Mockingbird #8 Is Controversial. But Not For Any Of The Reasons It Is Causing Controversy.


Last week, Bleeding Cool ran an article on the final issue of Mockingbird, issue 8. It had been a fine series from Marvel, doing all sorts of interesting things with narrative and form, and for its final issue, we noted how it directly dealt with an issue of the character's continuity that some had found problematic. I though that, for certain fanboys, this might be a sticking point, and while it might be a hot topic for debate regarding the portrayal of rape in fiction, and also from a survivor's point of view. There seemed to be lots to talk about, to discuss, to cogitate over. Hopefully in a civilised fashion.

What I didn't expect was that the massive controversy would be over a good cover joke, and its writer Chelsea Cain's appeal for more comic books starring action women in the lead.


I mean, seriously, if you are one of the Mens Rights Activist crowd then, right here, you have a comic in which something previously described as rape, has now been rewritten as a man's version of events at odds with the reality, as it's its the only way he can cope with it, yet it still leads to the couple's divorce. There has to be something to object to there, right?


But no it seems that this cover above, and this tweet, and what you concentrate on. Well, less to read I suppose.

Chelsea Cain has quit social media over the response she has gotten from this. And you can see such outrage on Marvel's Facebook page…


Or on Reddit boards such as r/SocialJusticeInAction to the cover and the controversy….


Until you get someone who actually read the comic and realises, you know, that it might be a joke.


Oh and it also looks like, as a result, there's a bit of a rush on eBay for people buying the comic, at cover price or below. Let's see what happens there…

So what am I saying? I dunno. There is plenty one could justifiably object to Mockingbird #8. But that's a good thing. The best fiction has difficult ideas, positions itself in one fashion against another and makes the reader think. Fiction that just mollifies, cuddles and confirms is utterly dull. If someone somewhere is not objecting to fiction in some form, then I think it has failed.

But to object to it when you haven't actually read it… especially when reading it might lead you to a different conclusion… well.

As far as I can tell, it's just an excuse for people to be mocking birds.

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.

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