The Marvel Universe has more than its share of wacky super villains who were created for one or two issues of Captain America or X-Men and were not heard from again until they were rounded up in the great Scourge event of the late eighties. Well, Scourge was a busy man and he couldn't kill all the C-List bad guys so the survivors ended up in titles like Palmiotti and Gray's Heroes for Hire and this week's M.O.D.O.K.'s 11.
I love heist stories. I love M.O.D.O.K. because he's the craziest villain Marvel ever came up with. I love making fun of the crazy people populating a world with Stilt Man in it. More accurately, I love all of these things when they are done well. This issue is done very well.
M.O.D.O.K. has broken free of A.I.M (again) and he is hiding out in an abandoned warehouse (of course) so he can plot his revenge against all those who have wronged him. He has used his superior intellect to assemble the perfect team of ne'er-do-wells for his Big PlanTM. The members of this "perfect team" include Rocket Racer, Spot, and Puma so the big guy's intellect may not be as superior as he'd like us to think.
This story has the right mix of wacky fun and cool character moments to make it a real page turner. So far, Mentallo is the only one who has a clue that M.O.D.O.K. is hiding something but even his skepticism is overwhelmed by the promise of a lot of money. It's too easy to go overboard with the characterizations in a story like this but Fred Van Lente does it right. Van Lente is now on my very short list of writers whose work I'll seek out.
The art by Francis Portella and Terry Pallot is solid, action-filled, and dynamic. It's got a nice, clean look that works perfectly with this story. I can't wait for the next four issues.