Real Name: Alvin Tarleton
Identity/Class: Human; advanced technology-user; "mad scientist" type
Group Membership: A.I.M.
Affiliations: Other A.I.M. leaders who survived escaped MODOK's wrath; possibly George Clinton and Bernard Worrell and/or Lyle Getz and/or Monica Rappaccini; various super-adaptoids;
if he was involved with the development of MODOK, then he may also have been involved in the development of the Cosmic Cube (later Kubik) and/or the Super-Adaptoid
Enemies: MODOK (George Tarleton)
Known Relatives: George Tarleton (MODOK, son), Sean Madigan (Head Case, grandson)
Aliases: A.I.M. Agent 001, the Founder
Base of Operations: Consciousness trapped within MODOK's uru-coated phone;
formerly the house located at 5258 Towner Avenue, Butterville, Ohio;
formerly an unidentifed A.I.M. island
First Appearance: (BTS, unidentified) MODOK: Head
Games#1 (February, 2021);
(seen, identified) MODOK: Head Games#3 (April, 2021)
Powers/Abilities: Alvin Tarleton is a genius in unspecified fields, presumably including quantum physics and other areas.
He was involved in the creations of MODOK, at least, although his specific contributions are unrevealed. He at least wrote a program by which he could influence MODOK, speaking to his mind.
He had access to various A.I.M. technology, including super-adaptoids.
Height: Unrevealed (he is pictured as nearly
as perhaps just a couple feet shorter than MODOK, who is 12' tall;
that's probably in error, as he is the same height as the other A.I.M.
agents so likely somewhere closer to 6')
Weight: Unrevealed (approximately 195 lbs.)
Eyes: Light brown
Hair: White (male pattern baldness; goatee without mustache)
(MODOK: Head Games#4 (fb)) - Alvin Tarleton saw the world to be imprisoned by religion and politics, and he felt it to be a world that demanded sovereignty by science and which needed A.I.M..
Alvin realized his son, George, lacked the intelligence to be part of that world. Alvin employed George as a janitor, but he felt he could never give him enough purpose.
Alvin ultimately selected George to become MODOC, the Mental Organism Designed Only for Computation, intended to be a tool to further A.I.M.'s goals.
(MODOK: Head Games#4 (fb) - BTS) - In the midst of the transformaton, George begged his father not to do this to him.
(MODOK: Head Games#4 (fb) - BTS) - Alvin used the program J-O-D1-E to sedate MODOC while he was powered down in rest mode.
(MODOK: Head Games#4 (fb)) - However, MODOC eventually rebelled, rewriting his own core functions and renaming himself MODOK, Mental Organism Designed Only for Computation (see comments).
(MODOK: Head Games#4 (fb) - BTS) - Alvin and the other surviving leaders of A.I.M. relocated to Butterville, Ohio, keeping a number of Super-Adaptoids as sentries. They built a sanctuary as a place to continue their science undetected, hidden away from MODOK's viindictive gaze, biding their time until they could take back what was rightfully theirs.
(MODOK: Head Games#1 - BTS / MODOK: Head Games#2 (fb) - BTS) <A week before MODOK: Head Games#1> - MODOK sustained damage that restored Alvin's old fail-safes, allowing Alvin to monitor his movements and steer MODOK back to him as a voice in his head.
MODOK's subconsious desire for peace gave him delusions of a family life in the suburbs, with Jodie as his wife and with Louis and Melissa as his son and daughter, respectively.
(MODOK: Head Games#1 - BTS) - MODOK's malfunctions caused A.I.M.'s board to vote to have him decomissioned. Escaping, MODOK sought aid from Tony Stark.
(MODOK: Head Games#2 - BTS) - Stark located the damage drive running the family scenario, but could not remove it or trace its origins until it was repaired.
As MODOK and Stark sought to recover the technology needed to fix this
drive, Alvin spoke to MODOK, telling him he had always been broken and
that everyone he had ever worked with had turned on him.
After they had retrieved the tech and repaired the drive, Stark noted that the program dated back to his original creation as MODOC, and he sent MODOK back to the island of his creation (see comments).
(MODOK: Head Games#3 - BTS) - At that island, MODOK found that the MODOC experiment had remained on-line, transforming whatever island creature had wandered inside of it into a MODOC-like creature.
(MODOK: Head Games#3 - BTS) - Investigating the program within MODOK that was giving him delusions of a non-existant family life in the suburbs, Gwenpool discovered a signature from the program's original coder: "The Founder." She further identified a house matching his false memories, and she provided MODOK with the address: 5258 Towner Avenue, Butterville, Ohio.
(MODOK: Head Games#3) - MODOK traveled to that location, initially surprised that the residents greeted him with smiles and waves instead of fear. As MODOK entered the house, Alvin called to him the backyard, warning him to mind the bees, as their stings were the kind he wouldn't soon forget. MODOK recognized Alvin's voice as the one within his program/delusions, and Alvin introduced himself by his real name, his various titles, and revealed that he was MODOK's father.
(MODOK: Head Games#4) - After Alvin reviewed his history, MODOK angrily attacked, furious that Alvin would do this to his son. Noting that MODOC was a device/tool, Alvin compared him to a chain saw. When MODOK warned Alvin that he should have stayed hidden and alone, Alvin revealed that the entire town was populated with Super-Adaptoids and his fellow scientists. The adaptoids subdued MODOK.
As Alvin's A.I.M. associates analyzed MODOK's possessions, they questioned his possession of a cell phone, and Alvin noted that it was perhaps a totem to that fictional suburban life he so desperately craved. Alvin vowed to purge MODOK's desires, his volanic temper, and his fragile ego, noting that his humanity had always been the bug in the system. As Alvin began the process of wiping MODOK's personality, MODOK accessed his cell phone, coated in Asgardian uru he had acquired during the War of the Realms, using it to destroy the adaptoids and tear through the torsos of Alvin and the other A.I.M. agents working on him.
MODOK then transferred Alvin's consciousness into his cell phone and then "swiped left," banishing him on some level.
(MODOK: Head Games#4 - BTS) - Using Alvin's machine and super-adaptoid technology, MODOK granted forms for Jodie, Lou, and Melissa.
Comments: Created by Jordan Blum, Patton Oswalt, and Scott Hepburn.
I'm not sure what to make of MODOK: Head Games:
We’ve seen the pre-MODOK George Tarleton as an undistinguished technician, rather than the janitor that Alvin portrayed him as. We've also seen him as a top scientist in Marvels#3 (2021). Perhaps not achieving Alvin's level of talent was no better than just being a janitor in Alvin's mind; or perhaps Alvin tried to degrade George by making him perform janitorial duties in his own laboratories.
Certainly the information about MODOK having been created on Boca Caliente is incorrect because A.I.M. didn't take over Boca Caliente until around Iron Man I#207 (1986). We can just count that as a mistake (likely taken by researching other websites that presented this erroneous information as fact), and assume references to Boca Caliente in MODOK: Head Games refer either to the original A.I.M. island location on which MODOC was created, or perhaps that tech was later moved to Boca Caliente...
The idea of some machine just randomly converting animals, etc. into MODOK-types seems a little off as MODOK was a big deal for them to develop, but I don't know that there is anything to specifically contradict it.
MODOK was destroyed in Iron Man I#205 (after having been killed in Captain America I#313), and he was re-created via a Cosmic Cube in Avengers I#387. It's a bit of a stretch that whatever defunct programming was placed in him at the time of his creation was re-created with him, but if he was created just as he was before his death, I suppose that programming would have been part of him again.
The Super-Adaptoid was a solitary entity that A.I.M. was unable to replicate for a long time, so Alvin's group couldn't have had multiple such versions when they first fled MODOK. However, they could have later developed or acquired these at any point before Alvin led MODOK to him.
I've got some relevent history on MODOK in the profile on George Clinton, but I haven't included it all here since I'm not sure it applies to Alvin...meaning I'm not certain it fits with Reality-616 continuity.
As best as I can tell with the various ret-cons,
Lyle Getz was the Scientist Supreme at the time George Tarleton was
transformed into MODOC. It seems to fit that Alvin Tarleton volunteered
his son, or at least facilitated his involvement, as the subject for
experimentation. George Clinton, Bernard Worrell, and Alvin Tarleton
were involved in the project, and perhaps Clinton was the one seeking
to create the Cosmic Cube, and he may have proposed the development of
MODOC. Getz and Alvin Tarleton were specifically present at the time of
George Tarleton's transformation into MODOC. Monica Rappaccini was an
A.I.M. agent at the time, but I don't know that she was specifically
involved with the creation of MODOC.
After MODOC became MODOK and slew the Scientist Supreme (Getz) and many others involved with the project, George Clinton and Bernard Worrell, Monica Rappaccini, and Alvin Tarleton escaped separately, each with their own group of A.I.M. agents, and each formed separate factions of A.I.M. independent of MODOK.
Or, possibly, Alvin Tarleton's involvement was not part of Earth-616 continuity.
I also found that Monica Rappaccini's profile says:
"When the AIM Scientist Supreme (Lyle Getz) was slain by his own
renegade creation, MODOK, Monica became head of the splinter faction of
AIM that remained independent from MODOK’s control."
Obviously, Clinton had previously been credited with heading the rival AIM faction that split from MODOK, so either he worked with Monica, or she headed her own rival faction. I think the latter is more likely. But I guess I need to profile Monica as well...
As stated in #4 in case it wasn't otherwise realized, part of the point of this series was to bring MODOK's cartoon family into line with MODOK-616.
Profile by Snood.
Alvin Tarleton should be distinguished from:
MODOK: Head Games#1-2 (February-March, 2021) - Jordan Blum & Patton Oswalt (writers), Scott Hepburn (artist), Annalisse Bissa & Lauren Amaro (assistant editors), Jordan D. White (editor)
MODOK: Head Games#3 (April, 2021) - Jordan Blum & Patton Oswalt (writers), Scott Hepburn (artist), Annalisse Bissa & Lauren Amaro (assistant editors), Jordan D. White (editor)
MODOK: Head Games#4 (June, 2021) - Jordan Blum & Patton Oswalt (writers), Scott Hepburn (artist), Annalisse Bissa & Lauren Amaro (assistant editors), Jordan D. White (editor)
First posted: 10/02/2021
Last updated: 01/21/2022
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™ and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at: http://www.marvel.com
Special Thanks to www.g-mart.com for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!
Back to Characters