Warning: spoilers for MODOK: Head Games #3!
In the world of comics, it’s fairly common for characters to come back from the dead, but Avengers villain MODOK just got a more surprising resurrection than most. While readers famously voted to kill off Batman’s sidekick Jason Todd, it’s even rarer they have any direct involvement in a character’s resurrection. But such is the case in MODOK: Head Games #3, where the titular villain MODOK is killed and brought back just as quickly with a little meta-magic.
MODOK: Head Games is an ongoing series from Marvel by writers Jordan Blum and Patton Oswalt – the same creative team behind the upcoming MODOK Hulu series – as well as artist Scott Hepburn. In the first issue of Head Games, readers saw that MODOK’s brain is being hijacked by his own TV show, as the usually diabolical villain is plagued with visions of a quiet family life in the suburbs – seemingly the same one that will be depicted in the Hulu show. MODOK’s quest to fix his malfunctioning brain eventually leads him back to beginning, to the lab where was originally created, but he soon realizes he’s not alone.
Back in issue #1, MODOK severed his ties with AIM, barely managing to escape with his life. In retaliation, AIM hires Gwenpool to hunt MODOK down. Gwenpool has actually killed MODOK in the past – a fact she doesn’t hesitate to remind him of when she catches up to him in issue #3. “Last time I killed you, I launched your evil hover-heinie into space. And that was for free… Imagine what I can do when I’m monetarily incentivized!” Sure enough, Gwenpool manages to slice MODOK in two, effectively killing the main character of the series. However, Gwenpool quickly has a change of heart after she sees the images of MODOK’s family projected before her. “A family,” she says, “They’re humanizing you… And I killed you.” Fortunately, Gwenpool knows just who can fix the problem she just created – the readers.
Like Deadpool – who inspired her creation – Gwenpool is a Marvel character that knows they’re in a comic. As such, she can use her meta-awareness to essentially rewrite the events of the story. The art in the issue actually shows Gwenpool climbing out of the panel and grabbing a copy of MODOK: Head Games #3, which she then takes to an editor’s table. There, she draws red dotted lines on the previous few pages, telling the reader to just cut them out so MODOK’s death can be reversed.
MODOK: Head Games has been dabbling in meta-storytelling from the beginning, with the plot centering around visions from MODOK’s upcoming TV series and even hinting that the MCU and comics universes are connected. However, Gwenpool certainly takes things to the next level by getting the readers involved. It’s a great move that showcases the series’ dark-hearted humor, bringing together two characters who fans should want to see locked away for their crimes, but just can’t help rooting for. With only issue left to go in the series, the Avengers villain’s quest for truth has been a genuinely hilarious ride, and one which will have many readers excited for the TV adaptation. Sadly, it also means they’re responsible for whatever MODOK does next.