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M.O.D.O.K.

A funny parody series of a Marvel supervillain on Hulu.

I’m not too familiar with the Marvel supervillain M.O.D.O.K., who is a levitating engineer head with the acronym “Mental/Mobile/Mechanized Organism Designed Only for Killing.” Voiced by Patton Oswalt, this character is the star of Hulu’s new adult stop-motion animated series, produced by Seth Green’s Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, which brought us “Robot Chicken.” Green serves as an executive producer while Oswalt and Jordan Blum create this series with a wisecracking sense of humor-half of which is crass, while the other half is actually pretty funny.

In this show, we see him as a down-on-his-luck supervillain, who thinks he’s powerful just because he takes Iron Man’s boot. His family consists of his divorce-minded author wife Jodie (voiced by Aimee Garcia), his weird, talkative son Lou (voiced by Ben Schwartz), and his teenage daughter Melissa (voiced by “Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s” Melissa Fumero), who looks like him. His company is now under control by Austin (voiced by Beck Bennett), the head of the GRUMBL tech company, and has an arch-nemesis co-worker named Monica (voiced by Wendi McLendon-Covey). And they all fall victim to M.O.D.O.K.’s younger self, who appears after a time-traveling mission to fix his marriage with Melissa goes wrong.

Other characters on the show include Super-Adaptoid (voiced by Jon Daly), who is M.O.D.O.K.’s mistreated robot assistant, the henchman Gary (voiced by Sam Richardson), who is optimistic enough to not be miserable about losing his arm, and we also have Jon Hamm voicing Iron Man, Nathan Fillion as Wonder Man, Whoopi Goldberg as Poundcakes, and Bill Hader as both Leader and Angar the Screamer.

The animation is done in an almost similar fashion as “Robot Chicken,” and the mouths are moving in a cut and rate format like that show. Stop-motion movies and shows are able to expand their horizons and bring the characters to new heights. Every once in a while, when they tackle on a more adult-theme, they keep you going, and that’s the case with “M.O.D.O.K.”

Its comedy is both mean and smart at the same time. Sometimes the crass jokes go too far (like a tipping joke saying: “I only have fives and ones”), but the laughs are provided by the talented voice actors. Oswalt delivers the goods with his flexibility and energy, and this ranks with some of his best vocal performances. The show gives the supervillain a struggling personality, because he’s a jerk, but he also has his strengths and weaknesses. Vulnerabilities is the word I would use to describe what M.O.D.O.K. has here. And the show’s supporting voice cast (particularly Garcia, Fumero, Fillion, and Bennett) all have their moments, as does most adult animated shows.

The show lampoons a few parts of the Marvel universe without jumping to conclusions and giving them a certain amount of energy. Some of the heroes I’ve never heard of, but it’s still fun to see them. Ten episodes in, and already “M.O.D.O.K.” delivers the goods on Hulu. So, on to Season 2!

Rating: 3 out of 4.

Streaming on Hulu

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