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WonderCon: Marvel's M.O.D.O.K. nabs Jon Hamm, Whoopi Goldberg and Nathan Fillion as guest stars

By Rich Sands
Marvel's M.O.D.O.K.

It’s a good thing M.O.D.O.K. has a big head, because he’s about to be joined by some big names from the Marvel universe — and our own. At Saturday’s WonderCon@Home panel for the upcoming Hulu animated series Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K., Mad Men star Jon Hamm popped in to reveal that he will be providing the voice of Iron Man. In addition, it was announced that Whoopi Goldberg will guest star as the villain Poundcakes, Nathan Fillion plays Avenger and underwear model Wonder Man (who will romance the title character’s wife) and Bill Hader provides voices for both Angar the Screamer and The Leader.

In the 10-episode stop-motion animated comedy, M.O.D.O.K. (voiced by series co-creator Patton Oswalt) is hell bent on conquering the world. But it turns out that the Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing may not be up to the task. His home and work life are falling apart and nobody is treating him with any respect.

Needless to say, it was easy to play the character for laughs. “It wasn't really a decision to add comedy,” Oswalt said in response to a fan question, “because when we went back and read the original M.O.D.O.K. from the original comic that he was in, [Tales of Suspense, featuring] Captain America and The Falcon, there was an element of humor to him in that he’s so self-loathing and so full of self angst that it’s kind of funny. And he’s such a ridiculously created super villain. He's just this thing that lives in misery. So we had a lot of fun going, well, if we just extend out what he already is it's kind of funny.”

To that end, series co-creator Jordan Blum teased that, “I think we’re the only Marvel show to have our big epic finale take place at a bar mitzvah.” Still, he promised that the show will feel very much on brand for Marvel fans: “I think it does what Marvel does best, which is it tells this big, giant adventure set against S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarriers and Asgard and all these places that we're familiar with, but at the center of it is this very relatable emotional story about a guy who is losing everything in his life, from his family to his job, and kinda has to figure out who he is in his late forties what he really wants.” In fact, he adds, “People might shed a tear here and there amongst the insanity.”

And if you’re surprised to hear that Marvel was OK with a show this outrageous including Iron Man, one of its biggest stars, well, you’re not alone.“We were so shocked at who they allowed us to use,” Oswalt admitted. “There were toys that we thought, ‘Well, let's put it in the script and they’ll shoot it [down].’ Added Blum: “There were insane A-list characters that have been in movies and cartoons and video games for years that they were like, ‘Yeah, OK, no problem!’ And the weirdest D-List character like Stilt Man or Turner D. Century had some rights thing that we weren’t allowed to touch. It made no sense but we were so happy with the characters that we got to play with.”

Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. premieres May 21 on Hulu.

Watch the full panel here (including a crazy new clip from the show):