MOCKINGBIRD: S.H.I.E.L.D. 50th ANNIVERSARY [one-shot]
“” (20 pages)
Writer: Chelsea Cain
Artist: Joëlle Jones
Colors: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Covers by: Paul Renaud; Christian Ward; John Tyler Christopher
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
Like many a Marvel character, Barbara “Bobbi” Morse has had the distinction of being bestowed with a somewhat convulted/WTF backstory. Chelsea Cain expertly combines all the essential elements of Mockingbird’s lengthy lifespan and streamlines them into a clear, sharp focal point. The title page along states the numerous Avengers teams she has served (West Coast, New, Secret) as well as a pseudo-resurrection and a re-connection to the very organization for which this one-shot is devoted to and acknowledged.
As is expected and wont under the corporate umbrella of Disney, Bobbi’s world incorporates her renewed spy status along with current FWB Lance Hunter who originated in the square-bound pages but has been prominently featured on ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. This link is further established with mention of Coulson who awaits sit-reps. Bobbi’s other ex(husband) gets a name drop: Clint Barton, bona fide longstanding Avenger who has appeared in two major motion pictures.
Ms. Cain delivers an extremely taut narrative. There are only two main characters in the intriguing tale: herself and Percy Calvin, son of her deceased mentor. There are three tertiary characters (two in the aforementioned paragraphed) as well as the target of the investigation: Wilma.
Bobbi is more kick-ass than she’s ever been. The biochemist in her re-emerges as she performs her own autopsy on her dearly departed friend. The spy in her packs heat and keeps her eyes peeled for all suspicious moves. Her ability to analyze patterns is purposely done in a flippant manner that she as well as the antagonist attribute that ability to psychic powers (deliberately referenced in ASTONISHING TALES vol. 1 #6, Bobbi’s first nameless appearance in which she actually had those ‘powers’). The suspect is easily determined and harbors such animosity towards the agent that he icily calls her by her proper name (Barbara) instead of the playful derivative. Bobbi easily deduces his culpability and even guesses what card he would pick in a deck.
Given the blended cocktail of Super Soldier Serum and Infinity Formula within her bloodstream allows Bobbi to show off her super-strength and exude her inner strength as a confident, no-nonsene, anything-but-damsel-in-distress. There’s reverse sexism which I find extremely refreshing as Bobbi implicitly and explicitly designates Lance as her boy toy.
Joëlle Jones acts as a tour guide through Bobbi’s lengthy career giving the background a trippy feel when Bobbi accesses her faux psychic powers. The décor in the bedroom is definitely a throwback to the swinging 60’s. Bobbi is a major mix baiting and goading Lance who easily eats out of the palm of her hand. Great Union Jack on the bedspread and briefs. I didn’t notice this at first look but the cutesy almost Chibi version of Black Widow on the coffee mug as a playful poke or a derisive dig. I can almost hear Bobbi roar as she breaks through the chains that restrain her. The ultra-cool aura around her is solidified with the stylish sunglasses.
Solid lines make the characters literally stand out. Ms. Jones iterates Bobbi’s fascination with patterns through the honeycomb on the lab floor and the psychedelic print on the duvet. Bobbi’s hair indicates her various moods and ‘hats’: sassy, serious, spy, scientist, sex goddess.
I will overlap. Rachelle Rosenberg has a groovy time with the purple haze. The green in the lab coats and lab itself mute the fierce female’s feats. Ultra-violet is portrayed when Bobbi is drugged but the effects are temporary. Kudos to customize the men’s intimate apparel. You must have laughed in delight over that 😉
Joe Caramagna breaks through the routine with newspaper articles, text messaging and typesetting on a manila-coloured folder.
The most clever and crafty piece of this entire story is that Bobbi need not put on her toned-down costume. She is Mockingbird in its literal nature: kicking and punching the face of a pathetic mad scientist wannabe; teasing her bedroom buddy by addressing him as her former spouse as well as emphasizing that the gag gift has outlived its use. She sarcastically states that the gun is merely a prop since scientists are not trained assassins.
Hey! I just noticed something less obvious: the creators are all alliterative: CC, JJ, RR. I need not state the obvious about them >_^
According to Marvel Wikia S.H.I.E.L.D. records, Agent Bobbi Morse has Level 6 status. Thus, I give her a promotion by upgrading her to Level 9.
Extra feature: “Red Widow: First Strike”
Click here for the separate synopsis, review and spoilers for Marvel Comics’ newest femme fatale.
Tags: Bobbi Morse, Chelsea Cain, Joelle Jones, Marvel Comics, Mockingbird, Rachelle Rosenberg, SHIELD 50th Anniversary