Tag Archives: Skrulls

Song of the Mockingbird

Mockingbird

Hello, Marvel Writers!

Just out of curiosity, have you ever seen an actual mockingbird?  They’re very pretty birds about the size of the average man’s fist, and they have light brown-grey feathers.  Each wing has a white band across it, and they hold their tails at about a forty-five degree angle most of the time.  They have a beautiful song, when they’re not mimicking other bird calls, that is.  They can be found from rural towns to big cities all across the country.

So when I learned that there was a Marvel super-heroine called Mockingbird, I was immediately put in mind of the talents of this particular little avian.  Imagine my surprise when I found out that not only was she a ‘normal’ human, she was also farsighted and needed glasses!

Heck of an idea someone had to pair her off with the Marvel hero who has the sight of a Middle-earth elf!  Hawkeye and she seemed to be as much of a match as Susan Storm and Reid Richards.  They were definitely a more likeable pair than Jean Grey and Scott Summers, or at least they were to this reader.

And so we come back to the question that I asked in “Fletching and Nocking”: why have Mockingbird finish her split with Hawkeye?

Yes, the escapade in the West Coast Avengers comic line is definitely a cause for tension between them, although I think they could have handled it better than they did.  And yet, after she is a prisoner of the alien Skrulls for several years, once she returns, Bobbi Morse shuts her husband completely out of her life with a divorce (after having a good cry first).

They are currently hinted to still love each other but they continue to avoid acting on that love.  Despite this, when Hawkeye dated Spider-Woman, Mockingbird was shown to be rather embarrassed by the whole idea, the first time she’s shown any emotion over one of his ‘romances.’  Why not have her act on that embarrassment, and at least tell him off?  He’d probably take it from her before he took it from anyone else he knows.

Why is Mockingbird avoiding Hawkeye like this?  Wouldn’t it be more likely that all that time in captivity aboard the Skrull ships would make her miss him more than before?  Say you were held prisoner on an alien ship for an untold number of years, away not only from the planet that you loved but the most important people on it, people who may get killed at some point soon in an alien invasion you were powerless to fight or stop.

Eventually you get rescued and, on seeing them safe, split off from them for most of the next twenty years (after a perfectly natural tearful reunion)?

That’s kind of heartless, depending on who you are.  In other cases, it would be a sign of going crazy.

Right now it looks like Mockingbird has been avoiding Hawkeye and the Avengers.  The last time they fought side by side was at least two years ago, and she never showed up in the entire Avengers vs. X-Men storyline. Not only that, she never thanked Hawkeye for getting her help before she was given the serum mixture that saved her life.  It wasn’t his idea to give it to her, but he let Fury give the juice to her all the same, just to keep her alive.  All that work and she doesn’t even say thank you?

And again, why give her superpowers?  As I’ve said before, Mockingbird’s strength was the same as Hawkeye’s and the Winter Soldier’s.  She was a normal human who fought powerful bad guys and won – rather recently, too – such as when she faced off against the Wrecking Crew singlehanded.  No one was going to argue that she had no place on the team during that fight; she was as accepted by the Avengers before and after that, powers or not.

In that battle, she didn’t have powers.  And that made her even more valuable than any other team member when push came to shove.

After all the hard knocks she’s taken lately, fellow writers, I would say it’s time to give Mockingbird a break.  Let her spread her wings with the rest of the team, and fly beside her Hawk.  The results may be surprisingly fruitful in plotlines.

Sincerely,

Mithril (A Troubled True Believer)

Advertisements

Fletching and Nocking

Hawkeye's New Suit

Hello, Marvel Writers!

Time to roll up our sleeves and get to work, fellow writers! This letter has to do with the World’s Greatest Marksman: Hawkeye. First, the newest costume for the archer is great and a definite keeper, in my mind. The original wasn’t bad, but these days it looks really ridiculous. I would keep the hip quiver as well; as proved in the movie, Hawkeye can run out of arrows quickly.

Back to his persona. Wow, talk about getting tossed from pillar to post. This character has been hammered, and then some. First a reluctant villain under the spell of the Black Widow’s many charms, then the loudmouth upstart trying to prove himself to the fledging Avengers, next a stalwart Avenger, now…

Now he’s not exactly anything.

Hawkeye’s first slide into rampant flings began when he ‘dated’ the super-villainess Moonstone during the time when he believed that Mockingbird was dead (lousy choice of post dead wife date). Later he had a dallying ‘romance’ with the Wasp (she’s taken, people!) and after Disassembled he had a fling with the Scarlet Witch (who ‘killed’ him, twice). In the recent comics since Mockingbird finalized the divorce they started after Hawkeye discovered she had killed a man who abused her, he has ‘dated’ deaf vigilante-turned-heroine Echo (formerly Ronin) and, recently, Spider-Woman.

Despite all this, when told by Cap that Mockingbird was on a list of international spies wanted dead, he rejoined the Avengers so fast it left his teammates practically speechless. Later, he was distraught when she received grievous injuries in battle, injuries that prompted Fury to give her an experimental serum to save her life. Hawkeye was virtually mum on the obvious dangers of the whole idea (a first for a character who regularly has more quips than arrows). I don’t know of any other time the character was so quiet about a dangerous situation regarding Mockingbird.

In light of these instances regarding his ex-wife, why the yo-yo effect with Hawkeye’s romantic life? The character was never this fickle with his flirting in previous stories.

It is also worth noting that this isn’t the only part of the character that is being batted around more harshly than a ping pong ball: once a staunch advocate of the old ‘do not kill’ superhero code, Hawkeye has become somewhat picky when he follows it these days. I think that it’s understandable that he would not willingly spare any Skrulls he was fighting, since one of the aliens successfully impersonated his ‘dead’ wife. Anybody would be killing mad after something like that.

And his decision to permanently take down the Scarlet Witch not too long ago isn’t hard to understand, either, when one considers that she ‘killed’ him (twice). But this would hardly be a decision he wouldn’t wrestle with or have qualms about, something that doesn’t appear to have occurred when he made that choice.

Yet when faced with a criminal such as Max Fury or the ‘new’ Ronin (Black Widow’s ex-husband), Barton suddenly balks at finishing the villain off. Isn’t that a little silly? If he’s willing to finish aliens and former teammates, why not villains who have earned their walking papers many times over, and for whom he had absolutely no feeling?

A brief overview of Hawkeye’s history is enough to make plenty of new readers shake their heads and say, “Ouch. What a hard story!” Over the last twenty years, Barton’s been all but shattered and rebuilt to the point where it’s amazing he’s still recognizable as the character he was in the sixties. It’s nice to see him getting along better with his teammates and stretching his wings as a commander of the team (or one of its auxiliaries) true; however, the rest of his character is practically a disgusting mosaic of the shards of his previous integrity. There’s little farther that ‘mainstream’ Hawkeye has to go before he becomes interchangeable with Ultimate Hawkeye (who is a near-total perversion of the character).

The fact that Hawkeye’s been sent spinning off into one ‘romance’ after another seems, to one who looks hard at the list of circumstances under which he met these ladies, to be more like a search for his wife Bobbi Morse (Mockingbird) than the indecision of a berserk flirt. The pattern is something that she appears to be unaware of, but the threads of different stories point to Hawkeye desperately missing her all the same.

With all due respect, why not make Mockingbird miss him back for a change? Moreover, why not make her act on that? I don’t see anything demeaning or wrong with the idea for either character. They were married in a whirlwind before; why not go about it a little more slowly this time around? Reed and Susan Richards have lasted this long. Why not give another superhero a shot at that life?

Considering what he’s been through, Hawkeye’s definitely earned some happiness and needed respite. Heck, this type of story could open up all sorts of great avenues for both these characters and their teammates.

After twenty years on the rack, fellow writers, I’d say that Hawkeye’s been beaten enough.

Sincerely,

Mithril (A Troubled True Believer)