Review: Mockingbird S.H.I.E.L.D. 50th Anniversary

mockingbird001There has never been a better time to be a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent.  Although Marvel’s top spy agency is never exactly under the radar, the cinematic universe has added new interesting to the organization as first Nick Fury and Phil Coulson, and then Maria Hill and the members of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pushed the group into the spotlight.  Riding the wave of the renewed interest was Mockingbird, a character that had previously died in the comics and was given new focus after her introduction into the television series.  Never a headliner, the character had a decent comic past, as a romantic interest for other heroes or as a superhero herself as a member of the Avengers.  What has never really happened though is a story which is up to par with what made the character one that could make it on to Earth’s strongest superhero team without any actual superpowers.

If there was ever to be a story about why Mockingbird made it into the team then this just might be it.  The story is a relatively simple one as she awakes one morning to find that her mentor is dead.  Not willing to take the official answer for the death, she leads her own investigation, one which spends the majority of its time in a morgue room.  Although there might not have ever really been anything in the character’s past to make her approachable or even likable, this does as good a job as any to focus on her character and to give her a makeover at the same time.  There is also a backup story which focuses on a new hero called the Red Widow, who comes off looking a bit like Black Widow’s teenage sidekick, though it is told in a way which is an interesting take on a superhero origin story.

Some might be turned off of the title from the start because of words like “Anniversary” being in the title, but this issue actually manages to surprise as one of the better releases for Marvel this week, and one which is not thrown into the monumental undertaking that is Secret Wars.  Instead it focuses on the character and the plot to tell a compact yet entertaining stories, with some great visuals as well.  The main story is much better than the backup story, but both are good enough to pass the test.  If this is any indication of the Marvel that is to be in the post-Secret Wars landscape, then it looks as though the company will have some nice surprises in store.

Story: Chelsea Cain & Margaret Stohl Art: Joelle Jones & Nic Leon
Story: 9.2 Art: 9.2 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy