Hulu cancels star-studded Marvel show after just one season

Marvel's MODOK
(Image credit: Marvel)

Hulu has canceled animated series M.O.D.O.K after just one season on the air. 

The show, which was made in stop-motion adult animation, debuted all the way back in May of 2021, but its cancelation has only just been confirmed by Hulu, according to Variety.

Patton Oswalt, stand-up comedian and star of The King of Queens, acted as both co-showrunner and the voice of the title character, while Ben Schwartz, the voice of Sonic The Hedgehog, Brooklyn Nine Nine's Melissa Fumero, The Goldbergs' star Wendi McLendon-Covey and Saturday Night Live regular Beck Bennett, were among the supporting voice cast. 

M.O.D.O.K stands for Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing and follows the title character, an egomaniacal supervillain who is struggling to keep control of his evil organization and his demanding family commitments. 

M.O.D.O.K himself is a floating robotic engineered head and has spent years trying and failing to defeat the Earth’s mightiest heroes, using all the resources of his company, A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics) in the process and driving the company into bankruptcy. When we meet him, he's teetering on the verge of a mid-life crisis...

Oswalt himself confirmed the news over the weekend and expressed sorrow at the show's cancelation...

Is the show's cancelation a surprise?

Not really. If a show's future is still hanging in the balance a year on after its first appearance, then it's unlikely the network, or streaming service in this case, are too keen for there to be more of it. 

M.O.D.O.K was originally part of a grand plan for Hulu and Marvel. Hulu, which is two-thirds owned by Disney, had announced four animated shows from Marvel Television, M.O.D.O.K, Hit-Monkey, Howard the Duck and Tigra and Dazzler. After each show had debuted, Hulu's plan was to bring them all together for a team-up, known as The Offenders. 

The plan was similar to Marvel's team-up with Netflix, which saw Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Daredevil all debuted in individual shows before joining up to become The Defenders. 

Now, while Marvel and Netflix's team-up didn't blossom until the fruitful long-term partnership both parties were hoping for, with each of the shows winding up being canceled by Netflix and eventually being re-homed on Disney Plus earlier this year, it got a lot further than The Offenders,..

What happened to The Offenders?

Neither Howard the Duck nor Tigra and Dazzler ever made it to air. Hit-Monkey has thus far enjoyed one season on Hulu, debuting in November 2021, but there's no word on its future and the reports around M.O.D.O.K's end indicate it won't return. 

The failure of these shows can be put down largely to Marvel Television, which was shut down at the end of 2019 as the productions were moved under the control of Kevin Feige and his Marvel Cinematic Universe

Feige has since overseen the launch of WandaVision, Hawkeye, Loki, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Moon Knight to great success, with three more Marvel TV shows, Ms Marvel, She-Hulk and Secret Invasion set to launch later this year. 

Sadly for Hulu, all the action is now on Disney Plus, but given the lion's share of the streamer is owned by Disney anyway, executives will be pretty sanguine about the development. It's just sad for the creative teams behind the shows that made up The Offenders that all their hard work didn't come to much. 

Tom Goodwyn
Freelance Entertainment Writer

Tom Goodwyn was formerly TechRadar's Senior Entertainment Editor. He's now a freelancer writing about TV shows, documentaries and movies across streaming services, theaters and beyond. Based in East London, he loves nothing more than spending all day in a movie theater, well, he did before he had two small children…