For writer Chelsea Cain, creator along with artist Kate Niemczyk of the first ever ongoing solo MOCKINGBIRD series, the time has come to place Bobbi Morse in the spotlight. In fact, it had been time for a long while.
“Until [the S.H.I.E.L.D. 50th ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL: MOCKINGBIRD] one-shot she’d never had her own book—and even the one-shot was part of the 50th Anniversary of S.H.I.E.L.D. thing,” Cain, who wrote that book, points out. “She’s been really underserved by the Marvel Universe. She’s always appeared in other people’s stories, serving their narratives. So I love the idea of giving her a chance to be the center of a story and to really have some agency.”
Cain did not come to that conclusion shallowly either. Upon taking on the character for the one-shot, the writer quickly felt a kinship for the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and super hero.
“I’m drawn to Bobbi because she’s a terrific character—she’s brainy and cool and confident, and quick with a quip,” she enthuses. “In fact it turns out we have a few traits in common. We’re not big sharers. We’re control freaks. And we’ve both been married to Clint Barton. I mean, what are the odds?”
While tales of corruption may be familiar in S.H.I.E.L.D.’s history, readers should not arrive to the book with expectation of things being the same old, same old.
“It’s so much more than that, I swear,” the writer promises. “I mean, there are zombies. And corgis. I ask you, have there ever been zombies and corgis in a Marvel comic book before at the same time?
“Truly, the plot of the first five issues is rooted very much in Bobbi’s medical history. [Nick] Fury saved her life with a dose of Super Solider Serum and Infinity Formula, and I really wanted to explore the fallout from that.
“She’s got to go in every week for a medical check-up,” Cain elaborates. “And I loved the idea of this medical clinic for super heroes—a place where they go to get stitched up and get their Prozac refilled. And the waiting room would be full of bored heroes leafing through old issues of ‘Us Weekly.’ Would Bobbi uncover a conspiracy in that sort of environment? Well she is good at ferreting out conspiracies having been subjected to them a number of times herself. Frankly she’s a little sensitive about that. But the books will also show Bobbi on her personal time, and off having Bond-level adventures—the Roger Moore years.”
In order to capture that sense of pop adventure, Cain recognizes that she needs a wildly talented artist to bring her words to life. According to the writer, she more than found that in Kate Niemczyk.
“It was really important to me that we find someone who could equal her in talent and style,” she explains. “Kate draws really beautiful, strong women. It’s kind of her specialty. Bobbi is sexy—and she’s comfortable with sex—and I want to show that and at the same time avoid objectifying her. She’s strong. She’s physically competent. And Kate can draw a woman in a metal bikini and thigh highs and somehow make her look completely in control and badass. So obviously we’re going to get along fine.”
If fans feel not quite convinced, the writer has plenty more to offer:
“There are a dazzling array of guest stars in this book, including Lance Hunter and Clint Barton. And of course we recognize many heroes in the medical clinic and I violate all kinds of HIPAA laws revealing their personal medical information. As for villains, look for the London Hellfire Club to make an appearance as well as an evil A.I.M. splinter group. I’m a sucker for A.I.M. They’re so adorable in their yellow suits.
“With zombies,” she adds for good measure. “And corgis. But not zombi corgis. That would be weird.”
MOCKINGBIRD by Chelsea Cain and Kate Niemczyk soars in 2016!