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Every Comic Book Reference In MODOK Episode 4's Pawn Shop

Contains spoilers for "Marvel's MODOK" on Hulu

By Episode 4 of "Marvel's MODOK," available to stream right now on Hulu, it's already abundantly clear that the streaming series will be dropping Easter eggs like an hyper 8-year-old who ate too much candy. Between the alien slideshow in Episode 3, the ill-advised scuffle with Iron Man (voiced by Jon Hamm) in the pilot, and the Bar with No Name's cavalcade of C-list antagonists, the show has a lot intellectual properties to play with.

And the fan-winkery is in full swing during the show's fourth episode, when MODOK's Six (final name pending) go to pick up Tenpin's exploding juggling equipment from the local pawn shop. The scene is covered in an inch-thick layer of comic book callbacks, as well as a not-insubstantial amount of tongue blood following a poorly considered moment of circular saw licking.

With that in mind, we took a frame-by-frame look at the contents of the pawnbroker's establishment, and put together a breakdown of every super-suit, gadget, and disco accessory on offer. Be warned: Things get obscure pretty quickly.

Hellfire Club minion's mask

No self-respecting evil conglomerate with designs on world conquest would even consider leaving the house without a healthy contingent of faceless goons. And goons don't come much more faceless than the Hellfire Club's lackeys — thanks in part to their haunting, blank masks, and also to Wolverine's enthusiasm for cutting off their faces.

The Hellfire Club — also known as the Inner Circle in instances when the X-Men are forced to face their greatest foe, the censors in charge of children's television oversight — is a secret social circle of wealthy movers and shakers, with leaders who are traditionally either mutants or otherwise super-powered individuals. Their goals vary with the times. Some days, they're shooting for world domination, or fiscal dominance, or to, for some reason, convince Jean Grey that she's actually a Victorian-era socialite with a penchant for corsets.

Like AIM with its beekeeper guys and Hydra with its jumpsuit minions, the Hellfire Club marches on the good work of its largely anonymous goons. By the looks of things in "Marvel's MODOK," at least one of them finally had enough. Following in the footsteps of so many disaffected former employees around the world, the Hellfire Club member made a stop at the pawn shop to trade in company property during "MODOK" Episode 4.

Dazzler's roller skates

As a mutant, Dazzler was always going to be in for a rough ride, what with the whole "feared and hated by the world she's sworn to protect" situation. And as if being a metaphor for racism wasn't enough, she had to go and pile disco on top of the situation. First appearing in 1980's "Uncanny X-Men" #130, Dazzler is a mutant who has it all: a bustling career as a disco queen, the mutant ability to turn sound into light, and high-heeled, mirrorball roller skates with bright blue wheels and a look that seemed to say, "Hey, I'm going to need a new costume pretty soon." Fittingly, Dazzler's roller skates appear in the pawn shop in Episode 4 of "Marvel's MODOK." 

Fun fact: In the wake of glam-rock success stories like KISS and Bowie, Casablanca Records actually commissioned Marvel to create Dazzler back in the late 1970s, essentially trying to create a cross-universe success story with the help of a comic book company (via CBR). Also fascinating is the fact that Casablanca, despite being a record company, is still in business. Maybe they stayed solvent by selling all their extra pairs of Dazzler roller skates?

Ant-Man's helmet

If you had to guess which Avenger would be the first one to need to pawn their superhero gear, Ant-Man would probably be towards the top of the list — right below Hawkeye, and, based on the trail of actionable destruction left in his wake, the Hulk. Is there a market for heavily used purple chinos?

In any case, it looks like the Ant-Man of "Marvel's MODOK" has fallen on hard times and has sold off his signature headwear. The version of the helmet seen hanging on the pawn shop wall in "MODOK" Episode 4 is actually a dead ringer for the one from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, looking a lot more like Paul Rudd's getup than anything from the comics. Seeing how every other costume cue in the show seems drawn from a less specific source, you have to wonder what the show's creators, Jordan Blum and Patton Oswalt, were trying to say here. Was it a subtle dig at Rudd himself? Or could it be that they had an Ant-Man action figure lying around and didn't have any compunctions about popping its head off like a plastic grape? Start tweeting your questions now, folks.

Magik's Soulsword

If you're a fan of the "New Mutants" comics, Magik's sword was a standout Easter egg in Episode 4 of "Marvel's MODOK." If you were a fan of the "New Mutants" movie, know that you are not alone, that help is available, and that life really does get better.

Magik – also known as Illyana Rasputina, younger sister of the X-Man Colossus — has gone through a few reimaginings since her 1975 debut. The biggest change came when, as a little girl, she was whisked away to Limbo and forced to live a life of sorcery-heavy terror for years on end. When she came out the other end, she'd accessorized with the Soulsword, a weapon forged from her very life force.

Since then, the Soulsword has gotten a number of glow-ups too, and following Magik's bonding with a fragment of the Phoenix Force in "Avengers vs. X-Men," it looked very much like the bright yellow buster sword hanging on the pawn shop wall in "MODOK" Episode 4. You hate to see it, but that's the sort of thing that happens when your movie gets delayed a dozen times.

Attuma's helmet

Any comic book universe worth its salt has its own underwater kingdom. DC has Atlantis. Image Comics has Atlantis. And Marvel, in a truly stunning turn, also has Atlantis. As comic book settings that nobody seems to care for go, Atlantis is, if nothing else, the most ubiquitous.

Flying in the face of Sebastian the crab's assertion that "everything's hotter under the water," oceanic characters have traditionally had a difficult time rustling up a set of going out duds that don't make them look like weirdos. DC's Black Manta walks around with a skipping rock for a head, while Attuma, Marvel's damp arch-nemesis to Namor the Sub-Mariner, has the look of a poorly thought-out Voltron cosplay, now in peppermint flavor.

Despite his designs on underwater conquest, Attuma never made the biggest splash in the Marvel universe. Maybe that's why he was forced to hock his favorite helmet, which appeared in the pawn shop in the fourth episode of "MODOK." On a more optimistic note, there's no sign of Attuma's chest piece, gauntlets, or signature triple-bladed sword in the shop. Plus, even without his helmet, Attuma still looks better than his daughter Andromeda, whose pants are missing a full leg. Maybe he's going to be alright after all.

Bamf doll

There are two different possible versions of what was sitting on the shelf behind the pawn shop counter in "MODOK" Episode 4. 

Option one: Maybe it was a Bamf doll, a comic book Easter egg that's been making the rounds in the "X-Men" stories since the '90s. Bamfs are little plush toys in the shape of Kurt Wagner, better known as the mutant Nightcrawler. Jubilee had one for a while, as did Shadowcat and Magik. It's adorable. (In an alternate dimension, however, Bamfs are actual creatures. Kitty Pryde told a young Illyana Rasputina a bedtime story one night, and inadvertently made the tale real life.)

Option two: It could have been a real Bamf. The Bamfs themselves are a race of impish, extra-dimensional creatures, also looking exactly like Nightcrawler but with added bonuses like a love of mischief and Pepe le Pew-level thirstiness. They, too, have popped up plenty of times over the years, notably when they infested the X-Men's school in the 2010s, leading Wolverine to start a club dedicated to hunting them. Maybe he got one. Maybe he had it taxidermied. Maybe he needed beer money that week and happened to be passing a pawn shop on his way home. Draw your own conclusions, true believers.