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The Fantastic Four Reference You Missed In MODOK Episode 4

Contains spoilers for MODOK Season 1, Episode 4

Hulu's new stop-motion animated series, "Marvel's MODOK," has been a delightful addition to the TV landscape in a year in which viewers have been blessed with multiple new Marvel shows. Although it is not officially part of the MCU, the sitcom has captivated viewers by telling a funny but poignant story about the titular supervillain — whose name stands for Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing — after he loses his position at the top of the evil organization known as AIM while also dealing with a crumbling marriage. The 10-episode series, which was created by Patton Oswalt and Jordan Blum and features the voice of the former as the megalomaniac title character, "MODOK" is packed with Marvel Easter eggs. According to Blum, it might have the most ever seen in a Marvel project (via Den of Geek). 

In the fourth episode "MODOK," which is titled "If Saturday Be... For The Boys!" MODOK befriends a group of second-rate villains at the Bar With No Name after being denied access to a swanky lair for supervillains. He attempts to use this new group, which is made up of a number of lesser known characters from Marvel canon (not unlike MODOK himself), to steal Captain America's vibranium shield from Avengers Tower in order to prove that he still has what it takes to hang with the big dogs (they never make it past Phase 1 of the plan). During their adventure, if you look closely, you'll notice a reference to the Yancy Street Gang.

Who are the Yancy Street Gang?

After an all-night adventure that teaches MODOK a little bit about friendship, the group of supervillains boards a train to Avengers Tower only to fall asleep and miss their stop. In the background of the scene, spray-painted on the back of the train car, are the words "Yancy Street Gang Rules!" This is a reference to a gang found in the Fantastic Four comics. The Yancy Street Gang first appeared in "Fantastic Four" #15 in 1963, though they were actually mentioned earlier. Initially, they were nothing more than a group of street kids with a penchant for fighting, but the group evolved a bit, eventually becoming a real gang running a protection racket in the 1930s. Ben Grimm, aka the Thing, crossed paths with them after traveling to the past in an attempt to change history. When they attempted to force the owner of a local apothecary into paying them for protection, Grimm intervened.

The blue-collar gang changed shape over the years, and at one point a young Ben Grimm was actually a member, having been drawn in by his older brother before turning his life around. The gang saw this as him selling out, and he continued to have run-ins and altercations with its members over the years. They especially loved to torment him as the Thing after the identities of the Fantastic Four were revealed to the public, though they were more of a nuisance than a real, serious threat to anyone's safety.

All 10 episodes of "Marvel's MODOK" are streaming on Hulu.