On Saturday, WonderCon 2021 hosted a panel/fan Q&A for Hulu’s upcoming M.O.D.O.K. animated series. The panelists were:
- Patton Oswalt: Series co-creator and M.O.D.O.K. himself.
- Melissa Fumero: Melissa Tarleton, M.O.D.O.K.’s 17-year old daughter.
- Ben Schwartz: Lou Tarleton, M.O.D.O.K.’s 12-year son.
- Aimee Garcia: Jodie Tarleton, M.O.D.O.K.’s wife.
- Jon Daly: Super-Adaptoid
- Jordan Blum: Series co-creator.
We’ll summarize the panel (which you can watch in its entirety below) by highlighting the most informative answers and biggest reveals. If you have time, however, then it’s definitely worth watching the whole thing for the behind-the-scenes insights and to see how excited the cast is about the project.
The cast also revealed a few spoilers for the series, so proceed with caution if you didn’t want to know anything before its May 21 premiere.
On the decision for the series’ comedic tone:
Patton Oswalt explained that even in the original comics where he appeared as a foe for Captain America, M.O.D.O.K. demonstrated a comical amount of angst and self loathing. He also looks ridiculous. Jordan Blum followed that up by pointing out that M.O.D.O.K. has always aspired to be an A-list level villain, but never done so — a failure he is painfully aware of.
Combine that with the mundane/bureaucratic challenges of running an evil organization, and the comedy is definitely there.
It’s also worth noting that later in the panel, Jon Daly held up his copy of M.O.D.O.K.’s original comic appearance (Tales of Suspense #93), which drew a collective gasp from the panelists and myself.
What was the genesis of the show and why did the creators decide to make it in stop motion animation?
A show like this requires hugely exaggerated facial expressions, which work great in the stop motion animated format. Jordan Blum added that after seeing how gorgeous Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was, he felt inspired to do something that looked completely different than everything else that’s out there right now.
The show will take place within Marvel Cinematic Universe and interact with major aspects of it, including S.H.I.E.L.D. and Asgard.
Who are some of the new characters we’ll get to meet?
Oswalt and Blum were “shocked” at some of the characters they were allowed to use. They are also excited to see fan reaction to the new characters they created for the show — like Melissa, M.O.D.O.K.’s beloved daughter.
Lou is the oddball of the bunch despite being part of a family of floating heads. The first season finale takes place at his bar-mitzvah.
Jodie (M.O.D.O.K.’s wife) is a character who’s personality and impact on the narrative rivals her husband. At some point she will also have an affair with Wonder Man.
Super-Adaptoid is often forced to use his powers in ways that are frustrating and/or humiliating.
*Side Note: I absolutely cannot wait to see that.
Marvel character announcements:
The biggest one is that John Hamm (who made a surprise appearance near the end of the panel) will be voicing Iron Man. The other reveals were:
- Whoopi Goldberg as Poundcakes.
- Nathan Fillion as Wonder Man.
- Bill Hader as both The Leader and Angar the Screamer.
The panel ended with an incredible clip of M.O.D.O.K throwing down against his arch nemesis/co-worker Monica Rappaccini (played by Wendi McLendon-Covey). The video embedded below is cued up a few seconds before it starts.
All ten episodes of M.O.D.O.K.’s first season will premiere May 21 on Hulu.
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