MODOK's New Ant-Man Look Proves Marvel Needs to Stop Reinventing the Wheel – CBR – Comic Book Resources

With fan-favorite villain M.O.D.O.K. allegedly getting a new look in Ant-Man and the Wasp, here’s why Marvel needs to stop messing with what works.
At San Diego Comic-Con 2022, Marvel Studios showcased some footage from its upcoming film Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. It's a big project and has been confirmed to be the launchpad for Phase Five of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And it's going to have iconic villains from the comics such as Kang the Conqueror and M.O.D.O.K.
However, there is one small issue. M.O.D.O.K. doesn't look like M.O.D.O.K. While none of the footage has been released publicly, attendees of the event have described the footage in detail. And in doing so, it has been revealed that rather than being a giant mutated face in a flying robot suit, M.O.D.O.K. instead has a more generic robot-like face. And that's rather disappointing.
RELATED: MODOK Is a Perfect Fit for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Marvel Comics has a huge legacy and library of iconic characters. It's a brand that has built such a strong identity for itself through the many stories it's told over the years. It only makes sense that Marvel Studios builds on what works for its film adaptations. So, it's very odd that for M.O.D.O.K., Marvel has opted to reinvent the wheel, despite being presented with a perfect wheel, to begin with.
The original design for M.O.D.O.K. is great, he's weird, off-putting, but fascinating as a design. Changing him to instead look like a generic robot face strips the character of everything that makes him iconic. It strips him of everything that makes him a Marvel character. And the unfortunate thing is, this isn't the first time Marvel Studios has done this sort of thing.
RELATED: Ant-Man 3 Star Compares Kang Role to Playing Quarterback
The easiest example is with a lot of the costume design. While many of the biggest Marvel characters like Iron Man and Captain America are very much based on their classic comic book appearances, some characters barely look like their comic book selves. And Marvel Studios has an annoying habit of making fun of sillier aspects of a character's comic book origins. It's entirely unnecessary, and audiences don't need an extended bit of Clint Barton saying having an "H" on his mask is ridiculous or having Peter Parker make fun of Otto Octavius' name.
Obviously, when it comes to adapting comic books to film, some compromises have to be made. They are two different mediums with different strengths and weaknesses. However, there are some elements of Marvel Comics characters that are intrinsic to their identity, and to disregard them for adaptations seems wrong. The comics have an extremely rich legacy, and the films should use it — not disregard and mock it.
A graduate who has completed an English and Creative Writing degree – and a lover of all things nerdy. Has written for publications such as New Welsh Review, and Aberystwyth Student Media; having regularly covered film & TV for the latter. Also enjoys acting and performance in their spare time. They/He
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