Mockingbird by author Chelsea Cain, Illustrations Kate Niemczyk
I know a lot of people are asking, “who is Mockingbird in Marvel canon?” I know that comes right up on searches, and prior to this I didn’t know either. Bobbi Morse is Mockingbird, aka Hawkeye’s ex wife, aka Marvel Avenger adjacent semi hero who now has the super soldier serum and infinity formula coursing through her veins. Bobbi, was always hyper intelligent and hyper competent as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. but now she also is Captain America level strong and Thanos level invincible. Too bad she doesn’t really use any of that in this story.
Basically, Marvel’s Mockingbird is overpowered and under-utilized as she takes a back seat to her ex husband and other male spotlight stealers. Despite this character first being introduced all the way back in 1971 (!) this is her first standalone run. It took until 2016 for her to even get a chance and the series was cancelled despite critical acclaim.
Mockingbird as a series occasionally gives Bobbi a means to demonstrate her intelligence but it shows off more of her sarcasm than anything else. And that’s all Marvel needs, is another sarcastic hero. Enter my sarcastic tone.
The first 5 issues of this run are a self contained “puzzle box” story. This was by far the more enjoyable part of this run. Author Cain clearly had a plan and got to execute it her own way. And then she made Mockingbird tie in to Civil War 2 and it got less fun. This decision was likely forced because that’s what comic book companies do to sell more comics. They sacrifice coherent storytelling in order to make collectors buy books from every line instead of just their favorite characters.
The second half of the run is a murder mystery that ties in to Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye’s, role in Civil War 2. It does make sense that his ex wife would play a role here so it doesn’t feel totally shoe horned in like some tie ins do but it still isn’t the best way to show off what Mockingbird can do.
We have a hero who is required to go to regular doctor check ups because she’s the only one in the Marvel Universe with both the super soldier serum and the infinity formula so they don’t even know how a person reacts to that. And yet, we see nothing from either. She doesn’t display any super strength or immortality or anything interesting at all. The whole run passes by with barely any physical conflicts to speak of. It’s like having the hulk and not letting him smash.
I hope that Bobbi gets to show off somewhere soon. She has potential to be one of the greats but Marvel needs to give her the freedom to outshine some of the better selling heavy hitters. Why set her up for so much power just to trap her in a pulp mystery story line?
My lower rating for this book is not so much a reflection of the content but the fact that we didn’t get the content Mockingbird deserves. There is so much potential her but the company let us down. Not the writers, not the illustrators, not the character, but Marvel. Marvel did this to her and they should go back and correct this mistake.
I do still recommend that you check Mockingbird out. If for no other reason than to let Marvel know that it should give her another book. We must always remember that as consumers in a capitalist system it is imperative that we vote with our money. That is the only way to get more of what we want. Maybe the next time they’ll really get it right.
3/5 birds 🐦🐦🐦
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