Thursday, June 22, 2023

The New, Improved A.I.M.


By 1990, writer Mark Gruenwald appeared to have coordinated the Captain America and Quasar books to bring more of a focus to Advanced Idea Mechanics (aka A.I.M.), the criminal organization which advanced its agenda of world conquest in the pages of both Tales Of Suspense and Strange Tales and, of course, is known for its creation of the Cosmic Cube as well as the Adaptoid. But times change--and with the elimination of the ambitious M.O.D.O.K. (with the assistance of the Serpent Society), AIM's new Chairman of the Board, Alessandro Brannex, assembles prospective clients in order to make a shocking announcement that fundamentally changes AIM's mission statement and reorders its priorities to reflect a more practical use of its research and development scientists and resources--an announcement which no doubt stuns the collective criminal factions present, as well as we longtime readers.

In addition, AIM has improved on MODOK with the creation of another "mental organism" unit (hopefully taking greater care to ensure its loyalty and subservience to its makers):

As for AIM's pitch, all assembled appear to be receptive but holding off on placing any orders for the time being (though having no objections to sticking around for the free refreshments). But two in attendance are ready to approach Brannex with a lucrative offer involving a certain pair of quantum bands, an offer too good for Brannex and his Board to pass up.

AIM being AIM, our two clients have been identified as aliens, whom we recognize from the pages of Captain Marvel and The Avengers as Kree bio-scientist Dr. Minerva and the Kree soldier Captain Atlas. Considering their interest in Quasar's wrist bands, no doubt they won't complain if AIM sells them the real thing rather than duplicates; but as for how AIM will go about obtaining them, Brannex has already indicated that MODAM will get its "her" chance to shine.

And she seems pretty eager to take a crack at it, doesn't she?

Accordingly, AIM sets a trap for Quasar at Liberty Island's famous landmark, specially configured to emit a power surge that attracts his attention. Once the trap is sprung, MODAM doesn't waste time in moving in to subdue her target--and a creature designed for mental assault only has to slip through energy defenses in order to compromise the resistance of their opponent.

Fortunately for Quasar, however, MODAM's eagerness works against her--and after a final strike meant to synaptically cripple him, she resorts to physically wresting his bands from him, and that's the ball game as Quasar aptly puts it (complete with a suitable weapon to drive home the point).

(No, I don't know why MODAM's last mental attack at Liberty Island wasn't the clincher that ended this battle in her favor. Quasar was on the verge of blacking out panels ago.)

To put it mildly, Brannex and his Board members are not happy with the end result. It's Strike Two for AIM as far as attempting to pilfer Quasar's quantum bands, and a strike out for the rebranded organization in its first major contract with a client. Put another way: How would you like to have to return a payment of $100 million that was sitting on your conference table waiting to be allocated?

If you're curious to see more of MODAM (as well as her predecessors), in addition to the further machinations of this new AIM, have a look at a previous post which runs down her subsequent activities as AIM's prime agent as well as an encounter with an assassin who knew her before her gruesome "makeover."


Anonymous said...

"AIM's more practical use of its research and development scientists and resources..."

So does that mean George Clinton and Bernie Worrell weren't in the organisation by this point, Comicsfan, and AIM wasn't standing on the verge of getting it on anymore?


Comicsfan said...

Sean, if Parliament/Funkadelic were doing gigs for AIM in their heyday, it's frankly news to me. (Which is surprising, given that AIM often wasn't all that proficient in keeping their internal operations under wraps.)

Anonymous said...

I may not be much up on more recent Marvels, Comicsfan, but in my day Dr Funkenstein was the AIM scientist supreme. Him and Bernie Worrell created MODOK. Seriously.
Check Captain America Annual #7.

Honestly, next you'll be questioning whether Bootsy Collins was really an Agent of SHIELD...


Comicsfan said...

Oh, that George Clinton and Bernie Worrell. Having some fun with us, eh, Peter Gillis? :)