Or – “When The Heck Did This Happen, Anyway?”


The story in which Mockingbird died took place around 1994 or so, if my memories are correct.  I recall reading it while I was in college, in any case, and being annoyed at the art and by how cavalierly the character was offed.  What this means for Secret Invasion and for this mini  is that, somehow, even in Marvel time, the Skrulls plans have had to be in play for YEAAAARS.   So many years, in fact, that the changes in the Marvel U would make the whole thing moot anyway.   One thing is for sure, in any case…

Mockingbird has a really attactive tuchus.

Previously, on New Avengers – The Reunion:  The Skrull saucer that crashed to Earth like NAR2.jpgDavid Bowie has thrown Clint Barton’s life into disarray.  And given that he is an ex-carnier who became a powerless superhero, went deaf, got married, got widowed was killed, unkilled, rekilled, and brought back to life by his ex-girlfriend when she accidentally rebooted the universe using only her own powers to made her Daddy the king of all he surveyed, only to undo it all and leave Clint NOT dead again and running around New York, where he was asked to be Captain America, but then it turned out that Bucky wasn’t dead after all, and then his name was stolen by a teenage girl, and again by a psycho-killer (Qu’est que c’est?) and he took over the identity of a ninja who turned out to actually be a teenaged Puerto Rican deaf girl with a hand painted on her face.  Also, he somehow learned to be expert with a blade (which kinda makes sense for a guy trained by the Swordsman, but then begs the question of why he was an archer in the first place.)  So, he’s got that goin’ for him…  which is nice.

Before Barbara Morse became Mockingbird, then an Avenger, she was an agent of SHIELD, a spy by any other name.  She’s returning to that role now, dancin’ with the skills what brung her and infiltrating a hospital on some sort of secret mission.  Her careful planning is completely undone by the appearance of her sort-of ex-husband Clint, who tries to play off his appearance as something cute and harmless, when he’s obviously worried sick.   Jim McCann manages to make their argument seem very natural and real with his dialogue (especially on the part of ex-Hawkeye), a moment made even more awesome when we flash back to his interaction with the new Captain America.  Clint Barton has long had a tendency to argue with men in red, white and blue costumes, and this is no exception, as he ignores all the good advice James Barnes has to offer, and replies with “You know, they offered it to me first, right?  The shield.  After he died.”   The interactions between them really make the book sing for me, especially the discussion of teen sidekicks…

Barnes warns him to be careful, and points out what Clint isn’t ready to admit: “Are you ready to face the possibility that this ISN’T the woman you fell in love with?”  Clint resonds that the remaks sounds like something Steve Rogers (who is, at the time of this writing STILL dead) would have said.  “That sounds like a compliment,” says Captain America.  “Highest there is,” says Hawkeye, and sets out to find his woman, who isn’t really all that happy to see him.  they’re discovered, and the fighty fighty starts, but it’s a fascinating fighty fighty, as the twosome finds that at least they can still fight as a couple.  They escape, and adjourn to Bobbi’s SHIELD safehouse, where she tells him that he can’t be a part of what she need to do.   She snarks that he’s not going to let the situation drop, and he responds “Glad you remember you’ve MET me.”  Heh.  Bobbi explains that her time on the Skrull ship left her with knowledge of threats that no one else cand stop, threats that she’s going to take out with the help of her fellow captured SHIELD agents.  He pretends to acquiese, then shoots her with an old-school net arrow, and calls in Cap and the Avengers to pick her up…

This issue successfully does a couple of things: It differentiates Clint and Bobbie from that other archer/bird girl couple (whose book wishes it was this good, lately.)  It gives Mockingbird her own new raison d’etre, and a cool new costume and attitude.  It shows us how good a couple they can be, all the while taunting us with the realization that it could all be over.  The art (by David and Alvaro Lopez) is really excellent, with a muted color palette and a nice eye for details and expression, and I really enjoy it’s uniqueness.  This is a strong issue, only slightly undermined by what feels like a completely different Hawk/Mock relationship in New Avengers #50, and by the fact that (ONCE AGAIN) there’s some issues that I have with the ‘when’ of the Marvel U.  I’ll probably have to learn to live with that, I’m sure, but New Avengers – The Reunion #1 is an issue I can totally live with, earning 4.5 out of 5 stars. 


The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. March 19, 2009 at 6:06 am — Reply

    Why is McCann being wasted in a non-creative job when he can write this good? He needs to be fired, given a writing exclusive at double the pay he gets now, and given as many ongoings as he can handle. I thought this issue was THAT good…

  2. March 19, 2009 at 7:39 am — Reply

    >>Also, he somehow learned to be expert with a blade (which kinda makes sense for a guy trained by the Swordsman, but then begs the question of why he was an archer in the first place.)

    Long time ago in something called AVENGERS SPOTLIGHT and later SOLO AVENGERS it was revealed that at Swordsman’s circus there was a fat trick archer who also tutored Hawkeye.

  3. Brother129
    March 19, 2009 at 9:42 am — Reply

    I actually found the art distracting. I felt it was little bit cartoony in some points and thought it would have been better if it was drawn in the vein of a Steve Epting or Mike Perkins style. One man’s opinion.

  4. March 19, 2009 at 11:41 am — Reply

    Axel: Yeah, I remember the bits with Trick Shot, I just found it a bit conveeeeenient that Hawkeye was also a super-competent blade-guy without there having been much in the way of support for that assumption.

    Brother: Really? I felt that the non-realism helped the story, and added to the charm of Hawk and Mock, in that “dramedy” way. The references to Grey’s Anatomy were pretty ‘on the nose’ here, as their interactions have an edge of humor and wit, while remaining serious, especially during the fight sequence when she tried to give him the whole trained fighter “watch your six” routine, and he was like “Which six is that?” Heh…

  5. Robert
    March 19, 2009 at 3:38 pm — Reply

    I may be wrong but I believe the reason hawkeye never used a sword before was that he wasnt very good with it. I think that was why trickshot took him under his wing. The whole Hawkeye is a master swordsman thing came when Bendis decided to stick him in the Ronin costume. Again I could be remebering it wrong though

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