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MODOK World Domination Tour

Marvel Legends
by yo go re

This is not M.O.D.O.K.

When Warren Ellis pitched Nextwave, it would have been about the titular team involved in the war between S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra. Marvel felt the treatment of the characters was too over-the-top, so they were changed to the non-continuity "H.A.T.E." (Highest Anti-Terrorism Effort) and "S.I.L.E.N.T." ([citation needed]) instead. It's similar to what happened with DC's acquisition of the Charlton heroes and Watchmen, just not as extreme. Anyway, this change allowed Ellis to really go wild, having all sorts of silly fun.

As the Nextwave team invaded State 51, the Beyond Corporation©'s floating terror factory, looking for the mastermind behind the evil plans, they had to fight through wave after wave of weird, manufactured enemies as they approached the insanity nexus - including, along the way, a group of MODOK Elvises.

Obviously, most of this figure is the same mold as the recent sorta-BAF MODOK - the way that figure is constructed allows for easily swapping the face, so reusing the body is just logical. The facial sculpt is definitely similar to MODOK's, thanks (most likely) to the magic of digital sculpting, with similar wrinkles on the cheeks and large brows, and the tin little nose nestled between his big blank eyes. He doesn't have the headband any more, but he does get his mouth sculpted in an Elvis-style sneer. He's also get Elvis hair, including sideburns poking out along the edges of his hover-chair, and the set includes a pair of blue-lensed sunglasses that can clip in place over his eyes.

Instead of purple limbs, E.L.V.I.S. (Evil Lifeform Versed In Singing) gets blue, though the molds are the same and he has the same alternate hands. There are a few more paint apps on his Doomsday Chair, but the major change is that the joystick from the last one has been redone as a microphone here. Sing it, big boy! His bulbous bouffant means he's slightly taller than the existing MODOK. If you're having trouble with your figure wanting to tip over, remember that his "exhaust blast" base isn't purely circular, but oval: turn it so the longer portion points forward, and he'll be more stable.

It would be boring for a MODOK Elvis to just fire mental blasts like a normal MODOK, right? So instead, he fires cheeseburgers. We get three of them, fired in rapid succession (so they can be molded as a single piece), and a little display stand to hold them up in the air... unfortunately, at about crotch-height. They need to be about an inch higher, like they're coming from that red port on his chin-chest. They're straight out of the comic, and a fun inclusion for the set.

An Elvis MODOK by himself would not be reason enough to buy this set. Fortunately for us, it also includes The Captain! Who's The Captain? He's the only member of the team created specifically for the book. There were Monica Rambeau and Elsa Bloodstone, Aaron Stack, and Tabby Smith, then The Captain. He's the only one who doesn't use his real name. Quite possibly because he doesn't remember his real name. He's tried pretty much every "Captain (Something)" supranym he can think of, but all of them were taken. He even tried "Captain ☠☠☠☠," until Steve Rogers beat the ☠☠☠☠ out of him and left him in a dumpster with a bar of soap in his mouth.

The Captain is really strong and can fly, thanks to powers bestowed on him by aliens. He's your hero. He was walking home from the bar one night, when a pair of little green men appeared and granted him your usual assortment of powers; he then beat them to death, because he thought they were leprechauns and would turn into gold. He's not what you'd call "smart." (In his defense, he was quite extraordinarily drunk.)

Nextwave was drawn by Stuart Immonen, who has a clean, almost cartoony style - and side note, how awesome would a Nextwave cartoon be? Think "Invader Zim meets Gurren Lagan," increasingly giant and ridiculous, with a fun sprinkling of stupid and unpredictable. The sculpt on this figure is more detailed than the art, obviously, but it still shows Immonen's influence. The Captain comes with your choice of heads: one with a bit of a frowny pout, the other with a dopey smirk. He's lucky he's got super powers, because anyone with this combination of sideburns and a combover would just be getting punched every minute of every day by every person they met.

Although he's the only one who doesn't go by his normal name, The Captain is also the only member of the team who doesn't really wear a costume. Sure, he has the trenchcoat that visually unifies them, but he's wearing it over a white T-shirt with a black star emblem on the chest, camo pants, and red high-top sneakers. The feet and shins are new molds, while torso comes from Old Man Hawkeye and the rest is Netflix Punisher. He doesn't have any accessories, because his powers are all physical, but he does get pec hinges and swivels at the top of his shoes in addition to all the other standard articulation.

This "M.O.D.O.K. World Domination Tour" set would have been last year's SDCC exclusive, if there had been an SDCC last year, so the packaging is ornate. Fitting with the theme of MODOK looking like a rock singer, the box is designed like a road case - you know, black body, silver edges, all that. Anthony Petrie even included stickers and scratches all over it! The interior is printed with photos, records, drumsticks, airline tickets, a VIP pass, a burger... lots of stuff that wouldn't normally be in a case like this. There's even a faux drawer where the accessories are. Unfortunately, there's no actual hinge where it opens, just paper on the outside of the cardboard box; that's a recipe for ripping apart if you're not careful.

If you want to get really technical, only The Captain and Elsa Bloodstone are Nextwave-accurate, but the others will be okay stand-ins until Hasbro decides to give us the real things. And an appropriate body for Dirk Anger! This set is definite fun though, even if we have just been sitting on this review for way longer than we should have. Using MODOK's modular construction to turn him into an Elvis was inspired, though now we really wish there were more stupid villains to up the cool factor.

-- 06/20/22

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