Written by: Fred Van Lente Pencils: Francis Porteia (Marvel 2007)
Monica Rappaccini – “Does anyone on this team actually work for who they say they work for?!?”
When you're a supremely intelligent villain and you associate yourself with villains of a...'lower level' of intelligence, can you really trust them? Well no. The problem isn't because of an intelligence level...it's because they're all villains! When part man, part machine, M.O.D.O.K (Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing) recruited a small group of D-list super-villains to carry out a heist, he discovered that trust was a big issue. He offered each of them $5 million to break into the beacon of the Infinicide and steal its power source. This power source called a hypernova was a continuously exploding star producing more energy than the sun could in a trillion years; making it a pretty attractive steal. The Chameleon, Mentallo, The Spot, Deadly Nightshade, Puma, Armadillo, Living Laser and Rocket Racer all agreed to go along with the plan, but AS THEY WERE VILLAINS, a few of them had ulterior motives.
As M.O.D.O.K discovered, when dealing with a group of super-villains this meant the inevitable double-cross was almost likely to be one of the problems. And it was. Continuously. M.O.D.O.K's 11 was littered with double-crosses, like when Monica Rappaccini, an agent of M.O.D.O.K’s former employer A.I.M, successfully infiltrated M.O.D.O.K’s team in an attempt to scupper his plan. She used the Ulta-Adaptoid, an android with a revolving door of powers, to link herself into the very action of the heist just to throw a spanner in the works. She wasn't alone and the real fun in the story was the use of low-level villains to pull off the heist, as their expendability meant it was never clear if they would succeed or not; or when they'd turn on each other. For the few that did make it through the ordeal, they achieved something far more important than a cash pay-out; they realised that if they stuck together they were likely to succeed. This was an important lesson for the team who had found little success from their preferred choice of career, being forgotten amongst more high-profile colleagues. It also showed an honour amongst thieves as strong as any between heroes. It was a valuable lesson for them to learn (and one to learn if you just happened to be a villain who had stolen and then read M.O.D.O.K's 11). The art of the con involves the instigator of the heist having every eventuality mapped out in advance, so if any problems occur, they are factored into the overall picture. For all of M.O.D.O.K’s mental capacity, his scientific calculations and his years of experience at being a master criminal, his plan was boiled down to the simple formula - recruit minions, secure hypernova, sell hypernova, screw Monica! So maybe he didn't need to trust anyone after all!
BLUEPRINT: *The 5 chapters of M.O.D.O.K’s 11 were subtitled to reflect the different stages of the heist, with the titles, ‘The Team’, ‘The Plan’, ‘The Job’, ‘The Getaway’ and ‘The Payoff’.
*M.O.D.O.K first appeared in Tales of Suspense #93, (1967).
*The 11 involved in M.O.D.O.K’s 11 were Armadillo, Chameleon (sort of), Deadly Nightshade, Living Laser, Mentallo, Puma, Rocket Racer, The Spot, Monica Rappaccini, Mandarin and of course M.O.D.O.K.