MOCKINGBIRD: 50 YEARS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. #1
Written by Chelsea Cain, Margaret Stohl
Art by Jöelle Jones, Nico Leon
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: September 2, 2015
With a single issue, Chelsea Cain and Joelle Jones have made Mockingbird the badass, kickass, intriguing character she deserves to be. This is a damn good comic, and you should be reading it.
Chelsea Cain does a great job balancing the needs of this one shot. In a limited amount of space she brings readers up to speed with who Mockingbird is, how she got to be where she is, what she’s capable of and how her past has shaped her personality. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. watchers don’t need to be convinced that Mockingbird kicks ass, which she does in this issue, but it’s been awhile since Mockingbird got time in the spotlight to show that Black Widow isn’t the only capable field agent S.H.I.E.L.D. employs. Barbara Morse is tough as nails, smart as a whip and can crack a joke under Cain’s watch, which is the best take I’ve ever read on the character. Cain’s Bobbi is everything Bobbi should be, and I can’t imagine her not winning you over by the end of this issue.
I mentioned earlier that Cain uses her time with Bobbi well, and I can’t reiterate that enough. Her relationships, past and present, provide a great balance to the main plot of the story, and I want to read more pages with Bobbi and her new beau. Their banter is great, and shows a side of Bobbi that isn’t totally serious, but never diminishes her strength. Cain addresses the complex continuity of Mockingbird very well, from a relationship and resurrection perspective, and this issue acts as both a great intro to the character and a great story for long time fans. More work from Chelsea Cain featuring Mockingbird is required, Marvel. This is not a request.
Jöelle Jones…my word, Jöelle Jones. I’ve been reading Jones’ work since the start of Helheim and, more recently Lady Killer, and I have marveled at her talent for a long time now. Seeing her unleash her gifts in the Marvel Universe is a grand thing, and this is one damn good looking comic. Visually, Jones gets this character. She’s tough, yet graceful and stoic, but has a glint of mischief in her eye. Mockingbird is full of moxie, and Jones captures that in every panel. Her layouts are fantastic, and these pages flow beautifully. She’s an A-list talent that not enough people are talking about, and if this issue doesn’t make people take notice, then I will shake my fists at the sky in rage because Joelle Jones is the real deal. Sign me up for Jöelle Jones working on any character in the Marvel U, I don’t care who it is, I’ll read it. If it’s a Mockingbird ongoing with Chelsea Cain writing, I’ll read it twice.
The backup story by Margaret Stohl and Nico Leon got me almost as pumped as the primary story in this issue, as the pair introduce the Red Widow to the Marvel Universe. I don’t know how else to address this backup other than to say “I. WANT. MORE.” Stohl paces this backup nicely, with two independent tales bouncing off each other in a fun fashion that builds intrigue and drama. Leon’s style is subdued when it needs to be, and the final page hit like a hammer. A force to be reckoned with has just been unleashed, readers. Don’t stop after the last page of Mockingbird. You want to read about Red Widow.
This is a great one-shot featuring 2 fantastic stories by talented individuals. The Marvel Universe is stronger when characters like Mockingbird and the new Red Widow are written and drawn this well, and I want to read more of these characters when their stories are told this way. More Cain, Jones, Stohl and Leon in Marvel’s line up would be a great thing, as this one shot shows they are capable of telling some great stories.
The Verdict: 10/10