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Why Mockingbird Couldn’t Have Been a Skrull

by  in Comics, Comic News Comment
Why Mockingbird Couldn’t Have Been a Skrull

This is the latest edition of How Can I Explain?, a feature where we spotlight unexplained comic book plot points (unexplained in the comics themselves, of course, as quite often there are outside explanations, like “the writer and/or artist made a mistake,” etc.).

Today, based on a suggestion by reader Fred H., we take a look at the return of Mockingbird in “Secret Invasion.”

Now, let me open by saying that I don’t personally care that this might not technically fit into continuity. I was a fan of Mockingbird and I was very happy to see her return during “Secret Invasion” and I liked all the work Jim McCann and Brian Michael Bendis did with the character and I am enjoying Chelsea Cain’s current “Mockingbird” series. I am very happy that she is back. However, when Fred points out that it doesn’t really work, I think that he’s pretty much correct.

In “Avengers West Coast” #91 (by Roy and Dann Thomas, David Ross and Tim Dzon), Mockingbird abruptly decides to no longer get divorced from Hawkeye…

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Tragically, their reunion only lasted until “Avengers West Coast” #100 (by Roy Thomas, David Ross and Tim Dzon), when Mockingbird is killed by Mephisto…

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(As an aside, how lame is it that Captain America is one of the only East Coast Avengers to show up for Mockingbird’s funeral?)

A few years later, the Grim Reaper attacked the Avengers and forced some of their dead friends to help him, including Mockingbird. When they were sent back to the dead in “Avengers” #11 (by Kurt Busiek, George Perez and Al Vey), Mockingbird had a message for Hawkeye…

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Once Hawkeye heard this news, he led his new team, the Thunderbolts, into Mephisto’s realm to get Mockingbird back. This happened in “Thunderbolts 2000” by Fabian Nicieza and Norm Breyfogle. While there, someone saved Hawkeye by throwing him one of Mockingbird’s battle staves…

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But in the end, they learned that they were never here to rescue Mockingbird at all…

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We would then see Mockingbird in the afterlife a number of times. But whatever, there we can say that it was a case where the Skrull embodied Mockingbird so much that she even went to the afterlife as Mockingbird. It’s weird, but you can sort of kind of make it work, if you think about it. It would explain why she didn’t want to return, right? Because she didn’t think she deserved to since she was a copy of Mockingbird.

So then she returns in “Secret Invasion” #8 (by Brian Michael Bendis, Leinil Francis Yu and Mark Morales)…

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However, here’s the real trick. As established in “New Avengers” #31 (and lots of other places), when a Skrull dies, they revert to their Skrull form…

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That did not happen with Mockingbird in “Avengers West Coast” #100. So, well, that’s about that. Since she did not revert to her Skrull form, it doesn’t really fit that Mockingbird was a Skrull. And no one’s ever given a good explanation (or any explanation) for this.

Obviously, the “real” answer is that they did not come up with that whole “Skrulls revert to their Skrull form when they die” rule until later on, so we obviously get it. And, again, I’m fine with this “mistake” since it means that Mockingbird is back. But it’s still currently inexplicable.

EDITED TO ADD: Reader Mike wrote in that Jim McCann did sort of try to explain this in “New Avengers: The Reunion” #2 (with art by David Lopez and Alvaro Lopez) by saying that the Skrull Mockingbird turned to ash after she died…

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That doesn’t really change anything, though, does it? As we saw with Elektra, as soon as she died, she turned into a Skrull. So even if Skrull-Mockingbird THEN turned to ash, it still wouldn’t work (and, by the way, “suddenly turned to ash”? That didn’t strike anyone as super odd of the ordinary? That’s an odd bit).

Thanks to Fred for the suggestion!

If and of you have a suggestion for a future How Can I Explain? edition, drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com

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