How does Darren Cross become MODOK in Ant-Man 3? Marvel villain explained

Corey Stoll as Darren Cross in Ant-ManDisney/Marvel

Marvel supervillain MODOK makes his live-action debut in Ant-Man 3, so let us explain who he is, and how previous Ant-Man villain Darren Cross ended up in that suit.

MODOK is one of the weirdest villains in comic book history. We previously went into detail about the character here, but here’s a potted history…

When Advanced Idea Mechanics need a way to study the Cosmic Cube, they turn lowly lab tech George Tarleton into MODOC (Mental Organism Designed Only for Computing). Thanks to his new super-intelligence, he destroys his A.I.M. overlords, and turns the ‘C’ into a ‘K’ – for Killing.

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MODOK has a giant head due to a massive brain that his body can’t support. So the character flies around on a weaponized throne called the Doomsday Chair. And that’s MODOK in a nutshell.

How does Darren Cross become MODOK in Ant-Man 3?

In the Ant-Man movies, Darren Cross is played by Corey Stoll, and the character is a businessman, scientist, and Hank Pym’s former protégé.

His efforts to recreate Pym Particles turn Darren into the supervillain Yellowjacket, and at the end of the first Ant-Man movie, he is turned subatomic by Scott Lang, and banished to the Quantum Realm.

He then appears in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania as MODOK, replete with giant head, little body, and tiny legs.

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When he meets nemesis Lang at the start of the movie, the character claims that “our fates have always been forged together.” Then states “Darren is dead – there is only MODOK!”

Darren/Yellowjacket/M.O.D.O.K. then explains what happened, revealing that Kang the Conqueror both rescued him, and turned him into “the ultimate weapon.”

He then claims to be free for the first time, though adds that he’s now loyal to Kang, and willing to do anything from him.

What happens to MODOK in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania?

The film version of MODOK is quite different to his comic book counterpart, mainly due to the fact that in spite of the giant brain, he seems like something of an idiot. Like Darren has lost brain cells since entering the Quantum Realm.

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We certainly weren’t fans of this iteration of the character, stating in the Dexerto review: “When he removes his mask – and reveals actor Corey Stoll’s face stretched across that giant bonce – he looks ridiculous. MODOK was always a pretty wild character on the comic book page, and Marvel has taken a big swing in trying to bring him to life onscreen. But it fails spectacularly, with M.O.D.O.K. one of the worst additions to the MCU ever.”


M.O.D.O.K. has quite a strange arc in the movie too, hating on Scott early in proceedings, then teaming up with him in the final few scenes, largely because he realizes – thanks to some help from Cassie Lang – that he’s a dick.

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So MODOK ultimately helps save the day by proclaiming, “My name is Darren and I’m not a dick” before blasting through Kang’s force field. He then tells Scott, “You were always a brother to me,” which somewhat confuses Lang.

Then as he breathes his last breath, Darren incorrectly states, “At least I died an Avenger.” Though Scott being the good guy that he is, lets Darren have that moment before he passes away. And that’s the end of big screen MODOK.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is in cinemas now, and you can check out more of our coverage below…

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Ant-Man 3 review | Ending explained | Quantumania characters and castWho is Kang the Conqueror? | Ant-Man 3 Easter EggsDarren Cross as MODOK explained | Has Kang already killed an Avenger? | Who is Victor Timely? | Bill Murray’s character explained |  What is the Quantum Realm? | Post-credit scenes explained | Will there be an Ant-Man 4? | All the Marvel movies in order