Removing The Rape From Mockingbird's Past With Her Final Issue


Marvel published the final issue of Mockingbird today. Written by Chelsea Cain, it was a remarkable twisty-turny comic book of which thesis will be written. Concurrently a partner title to Fraction, Aja and Wu's Hawkeye and Chuck Palahniuk and Cameron Stewart's Fight Club 2. 

That would always be the case, but even more so today.

Because Chelsea also takes the opportunity with her final issue with artist Kate Niemczyk to rewrite a little history. Marvel continuity nuts may have been disconcerted with the frivolous fashion she deals with the Phantom Rider in today's issue.

After all, this was a fellow who previously, out of time, kidnapped her and mind-wiped her with a  mystical Comanche love potion, back in West Coast Avengers.

07And made her his fiancee.


By all accounts, that's rape. Even in the 1870s. Now, eventually everything got sorted out, rescued, dealt with. But Mockingbird had a final confrontation with the Phantom Rider.


"If I can't have you, no one can". Remember that, it's important. So Phantom Rider went over the edge…

14Which led to Mockingbird letting Phantom Rider fall to his death.


I mean he's a ghost, he didn't die. But still.


And, yes, she lied to her husband, Hawkeye. Kinda. Until it all came out. The Phantom Rider is a ghost after all. Kinda.



This put Mockingbird and Hawkeye at extreme odds.

wca035-12And led directly to their divorce.


Well, today, the Phantom Rider is back in Mockingbird's life, and is just as obsessed.


We get a flashback to the situation coming up in marriage counselling, which is a lot more civilised than we saw in West Coast Avengers. And then a flashforward to a possessed porter trying it on.


And while Mockingbird is certainly not buying it, she doesn't seem quite as bothered as you might expect. And yes, there was that reference to "exes". Would that be the right term?

25_04  Something else is going on. And we get an explanation, and a rewrite of what we once knew.

25_16 He told himself? Not Mockingbird? It was a consensual, if regretted relationship, that had nothing to do with any love potion? So the whole previous version of events are now being rewritten?  And Mockingbird was never raped?

Is this a very distorted version of To Kill A Mockingbird somehow?

And just in case anyone thinks Chelsea didn't read those West Coast Avengers issues…


So there we go. They are fictional characters. You can do that sort of thing.


I said it was like Fight Club. And Chelsea says goodbye…


And then has a lot of people to thank….

Mockingbird #8 is published by Marvel Comics today, as is the first collection, collecting issues up to #5. I'm not sure how they will collect the final three…


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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