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M.O.D.O.K.: The name of this bizarre being stands for Mobile Organism Designed Only for Killing, and that's pretty much what he is -- a large floating head that has crossed paths with Captain America, Iron Man, Ms. Marvel and the Vision, among others. M.O.D.O.K. was once a human named George Tarleton, mutated beyond recognition in a lab by the sinister Advanced Idea Mechanics (A.I.M.). Originated in the comics in September 1967 by the Kirby/Lee team, M.O.D.O.K. has still been at it well into the 2010s as an upgraded version called M.O.D.O.K. Superior.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. almost featured M.O.D.O.K. until Marvel changed its mind

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Aug 18, 2020, 12:52 PM EDT

Across its seven season run, ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. delved into a ton of wild corners of the Marvel Comics canon, from LMDs to D-list baddies. But it almost tackled one of the weirdest Marvel antagonists ever created: M.O.D.O.K.

Yes, there was a point where the show was reportedly setting up its own take on M.O.D.O.K., best known as that giant head with insane intelligence and superpowers (an animated series based on the character, starring Patton Oswalt, is coming soon to Hulu). The producers behind the series confirmed to The AV Club that plans to use the charter were derailed by the studio, though we don’t know exactly how he was to be introduced.

One guess: Aida’s one-time ally Ivanov (Zack McGowan) had an LMD body, and dialogue (teasing he was “designed for killing,” part of the acronym in M.O.D.O.K.’s name) along the way dropped hints he could’ve eventually evolved into the legendary baddie. Not to mention, his head eventually ended up in a Futurama-style jar, which could’ve definitely evolved into a giant head, it stands to reason.

Regardless, it didn’t happen. Executive producer Jeffrey Bell explained they were “given the green light originally to use certain characters from Marvel, and started to break story based on those characters.” But that permission, including the right to M.O.D.O.K., was “retracted” before they could introduce the “bats–t crazy” story they were putting together. Alas.

Though it’s a shame we never got a live action M.O.D.O.K., fellow producer Maurissa Tancharoen noted that need to frequently “pivot and scramble” helped spawn some of the show’s most beloved stories along the way: "That’s the fun of our jobs — and the nature of working with an entity like Marvel, where there are a slew of characters to pull from, and there are a bunch of established moving parts. And then when you place your hopes and dreams in something and then it’s not possible… you scramble. But that’s how our [original] mythology was even formed in the first place.”

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is officially done. Check out our breakdown of the finale here, and some extensive interviews with the cast and crew right here.