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MODOK In Ant-Man 3 Gives Us The MCU's Weirdest (But Still Glorious) Death Scene

The following article contains spoilers for "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania."

Wherever Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors) goes, death is sure to follow. But in terms of major deaths in "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania," things are pretty light. Sure, Kang kills a bunch of nameless soldiers, but he doesn't manage to off any of the heroes. By the time the film ends, the only major characters to die are Kang himself after being pushed into the multiversal engine and his right-hand man, MODOK (Corey Stoll). 

MODOK spends much of the film as a gun-for-hire, working on behalf of Kang. He's the one who tracks down Scott (Paul Rudd) and Cassie (Kathryn Newton), and when he's not busy attacking them with his variety of weapons, he's the butt of numerous jokes for his new appearance. Toward the end of the film, MODOK experiences a heel turn after being told by Cassie that he can be so much more than a bad guy, and he gives his life attacking Kang. It makes for a nice little redemption arc for the character and leads to one of the more baffling death scenes ever in a Marvel movie. 

Even in death, MODOK's a joke

Marvel movies are known for their humor. However, they typically know when to choose pathos over bathos, especially when it comes to character deaths, even for the villains. Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) in "Black Panther" receives the poignant line, "Bury me in the ocean with my ancestors who jumped from the ships because they knew death was better than bondage," right before he passes. Thanos (Josh Brolin) solemnly falls to his knees right before he's dusted, realizing he's failed in his mission. 

But with MODOK, who's a major player in the comics, he sacrifices his life and remains goofy up until the bitter end. For starters, he mentions that at least he gets to die an Avenger, which isn't how that works at all. Of course, Scott doesn't have the heart to tell him, so he allows MODOK to believe he's an honorary Avenger. MODOK then speaks positively of Scott, which seems to run counter to what we know of their relationship up until this point, ending with MODOK placing his hand on Scott's cheek as he slowly passes away.

The whole thing just feels ... off. MODOK's death feels in service of delivering jokes and visual gags, despite the fact he arguably earned something greater. Darren Cross was a villain in "Ant-Man" and continued hating Scott well into "Quantumania," but he turned around and helped deliver a blow in the fight against Kang. But when you're head is that big in an MCU movie, you better believe characters will make fun of that until the very end.