Chelsea Cain’s Mockingbird doesn’t give a shit if she’s not like all those other badass female superheroes you’ve read about. Her solo series follows secret agent Bobbi Morse in brutal, funny, insightful storyline. The final issues of the series wrap up with Mockingbird going on a surprise vacation with both of her lovers, teasing a casual polyamorous relationship.
The ending of Mockingbird (both the issue and the series) features an epilogue where Morse, after saving the day, goes off on a real vacation with both her current fling Lance Hunter, and her former fling/ex-husband Clint Barton. It’s a possible polyamorous interpretation, and Morse hasn’t shown any interest so far in monogamy. The ending was by no means definitive of a canon polyamorous heroine, but as readers of the series know, the implications points to a relationship beyond something purely physical.
Bobbi Morse is an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.. She grew up wanting to be a superhero — trying everything from spider bites to radioactive exposure — to get them, only to end up disappointed. So she instead she relied on becoming a strong normal person. The sense of disappointment kind of pervades the series, and Morse channels her past into sarcasm and an unwillingness to compromise. If all that nuance interests you, well the book also introduces a steamy romance — only it’s not really a romance because it’s not really that romantic. It’s sexy, but also not at the same time.
Throughout the series, Morse has had run-ins with both Lance Hunter, a British spy she’s been seeing on the side, and her ex-husband whose re-emergence triggers flashbacks to episodes of their marriage counseling sessions. It’s not that these relationships shadow her throughout the book, but they have a nasty habit of popping up while she’s on her secret agent job. And that’s really what the series is about in the first place: seeing a kickass spy be good at her job and loving what she does. It’s not her fault that both of her partners just happen to be in the same line of work as she is.
It’s why the epilogue feels like more than just a fun little ending to the series. As we get a deeper understanding of Morse as a character, her frustrations with having to compromise on her superpower aspirations, and then society, also extends to her relationships. The ending is Morse giving herself the option of not having to compromise on what she really wants, especially because she clearly isn’t interested in settling for anything at the moment.
While Mockingbird’s solo series was short, it was definitely a big surprise and feels like a companion piece/antithesis to Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye series, both focusing on their protagonist’s psyche and raison d’être. This is also one of the few instances in a mainstream comic that a three-person relationship was even hinted at.
Mockingbird #8 is currently available in comic book stores and digital retailers.
Photos via Rachelle Rosenberg, Kate Niemczyk, Marvel Comics, Joelle Jones, Rachelle Rosenberg