mind, intermittantly reminding you that you just aren’t good enough. The subtlty here is magnificent. If this kind of depth is what to expect out of the television series being helmed by these two, start making your plans for award season now.
Visually, aside from the character design of M.O.D.O.K. that I still hate and is no fault of the team here, this book is stunning. Hepburn and Lopez manage to work together to simultaneously give homage to GOAT with Kirby-esque designs and palettes while still maintaining a distinct sense of self. Oftentimes these attempts turn out to be more in the vein of a cheap knock-off of the King but here it works more as an enhancer for specific moments without getting in the way of great storytelling. Adding Lanham on top of that seems almost like cheating and the visualized sound effects throughout manage to take some pages that may not have popped quite as strong and make them sing.
Is M.O.D.O.K. Head Games going to change your life? Maybe not. I doubt anybody in 20 years will say, “This was the book that made me fall in love with comics”. But it is a very well put together book that I enjoyed far more than expected and I look forward to the next issue. The creative team clearly loves comics from top to bottom, and that is never a bad thing.
M.O.D.O.K. Head Games #1 from #Marvel delivers a shockingly well-crafted book with true narrative depth where none was expected. From upcoming showrunners @BlumJordan @pattonoswalt with Scott Hepburn @co_carloslopez @TravisJLanham !
M.O.D.O.K. Head Games #1: Getting Out of My Own Head
Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
Storyline - 10/1010/10
Art - 9.5/109.5/10
Color - 10/1010/10
Cover Art - 8.5/108.5/10
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