Guest post by Delaney N., ‘18.
Mockingbird was an eight issue series published by Marvel Comics in 2016 written by Chelsea Cain with art from Kate Niemczyk. It featured Bobbi Morse (Mockingbird), a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent with a little bit of the Super Soldier Serum that made Captain America and a PhD in Biochemistry, in an initial five-issue story arc and then an additional three-issue Civil War II event tie-in. The first five issues were recently collected in a trade paperback entitled Mockingbird: I Can Explain that also includes a one-shot issue featuring Bobbi that was released celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first appearance of S.H.I.E.L.D.
For a comic that starts out complaining about healthcare, Mockingbird sure is fun. Bobbi kicks butts, does science-y things, and cuddles corgis. Cain, a bestselling crime novelist, gets to show off her storytelling abilities (in her comics debut) through a unique narrative style that leaves the reader wondering what, exactly, is going on until they read the fifth issue of the story arc and the final pieces fall into place. The comic’s snappy feminism and clever guest appearances from Mockingbird’s not-boyfriend Lance Hunter, ex-husband Clint Barton (AKA Hawkeye), Miles Morales (AKA Spider-Man), and even Howard the Duck, help it too. Bobbi is smart, funny, and compelling, and the intelligent story arc of her healthcare and Infinity Formula woes back her up.
Bobbi’s story, unfortunately, was not long for the comics world. Marvel forced her to say goodbye after only eight short issues, wrapping it up after a consistently clever and fun Civil War II tie-in set on a nerd cruise in the Bermuda Triangle. Sadly, the series ended amidst controversy as the darker parts of the Internet strongly objected to the final issue’s cover (a bright scene of Bobbi on a beach wearing a t-shirt proclaiming, “Ask Me About My Feminist Agenda”) and bullied writer Chelsea Cain until she left Twitter.
Overall, Mockingbird was an entertaining, smart comic with charming art and a fun story. Check it out if you want a spy-type superhero story that isn’t so serious with lots of corgis and plenty of feminism to boot.
Now available at the MA Library: Mockingbird vol 1: “I Can Explain”, Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man, the Ultimate Collection, and Hawkeye vols 1-4.
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