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AIM by Kirby.jpg
A.I.M. troopers from Tales of Suspense #94 by Jack Kirby and Joe Sinnott.
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceStrange Tales #146 (July 1966)
Created byStan Lee
Jack Kirby
In-story information
Type of organizationTerrorist
Leader(s)Baron Strucker
Andrew Forson
Monica Rappaccini
Agent(s)Doomsday Man
Head Case
Allesandro Brannex

A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics) is a fictional criminal organization appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. In most versions, it is depicted as a think tank of brilliant scientists dedicated to overthrowing the world's governments through technological means. The organization started out as a branch of HYDRA, created by Baron Strucker. Its most notable creations include the Cosmic Cube, Super-Adaptoid, and MODOK; the latter has been depicted as a prominent member of A.I.M., and in some incarnations is the organization's leader.

A.I.M. has been featured in several media adaptations, including television series and video games. The organization made its cinematic debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film Iron Man 3 (2013), in this universe headed by Aldrich Killian.

Publication history

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (January 2009)

The organization known as A.I.M. first appeared in Strange Tales #146 (July 1966), and was revealed to be a branch of the organization known as THEM in Strange Tales #147 (Aug. 1966), a larger organization mentioned in Strange Tales #142 (March 1966), and depicted in Tales of Suspense #78 (June 1966) a few months earlier. It was later revealed that THEM was also a parent organization to the Secret Empire and that it was, in fact, a new incarnation of the previously dissolved organization HYDRA in Strange Tales #149 (October 1966).


A.I.M. is an organization of scientists and their hirelings dedicated to the acquisition of power and to overthrow all the world's governments through science and technology. Its leadership traditionally consisted of the seven-member Board of Directors (formerly known as the Imperial Council) with a rotating chairperson. Under the Directors are various division supervisors, and under them are the technicians and salesmen/dealers.

The organization supplies arms and technology to various terrorist and subversive organizations both to foster a violent technological revolution in addition to profit. A.I.M. operatives are usually involved in research, development, manufacturing, and sales of high technology. Members of A.I.M. are required to at least have a master's degree, if not a Ph.D., in some area of science, mathematics, or business.

A.I.M.'s reach is worldwide, including various front organizations such as Targo Corporation, International Data Integration and Control, Cadenza Industries, Koenig and Strey, Pacific Vista Laboratories, Allen's Department Store, and Omnitech. It also did have a number of bases of operations, including a nuclear submarine mobile in the Atlantic Ocean; bases in the Bronx, New York; Black Mesa, Colorado; West Caldwell, New Jersey; Asia, Canada, Europe, Haiti, India, Sudan and Boca Caliente (also known as A.I.M. Island), an island republic in the Caribbean.


A.I.M. has produced three major implements of deadly potential which stand far above the rest of their accomplishments. The greatest of these was the Cosmic Cube, a device capable of altering reality.[1] However, A.I.M. did not realize that the cube was merely a containment device, in which the real power was an entity accidentally drawn into this dimension. The Cosmic Cube eventually evolved into Kubik. Their second achievement was the Super-Adaptoid, an android capable of mimicking the appearance and superpowers of other beings, which was made possible by incorporating a sliver of the Cosmic Cube into its form. When Kubik repossessed the sliver after defeating the Adaptoid, the android was rendered inanimate. A.I.M.'s third and final major achievement was the creation of MODOK (Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing), an artificially mutated human with an enormous head accompanied by a massive computational brain and psionic abilities.[2] MODOK was originally an A.I.M. scientist named George Tarleton, who was selected by A.I.M.'s leader at the time, the Scientist Supreme, to be the subject of the bionic and genetic experiments that turned him into MODOK.[1][3] After his transformation, MODOK killed the Scientist Supreme and took control of A.I.M., and later took advantage of the chaos in HYDRA's organization following HYDRA Island's destruction and the deaths of Baron Strucker and most of HYDRA's leading members to sever all of A.I.M.'s ties with HYDRA. A.I.M. has remained independent ever since.

A.I.M.'s level of technology is as highly advanced as any on Earth. Its scientists have also built various cyborgs, robots, and androids; its agents utilize a variety of submarines, hovercraft, jets, etc. A.I.M. has also attempted to recreate versions of MODOK, including transforming Dr. Katherine Waynesboro into Ms. MODOK[4] and creating SODAM[5] (later revamped as MODAM).[6] Since A.I.M's redirection as an exotic arms dealer,[6] members have access to whatever exotic weaponry available in its warehouses.

A.I.M.'s leaders traditionally wear yellow three-piece business suits. Technical supervisors wear yellow jumpsuits, skull-caps, and goggles. However, the organization is renowned for the 'beekeeper'-looking helmets and NBC suit uniform of its underlings since the first appearance.

However, as a result of the "Scorpion: Poison Tomorrow" arc of Amazing Fantasy, A.I.M. has gained a new costume, which tends towards insectoid armor and large guns.

The Livewires member named Cornfed wears an A.I.M. uniform. He also wears a button referencing "The Real A.I.M".

Fictional organization history

A.I.M.'s origins began late in World War II with Baron Wolfgang von Strucker's creation of his subversive organization HYDRA. Under the code name of THEM, he created two HYDRA branches called Advanced Idea Mechanics and the Secret Empire. A.I.M.'s purpose was to develop advanced weaponry for HYDRA. They were close to developing and attaining nuclear weapons when HYDRA Island was invaded by American and Japanese troops. Although HYDRA suffered a major setback, it survived and grew in secret over the following decades.

A.I.M. has had numerous encounters with various superheroes and supervillains, and is the subject of ongoing undercover investigations by S.H.I.E.L.D. It was responsible for reviving the Red Skull from suspended animation.[7] An A.I.M. android factory in a Florida swamp was once raided by S.H.I.E.L.D., which also involved Count Bornag Royale in a weapons deal negotiation with S.H.I.E.L.D.[8] A.I.M. then raided S.H.I.E.L.D.'s New York City headquarters.[9] As a result of these events, Royale was discredited, and A.I.M.'s headquarters was destroyed.[10]

A.I.M. employed Batroc the Leaper to recover an explosive compound called Inferno 42[11] and dispatched a chemical android against Nick Fury and Captain America.[12] A.I.M. also dispatched their special agent, the Cyborg, against Captain America.[13] A.I.M. was involved in a skirmish with the Maggia and its "Big M".[14] A.I.M. has also captured Iron Man in an attempt to analyze and replicate his armor.[15] MODOK and A.I.M. were responsible for transforming Betty Ross briefly into the gamma-irradiated bird-woman called the Harpy.[16] A.I.M. dispatched their special agent the Destructor to capture Ms. Marvel.[17]

For a time, a schism developed within A.I.M., causing it to split into Blue and Yellow factions (the former loyal to MODOK, the latter independent from him). These factions battled each other,[18] with MODOK and the Blue faction once employing Deathbird as an operative.[19] A.I.M. captured the Thing and Namor to test Virus X on them.[20] The Blue faction later made an attempt to recapture the Cosmic Cube.[21] A second battle occurred between the rival factions,[22] but factions no longer seem to be active within A.I.M. since then.

A.I.M. eventually hired the Serpent Society to kill MODOK, which they did.[23] A.I.M. was responsible for a jet attack on the West Coast Avengers compound[24] and then took over Boca Caliente[25] and unleashed a microbe aboard the Stark space satellite.[26] A.I.M. also sent an agent to attempt to confiscate the quantum-bands given to Quasar.[27]

The organization was revealed to have become a 'techno-anarchist' group, with no connection to HYDRA, and even a hatred for fascism. With the introduction of the Death's Head 3.0 character, a pacifist future version of the organization is promised, with a surprise character as leader.[28]

It is later revealed that A.I.M. helped General Thunderbolt Ross and Doc Samson create the Red Hulk.[29]

A.I.M. was revealed to be behind the pocket dimension of Earth-13584 by using a sliver of time they obtained to alter certain events so they can obtain the technology and science from various individuals. They did this by exploiting the fluid nature of time brought on by the manipulations of Kang the Conqueror traveling back to alter the past. This lasted until the Dark Avengers ended up in this reality causing it to collapse. The Dark Avengers were able to get out before the pocket dimension collapsed.[30]

After the Secret Avengers recruited Taskmaster after freeing him from Bagalia, they send him to infiltrate the new High Council of A.I.M. which consists of Andrew Forson, Graviton, Jude the Entropic Man, Mentallo, Superia, and Yelena Belova.[31] Andrew Forson then leads A.I.M. into attending a weapons expo which led to A.I.M. fighting against the Secret Avengers. During the battle, Andrew Forson takes the opportunity to steal the Iron Patriot armor.[32]

Daisy Johnson launched an unsanctioned operation to send the Secret Avengers to A.I.M. Island to assassinate Forson, and they seemingly killed him. Johnson ended up suspended for breaking protocol and Maria Hill is put in charge of S.H.I.E.L.D. again. As Forson was revealed to be alive all along, the news of A.I.M. being a new permanent member of the Security Council is known.[33]

Using an as-yet-unidentified device in the pages of Avengers World, Andrew Forson and A.I.M. accelerate the flow of time within the limits of A.I.M. Island, creating in a matter of hours for the real world year of progress and transforming A.I.M. into a technologically advanced empire.[34]

A.I.M. has a more violent offshoot, Advanced Ideas of Destruction (A.I.D.); the two competing organizations were major antagonists of Captain America in the mid-2000s.[35]

As part of the "All-New, All-Different Marvel", it was revealed that the A.I.M. members that fled when Sunspot bought out A.I.M. had been taken in by Maker where they work for his organization W.H.I.S.P.E.R. (short for World Headquarters for International Scientific Philosophical Experimentation and Research) as his personal tool to reshape the world.[36]

After Sunspot left the American Intelligence Mechanics, Toni Ho succeeded him and allowed the rogue A.I.M. cells to regain their acronym, as Toni had her organization rebranded as R.E.S.C.U.E.[37]

Heroic offshoots

Avengers Idea Mechanics

During the Time Runs Out storyline which takes place eight months in the future, Sunspot reveals that he bought A.I.M and used their resources to investigate the incursions. Heroes working as part of Avengers Idea Mechanics include Hawkeye, Squirrel Girl, Songbird, Wiccan, Hulkling, White Tiger, Power Man and Pod. Sunspot reveals the group was much easier to deal with after much of higher management had been fired. Many heroes working in the primary Avengers team such as Thor and Hyperion, also find themselves working side by side with A.I.M.[38] Once they managed to create a machine to propel individuals across the Multiverse some of the heroes who were helping A.I.M. offered themselves to participate in a one-way trip to find the origin of the Incursions threatening all reality.[39]

Following the fight against Maker, Sunspot meets with the government and they make plans to merge Avengers Idea Mechanics into the U.S. government. At the same time, the Avengers Idea Mechanics defeats A.I.M's splinter groups.[40]

American Intelligence Mechanics

The merger between the U.S. government and the Avengers Idea Mechanics resulted in the formation of the American Intelligence Mechanics.[41] Since Da Costa had turned the organization into weapon for good, rogue cells existed fighting for A.I.M.'s original goals on behalf of their former leaders, Andrew Forson and Monica Rappaccini. In order to tackle the nuisance by these cells, Da Costa's successor Toni Ho decided to let them reclaim the organization's acronym, while rebranding her own organization into a new one called R.E.S.C.U.E. [42]

Splinter groups

Over time, some AIM splinter cells have appeared:



High Council of A.I.M.


Members and agents

Avengers/American Idea Mechanics members

Other versions

A.I.M. has outposts active in several other universes in the Marvel Multiverse, including the universes for Ultimate Marvel, Marvel 1602, and Age of Apocalypse.

Heroes Reborn

In the Heroes Reborn reality, A.I.M. is led by Baron Zemo and MODOK as they take on Captain America and the new Bucky, Rebecca Barnes.[105]

2020 Death's Head Future

A future (2020) version of A.I.M was featured heavily in the Marvel UK limited series Death's Head II. This future organisation created the cyborg Minion, which was later taken over by the personality of Death's Head. A.I.M's representative Evelyn Necker became a popular character in the ongoing series that followed.

In Amazing Fantasy #16–20, set further in the same future, A.I.M is on the point of making peace with the UN, when a renegade A.I.M. scientist unleashes Death's Head 3.0 on the peace conference.

House of M

In the House of M reality, A.I.M. is re-imagined as a human resistance movement led by Monica Rappacini to oppose Exodus, ruler of Australia and his cohorts.[106]

Marvel Adventures

In the Marvel Adventures version of Iron Man, A.I.M., through the use of dummy companies, acquired Stark International's hover platform and uni-beam technology in their invasion of Madripoor, a third world country. Gia-Bao Yinsen tried to tell the world about A.I.M.'s terrorist attacks on his country. However, his message is dismissed. During Tony Stark's test of his new solar-powered glider, A.I.M. causes Tony to crash on their artificial island. Tony's heart is damaged, and A.I.M. forces him to build an EMP weapon to allow A.I.M.'s forces to finish their conquest of Madripoor. In exchange, A.I.M. will repair his heart. Tony learns that Yinsen was also kidnapped, as A.I.M. wanted to prevent him from telling the world about their attacks on his country and to use his intellect to build technology for A.I.M.. Similar to Iron Man's main Marvel Universe origin, Yinsen and Tony both build armor to escape. However, Yinsen destroys the generator powering the island in order to save his homeland. The explosion kills Yinsen, but Tony Stark lives. Tony becomes Iron Man to prevent people like A.I.M. from committing evil against innocents. Here, the Supreme Scientist is a black-haired woman who is extremely brilliant. In addition, the uniforms that A.I.M. uses are basically NBC orange suits. However, the Supreme Scientist wears black clothing in a style similar to Darth Vader.

Ultimate Marvel

In the Ultimate Marvel reality, A.I.M. commissioned Mad Thinker to steal Cerebro from the X-Men and frame the Fantastic Four, as seen in the Ultimate X4 mini-series.[107] Ultimate A.I.M.'s full purpose and function has yet to be revealed. The miniseries Ultimate Vision introduces A.I.M. as composed of several directorates spread across the globe, with George Tarleton as an A.I.M. leader on an orbital research facility. Tarleton and his team attempted to take control of a Gah Lak Tus module that was left behind in orbit after the swarm was driven away. Being unable to do so on their own, they lured Vision to the station to help them by claiming they would use the knowledge to order the Gah Lak Tus swarm to self-destruct. Once the cyborg Tarleton had connected to the module using Vision, he had the module fire an energy beam at her. Tarleton then incorporated the Gah Lak Tus' circuitry into his own body, but it has seemingly taken him over, transforming him more into a machine, with a monstrous appearance. He has since taken over the entire station remotely and has set it to plummet out of orbit, along with the Gah Lak Tus module, which he says has "unfinished business on Earth."[108] Ultimately, Tarleton was broken free of the module's control and helped the Vision and the Falcon a.k.a. Dr. Samuel Wilson in destroying the module.[109]

In Ultimate Comics: Avengers, a group of A.I.M. terrorists stole advanced technology (revealed to be blueprints for a Cosmic Cube)[110] from the Baxter Building and have some associations with the Red Skull.[110][111]

In other media



Video games

Live performance

A.I.M. appears in the arena show Marvel Universe: LIVE!.[122]


Members of A.I.M. appear in issue #5 of The Avengers: United They Stand comic book series.

Critical reception

Both A.I.M. and Hydra first appeared in the 1960s as analogues for the threat of Communism, but are also associated with Nazism and resemble organizations fought by Captain America in World War II; political science professor Matthew J. Costello has pointed out that this conflation of Communist and Nazi totalitarianism removes ambiguity from the threat and thus from America's moral superiority in the comics.[123] In contrast, in the post-9/11 context of Iron Man 3, Pepper says of Extremis' war profiteering, "That's exactly what [Stark Industries] used to do".[115] Whereas immediately after 9/11 Captain America was concerned with Islamic terrorism, by 2005–2007 he was primarily engaged with homegrown terrorists: A.I.M. and A.I.D.[35]


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