March 6, 2023

Review: Mockingbird, Vol. 1: I Can Explain

Mockingbird, Vol. 1: I Can Explain Mockingbird, Vol. 1: I Can Explain by Chelsea Cain
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is actually the second time I have read this graphic novel, and I enjoyed it more this time around. It's a pretty subversive story, taking on both the superhero trope generally and Marvel's hopelessly tangled storylines in particular.

Barbara "Bobbi" Morse, aka Mockingbird, was once an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Marvel's CIA/FBI equivalent) and also married to Clint "Hawkeye" Barton. She was given an injection of superhero serum/infinity formula by Nick Fury and has been exhibiting strange symptoms ever since, symptoms that require her to visit her local S.H.I.E.L.D. medical facility. That isn't the only story in this collection: there isn't really a linear storyline in the five collected issues here, but that doesn't hurt the overall collection (surprisingly). This is due to the self-aware and gently mocking edge to the writing, and the general awesomeness of Bobbi as a character. The art, by Kate Niemczyk, is also excellent.

The five issues are almost self-contained little stories, bopping around in time and tying together in issue 5. This run of Mockingbird by Chelsea Cain didn't last too long, unfortunately (there's a second volume, My Feminist Agenda, which I'm reading now). That's too bad. Cain shows an understanding of the medium and a reluctance to succumb to its usual silliness and excesses that is refreshing, and I wish she could have continued with the character.

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