Friday, July 2, 2010

Famous First Fridays: Mockingbird

What it is, Groove-ophiles! We all know that Clint (Hawkeye) Barton's wondrous wife Bobbi Morse started her four-color life as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the Ka-Zar strip and that she eventually became a super-heroine in her own right as The Huntress. We know that, 'cause Ol' Groove laid those facts on ya here. Did'ja know, however that Bobbi wasn't originally to have been Mockingbird, though? According to late-lamented creator Mark Gruenwald, Mockingbird was created as a villainess, a foil for Spider-Woman (when Gruenwald served as her mag's scripter)...and she was to have been a totally different character. However, when ace-writer Steven Grant wanted to come up with a new character to debut/partner-up with Spidey in Marvel Team-Up #95 (April 1980), he and Gru worked out a plan to combine the original evil Mockingbird with the heroic Bobbi, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., and viola! Hawkeye's future spouse was born. You can read all about it in the yellow box below if ya wanna...
With suh-wheet art by Jimmy Janes and Bruce Patterson, get ready to dig on the fabulous first appearance of Mockingbird in "...and No Birds Sing!"

AWESOME UPDATE! Be sure to check out the comments section on this post, Groove-ophiles, since none other than the author of the above web-zinger, Steven Grant, himself, has stopped by and added even more incredible info than the Gru's yellow block gave us. Thanks for stopping by and sharing, Mr. Grant!


  1. As Johnny Carson used to say. I did not know that! Thanks for the history lesson! My favorite subject was always history. I loved her character in West Coast Avengers. See, you do learn something new every day!

  2. Man, I made Diversions! Talk about sweet.

    You're right: in Mark's original designs, Mockingbird was a black woman who was... well, not exactly intended to be a villainess. See, Mark had this notebook featuring a Marvel version of the JLA that he wanted to eventually put together, and while Hawkeye filled the Green Arrow role, there was no Marvel heroine comparable to the Black Canary, so Mark had come up with his original version of Mockingbird, who was a possible tweener for introduction in Spider-Woman, but then Mark ended up off that assignment. In the meantime, somewhere it was decided to revive the Bobbie Morse character, who had begun as a love interest in Ka-Zar but they couldn't use the Huntress name anymore because of the DC heroine. I think it might've been my suggestion to adapt Mark's Mockingbird concept to the character; all the SHIELD stuff in the story was mine, as a come-on for a Nick Fury series I was pitching at the time that Marvel ultimately passed on.

    A side tale about that issue: Al Milgrom was the book's editor when the story was bought, but he didn't like Mark's costume for Mockingbird so he, Ed Hannigan and I sat around his office one day redesigning it. That's the costume Jimmy drew. But by the time the story saw publication, editorship of Marvel Team-Up had shifted to Denny O'Neil, whose assistant at the time was Mark, and, curiously enough, when the story saw print Mockingbird was wearing the original Gruenwald costume design.

    Always a character I'd have liked to have returned to, but I likely would never have hooked her up with Hawkeye.

    (By the way, the only other thing I recall about Mark's "Marvel JLA" is that The Aquarian, from Steve Gerber's Man-Thing series, would've been the Superman figure...)

    - Grant

  3. An even better history lesson lurks just below your post, Mike!

    Thanks for stopping by and giving us even more awesome info, Steven! 'Tis truly appreciated! And as is my wont, I open the door wide open to ya any time you'd care to do a Groovy Guest post! (And an aside, I do so miss your columns over at CBR.)



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