Trapped at sea with a shipful of nerds (and her ex), Mockingbird is about to journey into the Bermuda Triangle. What could possibly go wrong? Your Major Spoilers review of Mockingbird #7 awaits!
Writer: Chelsea Cain
Penciler: Kate Niemczyk
Inker: Sean Parson
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Editor: Katie Kubert
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Mockingbird: In an attempt to get away from her ex-husband’s murder trial (Hawkeye killed Bruce Banner, The Hulk, in the pages of Civil War II), Bobbi Morse accepted a mysterious summons and ticket for a sea cruise. Unfortunately, she discovered an unfolding series of mysteries, leading to the murder of the man who brought her on board the ship in the first place. Her ex-boyfriend, Lance Hunter, makes things even more complicated and/or hormonal, so Mockingbird’s life is pretty much an enigma, wrapped in a riddle, deep-fried in tempura and wrapped in bacon…
…whatever that means.
“A DEAD, PAJAMA-WEARING HORSE…”
We open with an unpleasant situation, as the ships bartender (the doctor has norovirus… again) examines the body of Garfield Edsal, who invited Bobbi Morse on the cruise in the first place. First of all, this entire sequence is really, REALLY funny, featuring a number of public figures (Paul & Storm, the Doubleclicks and this issue’s artist, for one) enjoying their cruise while Bobbi and Hunter try to unravel a seemingly impossible crime. The most important clue, a set of bloody footprints, seems to imply that Edsal stabbed himself, walked around in the blood, wrote a message and then collapsed, creating a situation that seemed almost designed to get Bobbi’s attention…
…because it WAS. The investigations reveal that the whole shebang (the free chardonnay, the Hawkeye connection, the presence of Bobbi’s ex-boyfriend, even the cute Corgis) was a trap for her, set by her oldest foe, at least chronologically speaking… The Phantom Rider.
A TRULY SHOCKING CONTINUITY MOMENT
I literally said something unrepeatable out loud as Lincoln Slade revealed himself in this issue, having possessed the ship’s porter, as it ties back to a 30-year-old hunk of Marvel continuity: The West Coast Avengers journey through time that led to Mockingbird spending an extended time in the Old West, manipulated and gaslighted by Phantom Rider until she let him fall to his death, an act that was the final straw for her marriage to Hawkeye. (This is, in fact, the Hawkeye story I keep referencing when I say how weird it is that a character who was unwilling to forgive his one true love for letting a man die is now willing to try to kill Norman Osborn and ACTUALLY KILL Bruce Banner, so I’m utterly stunned that they’ve referenced this part of Mockingbird’s past.) Add in the incredibly charismatic art throughout the issue, including some perfectly timed facial expressions from Mockingbird that add additional emphasis to her sardonic (and hilarious) dialogue, and this one is a winner across the board.
THE BOTTOM LINE: AH-MAZING
Every once in a while, a book comes along that you have to keep reminding people is wonderful (Fraction/Aja ‘Hawkeye’, McDuffie’s run on ‘Justice League’, the McKelvie/Gillen ‘Young Avengers’) that you just KNOW isn’t long for the world, and this book is it. Mockingbird #7 is another incredibly funny, strangely tense and well-written issue, featuring inspired art and dialogue, as well as a surprise return that knocked my socks off, earning a truly deserved 4.5 out of 5 stars overall. There are a lot of strong, unique and entertaining comic book experiences coming out of Marvel, post Secret Wars, but this is one of the most assured and entertaining of them all…