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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Hawkeye & Mockingbird #2 (Marvel)

"Vengeance never dies."~Jaime Slade/Lincoln Slade/Phantom Rider

Writer: Jim McCann
Penciller: David López
Inker: Alvaro López
Colorist: Nathan Airbairn
Letterer: VC's Cory Petit
Cover: Paul Renaud
Assistant Editor: Rachel Pinnelas
Editor: Bill Rosemann

(Rumors of Death: Part 2 of "Ghosts")

Comic Book Week: July 7, 2010

And for my second week back, I have decided to review the second issue of Marvel's "Mr. & Mrs. Smith". Not that I'm trying to be sarcastic......they keep calling it that much, including this issue's cover, that they're lucky Twentieth Century Fox doesn't sue. I suppose that they're probably hoping DC doesn't sue for the more than obvious play on Black Canary & Green Arrow. Criticisms aside, there is a reason this is Kara's (my!) book of the week: its good! Very good!

To start, I've always liked Bobbi Morse (Mockingbird) and Clint Barton (Hawkeye). They're fun, real people with real problems, except they happen to be costumed superspies. The previous issue gave a quick recap of their history, and it wasn't easy or quick.......which is probably why I didn't really enjoy the 1st issue as much as the 2nd. It may be important to the review for you to know this though, so let's give it a quick try in point form:

  1. Clint Barton was a circus performer trained by a fellow performer (Swordsman) to shoot arrows, at which he was very good. He tried to become a super-hero but got mixed up with the Russian spy Black Widow and mistaken for a villain. He became an Iron Man enemy briefly until he was given membership in the Avengers and a pardon.
  2. Bobbi Morse was Agent 19 of S.H.I.E.L.D. (does anybody know what that stands for this week? ^9,9^ ), and a biologist desk jockey who discovered she preferred field work and became a spy.
  3. Bobbi & Clint met in the field on a case that's very important to this issue. By the end of that mission they had run off and gotten married.
  4. Clint was made leader of the West Coast Avengers and he made Bobbi a member. They stayed there a long time until the team was trapped in the old west and Bobbi was violated by Lincoln Slade, the original Phantom Rider. She allowed him to "accidentally" fall to his death, which was against the Avengers code of ethics, and upset Clint greatly. The two eventually separated over it.
  5. At sometime around this point, Bobbi was about to ask for a divorce when she was kidnapped by Skrulls and replaced by a sleeper agent. The sleeper agent was killed by Mephisto (the Marvel devil).
  6. Clint went on while the West Coast Avengers were disbanded. He was eventually killed pretty much by the Scarlet Witch during "Avengers Disassembled". Then he was resurrected by the Scarlet Witch in "House of M". He took the name Ronin from super-heroine Echo because a teenage girl had taken his name in the Young Avengers, and then Daredevil villain Bullseye took it in "Dark Reign".
  7. Bobbi......the REAL Bobbi......came back to Earth at the end of "Secret Invasion". Though she was tentative about getting back with Clint, their attitudes had both changed from their time apart; especially Clint, since he seems to have taken to killing /:-L . So now the exes are dating and they're members of Bobbi's World Counterterrorism Agency ("W.C.A." get it? 9,9 ).
*whew!* That was more complicated than I thought! I think explaining the backstory just made me rethink my rating!

The backstory aside, I see a lot of potential in the book. The story is that the main villain of the Bobbi & Clint's first adventure together , Crossfire, has teamed up with the reincarnated Phantom Rider to kill Bobbi in revenge for rejecting him. We add in the side story of Clint trying to help Bobbi get over her time in Skrull captivity by digging into her past......which she does NOT appreciate. The strength of this book is on the character and interplay between Bobbi and Clint and the supporting characters, particularly the lovable cad Dominic Fortune. Bobbi & Clint's relationship just seems very genuine, as they are, to borrow from "Friends", each other's "lobster".

The artwork is fantastic! To me, the storytelling of the 1st issue needed work, but there are no such problems in this issue, so we can only hope it keeps up to this level. And I'll throw in that the colors and letters are a perfect fit!

And the last page of the story was a great sign of the potential of things to come!

All this said, the only flaw to this book is a backstory that would probably lose Lewis & Clark, its so complicated. The book does a good job of giving you the information you need to get up to speed, though. It just takes extra effort that detracts from the story itself. I really think that once the book gets rolling past this first storyline though, that this problem will go away, as we seem to be heading for breakneck high action spy stories that will be about the mission only. And I hope it happens quickly, because I really don't want this book to get cancelled as I love the interplay between Bobbi & Clint ♥!

Oh! And what's this! There's a letter's page! OMG! Awesome! O,O!

RATING: 6.5 Brad Pitt's ( ;9 ) out of 10

At this point I was going to do one of two things. I was going to mention Marvel's one-shot "X-Women", which at first glance I thought looked like just some T&A, but found out the story was pretty okay, and the art was pretty.......if not targetted at a teenage boy demographic! 9,9

Or I was going to mention Hawkeye & Mockingbird's "name the letter column" contest. Until I checked online where I was supposed to go to vote and found that I couldn't find the poll! Nice one, Marvel!

So instead of that, here's a link to a beautiful Jo Chen (♥) wallpaper of Bobbi & Clint at popcultureshock.com: http://bit.ly/cMMnRL.

See ya next week! ツ*

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