'Like something out of Spy Kids': Marvel fans can't get over MODOK's design in Ant-Man 3

MODOK prepares to do battle with an off-screen individual in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
MODOK's MCU design is dividing opinion online. (Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania's final trailer has given Marvel fans plenty to be excited about – but nobody can agree on one particular villain's design.

The teaser, which debuted online on January 9, gave us our best look yet at the Marvel Phase 5 movie, which arrives in theaters worldwide on February 17. From Kang the Conqueror looking suitably menacing to more hints at what the film's plot entails, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania's official trailer delivered a masterclass in how to increase hype within a fanbase. You can read more about what's shown off in our Ant-Man 3 trailer breakdown article.

While Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) fans agree that the film's final teaser makes it look absolutely brilliant, there is one thing nobody can agree on: MODOK's design.

The iconic supervillain, who'll make his MCU debut in Quantumania, is one of Marvel's most uniquely designed bad guys. In short: MODOK is a giant head, with tiny limbs and a small torso, who sits in a floating gold chair. In the comics, his look is down to an experiment gone wrong, with AIM scientist George Tarleton turned into the bloodthirsty, intellectual villain due to the cosmic cube.

In the MCU, though, MODOK's origin story has been altered. Instead of Tarleton, MODOK is a mutated version of Darren Cross, aka Yellowjacket, the villain of 2015's Ant-Man. In that movie, it appears Scott Lang killed Cross when he destroyed his suit, causing him to shrink uncontrollably. However, Cross has clearly survived and, whether it was Kang who saved him or not, Cross is now known as MODOK.

This was confirmed in Ant-Man 3's final trailer, with the face of Corey Stoll – who played Yellowjacket and will play MODOK – clearly visible at the 0:57 mark of the teaser:

Ant-Man, Kang, MODOK, and Cassie Lang walk to the edge of a platform in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

Yep, that's MODOK in the back. (Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Unfortunately, not everyone is on board with MODOK's final MCU design. While many can agree that he looks a lot closer to his comic book counterpart than many expected, Marvel fans haven't held back in their roasting of MODOK's aesthetic.

One of the more common (but no less mocking) comparisons fans have made is that MODOK looks like Mr. Electric from maligned 2005 3D superhero film Sharkboy and Lavagirl. Yes, that's a real movie that really came out in the early 21st century:

But wait, there's more. Given how stretched Stoll's face looks in MODOK's final design, other fans have suggested he wouldn't look out of place in another 3D movie, such as Spy Kids:

We didn't think we'd see MODOK resemble the baby-faced Sun from Teletubbies, a UK-based kids TV show, either, but here we are:

Other MCU fans weren't so joke-y with their criticisms. Twitter user Colerful_lol simply called MODOK "ugly AF", painfulgamer1 said the design was "worse than I thought", and BoxKingKevin stated that Marvel should have looked to Crystal Dynamics' Marvel Avengers videogame to understand what fans want from a CGI-based MODOK design:

Things aren't much better over on Reddit. XNightCrawlerBAMF joked that MODOK "is the sexiest thing I’ve seen today", TheOwl1991 commented on how goofy he looks, adding "it feels like it just photoshopped in and not in a way to fit the helmet", and CityHog and MysteriousCommon6876 mocked the design for looking like "online pre made animations where you upload a photo of your face onto a character and send it to people" or a "JibJab card".

There are some fans who think MODOK's design is as good as it could be. You know, considering what he's been through.

On Twitter, Creepstar409 asked their fellow MCU fanatics how possible it would be to convert MODOK's comics-accurate look into a believable, live-action supervillain, while JustinDunton described MODOK's design as "perfect". Over on Reddit, send_me_pineapples defended Marvel for "how they didn't shy away from making him look weird". Meanwhile, TheRealMichaelGarcia added "[I] can’t wait to see people complain about how silly and goofy he looks, after complaining for months about how marvel made him a robot and not a giant floating head because they were easily fooled by fan art".

There's still time for Marvel to tweak MODOK's design before Quantumania lands in theaters, so there's every chance that he could look better than he does in the trailer. Fans who have mocked his live-action depiction, then, might end up eating their words if that proves to be the case. If not, you should applaud Marvel for retaining MODOK's surreal aesthetic, regardless of whether you deem it good or not. If you don't, MODOK might take you out with those energy cannons attached to his chair. Just saying.

For more MCU-based content, find out how to watch the Marvel movies in order. Additionally, read our Marvel movies ranked piece to see what we think of Ant-Man's other two solo MCU outings.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across. Got a scoop, interesting story, or an intriguing angle on the latest news in entertainment? Feel free to drop him a line.