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The Gadgets In SHIELD Storage During MODOK Episode 2 Explained

Contains spoilers for "Marvel's MODOK" on Hulu

Hulu's "MODOK" is definitely one of the more unique Marvel adaptations from the past decade. It's unlike the usual fare of superhero team-ups and spin-offs involving the same characters. Not only is "MODOK" based on a relatively obscure Marvel supervillain, it's not even primarily a superhero show. "MODOK" is mainly a sitcom about a supervillain who's made a total mess of both his professional and personal lives, and now he's slowly trying to become a better person — or, in this case, a better "Mobile Organism Designed Only for Killing." He's trying his best.

Even though "MODOK" has the structure of a sitcom, it's still very much a Marvel show. That's obvious in both big and small ways. On the macro level, many episodes involve classic comic book story beats. The second episode of the show's first season involves some time-travel shenanigans, but it's really a story about MODOK trying to win back his ex-wife Jodie, who's just left him. In this episode, MODOK comes up with a plan to take Jodie back in time to a Blink 182 concert they missed back in the '90s, hoping she'll remember why she fell in love with him in the first place. 

To do this, MODOK sneaks into a SHIELD facility, which holds his confiscated time machine. MODOK then heads to a SHIELD storage room, where he finds several other gadgets that have appeared in various Marvel comics. Here's how those gadgets fit into the larger MCU. 

Cerebro is a helmet with a storied history

First up is Cerebro, a metal helmet that first popped up in the X-Men comics. Cerebro has a long and strange history, so by the time MODOK finds it, the device is practically an antique. It made its first appearance in "X-Men #7" in 1964, when a young Charles Xavier invented the Cerebro to detect mutants, especially young ones whose abilities hadn't manifested yet. The first version of Cerebro was an ESP device that could detect brain activity from both humans and mutants, and could also amplify mutants' telepathic powers. A later version of Cerebro contained the additional ability to copy mutants' minds, which Professor X used to try to resurrect his fallen students.

In Cerebro's early years, it was a handy tool for tracking mutants who had gone missing. However, various supervillains, bent on exterminating mutants, tried to steal it. The X-Men destroyed the Cerebro to keep it out of enemy hands and built an improved version. That one ended up becoming sentient and tried to control all of humanity before Professor X and the child telepath Nina stopped it.

The version MODOK finds appears to be the original Cerebro. Technically, that's an anachronism, because the first Cerebro was destroyed decades earlier. It's also not the first time it's been featured as an Easter egg recently – Deadpool wore the Cerebro in "Deadpool 2."

The Ultimate Nullifier is seriously OP

Up next is The Ultimate Nullifier, which is actually one of the most powerful weapons in Marvel Comics canon, but here, it's just sitting in a random cardboard box. It first showed up in issue #50 of "The Fantastic Four" in 1966, as the one weapon capable of defeating the Four's nemesis, Galactus. It's also technically a part of Galactus.

As its name suggests, the Ultimate Nullifier can completely obliterate any matter in the universe. The catch is, the Ultimate Nullifier's power is proportional to the user's mental strength. If a user is mentally strong enough, the Ultimate Nullifier can wipe out practically anything, but if the user is mentally weak, the Nullifier is likely to nullify them alone. 

It first came to the attention of the Fantastic Four thanks to Uatu, aka The Watcher, a member of an ancient technologically advanced alien race. The Watcher hoped to stop Galactus from destroying Earth. The Human Torch stole the Ultimate Nullifier from Galactus' Worldship and used it to stop the celestial supervillain, but the victory was only temporary. The Nullifier was revealed to be a part of Galactus' being, and he could recall it at will. Maybe MODOK should find a better place to store this ultimate weapon.

The time machine is MODOK's motivation

Last but not least is MODOK's reason for being in the storage room in the first place: the time machine. Unlike the other two, this gadget appears to have been created just for the TV show. MODOK describes it as "his" time machine, but the comics version of the character hasn't built a device capable of time travel. It also doesn't appear to be a time machine from another Marvel comic. In "Avengers: Endgame," Tony Stark did build a wrist-mounted time machine, but with a much different design.

This time machine is also powered by something MODOK refers to as a "celestial chronocrystal," which is just a glowing purple gem. It also doesn't seem to have any connections to the Marvel comics, either. The Marvel canon does include a group of characters called the Celestials. They're a race of interplanetary beings capable of manipulating the laws of nature. They can travel through time, but don't need crystals to do it. Most likely, both the time machine and the crystal were created for this show, just like Doctor Strange's prescription pad.