Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those times.
Warning: minor spoilers.
“Join S.H.I.E.L.D they said. Great health benefits, low co-pays…” – Bobbi Morse
Well this was supposed to be another indie comic review, but I managed to leave said indie comic 100 or so miles away in Coventry. The joys of living out of two addresses…. So when I got home tonight I realised I needed something else to review. A quick look at what was new out this week and Mockingbird (written by Chelsea Cain, art by Kate Niemczyc, colour artist Rachelle Rosenberg and letterer VC’s Joe Carmagna) caught my eye. I’ve never read any comics with her in before, but I’ve seen her alter-ego Bobbi Morse in Agents of SHIELD.
This is very much a first issue, but it is not an origin story. We know Bobbi has been injected with an experimental version of Cap’s Super Soldier Serum and SHIELD aren’t confident about the side effects it might be having. The comic entirely takes place in one of SHIELD’s research labs where Bobbi is having regular blood tests. We see her come in over a number of weeks and see how she’s fairing. Which is mixed to say the least (not that she’ll admit it!). We also get to see a few guest cameos in the background, from Howard the Duck reading a leaflet on stopping smoking to Hercules looking a little worse for wear.
The art is very much in line with a lot of Marvel’s other comics, like the current run on Thor, where the colours are strong and vibrant and things generally feel light and with a slight sense of humour about them. Speaking of, there’s a fair few references tucked away in this, some to the Agents of SHIELD TV show, and some to the Marvel universe in general if you know what to look for (read the forms!). This all adds to something Marvel have totally nailed in many of their current comic series – a sense of humour and danger all wrapped up into one. We also get to see a fun array of all of the outfits Mockingbird wears on some of her missions.
As the plot focuses on her test results and current state of health I won’t go into too much detail on it, except to say it’s a very well written first issue, designed to grip the reader into wanting more. I was left looking for a few answers at the end of it, but there’s a helpful cheat sheet from the authors telling you what their rough plans are with the first few issues in the series (filling in the gaps between Bobbi’s appointments!).
In terms of criticism, I suppose the downside of keeping a lot of things mysterious is the reader is left with quite a few unknowns at the end. It would be nice to have gotten to know some of the supporting cast a little better as well.
This is a very different first issue, but a very enjoyable one. I wasn’t looking to add any more comics to my regular list (I am supposed to be saving for a wedding…) but dammit Marvel you’ve done it again!
Final Score – 8.75 Vanishing Ping-Pong Balls out of 10!