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Master Pandemonium From MODOK Episode 3 Explained

Contains minor spoilers for "MODOK"

With its hyper-violent "Davey and Goliath" aesthetic and hardcore party snails, "Marvel's MODOK" has plenty of visuals to get distracted by. But even by the show's illustrious standards, Episode 3 gave viewers a real eye-full with its morning talk show segment, "Morning with Master Pandemonium." If the name and the ... unique hand-baby configuration seemed familiar, it could be for a couple of reasons. Maybe you spent the first couple of months of 2021 scrolling through forums trying to figure out what was going on with "WandaVision." Maybe you recently ate curry at a higher star rating than you normally go for, and triggered some vivid night terrors. Or maybe you, like so many of us, are a honking nerd, and read "West Coast Avengers" back before it was the coolest thing that a person could do.

Master Pandemonium has picked up an hint of notoriety in recent years, thanks in no small pat to the ever-growing listicle genre of "The (X) Weirdest Comic Characters Ever." He has a pedigree — the demonic antagonist was first written into existence by Steve Englehart. On his good days, Englehart gave us characters like DC's Kilowog, Mantis from "Guardians of the Galaxy," and MODAM, the female analog to MODOK. Then there were the medium days, when he had the devil graft babies onto the arms of a theater major.

Master Pandemonium and his armed babies

You know how it is — you lose an arm in a car accident, so you make a monkey's paw deal with Mephisto to try and get a new one. That's what happened to movie star Martin Preston in the pages of Marvel Comics, anyway, as detailed in "West Coast Avengers" #9. Mephisto, being a wily old so-and-so, gave Martin a fresh arm, yanking one from the shoulder joint of one of his demons and breathing new life into the phrase "second hand." Then, nothing if not thorough, he did the same thing to Martin's other four limbs. Also, he knocked a hole in the poor schmo's tummy through which he could summon spare demons. He's really all about demons, old Master Pandemonium.

As for motivation, Martin Preston spent a good chunk of the '80s convinced that five shards of his soul had been scattered around the world, and that reintegrating them into himself would make him whole again. That's where Scarlet Witch and Vision's kids came into the picture — two beautiful baby boys, revealed to actually be fragments of Mephisto. Absorbing them, Master Pandemonium straight up had energy-blasting baby arms. That is to say, babies for arms, not the arms of babies, though he had those, too. Attached to the babies. Never mind, just look at the picture.

In the end, it shook out that all of Pandemonium's work was for naught, and that Mephisto had actually been using him as a pawn to regain his full power. The machinations of Marvel's actual devil are really neither here nor there, though. What matters is that, for a brief moment in time, there was a villain in mainstream comics whose arms got cranky if they didn't get their nap.