How to Read Mockingbird's Bizarre Comic Book Journey

This is "Written in the Book," a brand-new feature where I will detail the chronological order of trade collections if you want to fill yourself in on the history of a particular character. I'm avoiding omnibus collections if possible.

Reader Rob H. asked me about Mockingbird, who has one of the most convoluted histories in all of comics. I wrote about the convoluted history here, but now I can see how you folks can read it all!

Shockingly, the success of Mockingbird on the Agents of SHIELD TV series (where she became popular enough that she got her own spinoff series that sadly didn't get picked up as a series) actually led Marvel to collect WAY more of Mockingbird's comic book history that you would expect for a character that was never exactly an "A-List" character.

We begin with Mockingbird: Bobbi Morse, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., which contains all of her earliest appearances as she moves from Barbara Morse to Bobbi Morse to Huntress to Mockingbird until finally becoming Hawkeye's wife at the end of the first Hawkeye miniseries...

This leads (almost) directly into Mockingbird and Hawkeye forming the West Coast Avengers, which is collected in Avengers West Coast: How the West Was Won...

Since she is now an Avenger, Mockingbird appears in a lot of other comics that feature all of Marvel's heroes (like Secret Wars II). However, for the sake of this piece, we're really talking about the history of Mockingbird. You know, stuff that is really important for her specifically. So I'm skipping over all of that stuff.

So next comes Avengers: Lost in Space Time, where the team goes on a journey through time and, well, you know, space.

During this story, Mockingbird is drugged by a Wild West "hero" known as the Phantom Rider and brainwashed into being his bride. She eventually breaks free and she has a struggle with the Phantom Rider. She ends up letting him die when he falls off of a cliff. She refuses to save him as he falls to his death.

Oddly enough, the issues where Hawkeye and Mockingbird break up (after he finds out that she let a man die and suddenly, the former supervillain is now an extremely strict moralist) are not collected outside of the second omnibus edition.

So we next pick up Mockingbird's tale in West Coast Avengers: Vision Quest, where Mockingbird is tricked into betraying Vision and then she and Hawkeye briefly reconcile and help become the mentors for a hapless superhero team known as the Great Lakes Avengers...

Hawkeye returns to the Avengers without Mockingbird. She is mostly absent until the last year of Avengers West Coast. These stories are reprinted in the sadly titled Avengers West Coast: Death of Mockinbird, where she gets back together with Hawkeye, only to be killed sacrificing herself to save her husband in a battle with Mephisto...

You would think that the story would END here, but it really is only just beginning!

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