For a lot of the “Secret Wars” tie-ins, their purpose seems fairly clear: take a chance to revisit/remix a beloved era, group of characters, storyline or concept from Marvel history and plunge it into Battleworld. That doesn’t, however, explain “M.O.D.O.K.: Assassin” #1. Christopher Yost, Amilcar Pinna and Terry Pallot’s comic seems to be going for some sort of comedic turn, but — so far — it’s not quite hitting its intended target.
Most of the issue has Yost follow M.O.D.O.K. as he bickers or attacks things. The problem is that neither of them are terribly entertaining. M.O.D.O.K. attacking Bullseye or Sentinels comes across as very disengaging — there’s nothing to cheer for, nor anything terribly interesting about the characters — and sniping at Baron Mordo doesn’t work because neither he nor M.O.D.O.K. bring anything special to the table. Their dialogue isn’t witty, their jabs at one another go nowhere… it’s just not funny, or even fun.
The closest we get to that is a guest appearance from Gambit over in the House of M barony, but it’s a sequence that ends rather predictably. It’s too bad, because a character as bonkers as M.O.D.O.K. could have been somewhat amusing, but at no point does it feel like Yost has the deft touch to make that happen.
Pinna and Pallot’s art is reasonable but nothing out of the ordinary. Until the final panel, I’m not convinced that we ever get even a second expression on M.O.D.O.K.’s face, and that unexpressive nature is part of why “M.O.D.O.K.: Assassin” #1 is hard to connect to. Still, the anatomy seems reasonable enough, and there’s no problem following one panel to the next. It’s perfectly fine art, but — like “M.O.D.O.K.: Assassin” in general — it’s utterly unmemorable.
I’m not sure why “M.O.D.O.K.: Assassin” #1 got the proverbial green light from editorial; there isn’t a hook that seems strong enough to bring in readers, aside from perhaps co-opting the original “Elektra: Assassin” logo. In the end, that’s definitely not enough, not even with a nifty David LaFuente cover to go along with it. There’s nothing offensively bad about it, but I can’t see this being remembered within six months of its conclusion.