“Well, I came by your House the other day. Your mother said you went away.”
Born in the USA, is a Springsteen album that divides fans of his music. Too many its heart on sleeve liberal histrionics’, famously mis-understood by the Republican party, gel unconvincingly with the double echo pop like vocal recording. A far far different album than the break out Born to Run. Still between the flag waving, and the daintiness of Dancing in the Dark, a couple of great songs do hide.
Marvel, is kind of in the same boat, with the myriad of turgid books featuring mutants, Spider clones, more mutants and more Deadpool than you would think a comic rack could hold. But also like Born in the USA, there are still a couple of quality book from the House of Ideas. Mockingbird is one such book.
Regular readers will know the esteem in which I hold this book. This recently announced final issue, is no different. Bobbi is still on the geek cruise of a lifetime, trying to solve the locked room murder with nothing but her wits, a team of cos-players, a glass of chardonnay and a shampoo bottle. If this description makes no sense, then shame on you for not picking up the last issue!
By her own admission, Chelsea Cain is not a comic book writer. To her credit, if she hadn’t of said anything, I don’t think anyone would have been the wiser. That is, unless you start to think about the ideas that this book has floated. Bobbi is definitely her own person; she is smart, caring and sexy. In short, a fantastic character. Cain has given her a voice, that reminds me a little of the Power Girl run from Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner. Both Bobbi and Kara feel the brunt of being curvy women, but it is not what defines them. Here, Cain has written a fantastic set of issues that somehow presents Bobbi as a real character, not just 2 dimensional piece of eye candy.
Cain’s partner in crime, as always with this book, is Kate Niemczyk, whose work is well suited to the vibe that Cain is selling. There is never a dull moment in any panel of this book. True, things can get a little sideways and yes, the flowchart can take some navigating, but this just adds to the quirky almost surreal aspect that I assume must come with being a superhero. Clean lines and an eye for visual humour are just a couple of the excellence elements that Niemczyk brings to the book. Colors are supplied by Rachelle Rosenberg who again joins the party with strong work, especially given the cramped quarters of the ship. A special nod must also go to one of my personal favourite artists over the last couple of years, Joelle Jones, who again brings her “A” game for another well constructed, if not action paced cover.
I would like someone to explain something to me. The Big Two always whine on about diversity in comics. Yet always fall back on the old “Let’s make a female version of a male character!” Even now we are getting a female version of Iron Man! Yet, here we have Mockingbird, who is somewhat of a legacy character getting cancelled. She may have started as a sidekick to Hawkeye, maybe Marvel’s attempt at Green Arrow and Black Canary. But she has grown so much. Chelsea, Kate and Rochelle have given us what we have demanded: a female character that meets the various requirements of quite a few comic book commentators. The fact that such an idiosyncratic book is being cancelled to no doubt make room for more of the same stuff that is clogging up the racks is a travesty. Mockingbird? More like a Mockery!
If you like extremely well written books, that are funny, smart and great to look at, go checkout the back issues for this run.
“And I’m just calling one last time, just to say I’ll miss you baby. Good luck. Good-bye, Bobbi Morse”*
Writing – 5 Stars
Art – 5 Stars
Color – 5 Stars
Cover (Joelle Jones) – 5 Stars
Written by Chelsea Cain
Art by Kate Niemczyk and Rachelle Rosenberg
Published by Marvel Comics
*For the Bruce Springsteen fans, yes I know I shortened the last line.