Jim McCann may be better know as the “Assistant Manager of Sales Communication” for Marvel, but if this limited series has proven anything, it’s that he’s got more than enough talent to make it as a creator. A series re-uniting Hawkeye and Mockingbird had all the ingredients to be a massive misfire — Bobbi’s return during “Secret Invasion” was largely met with apathy and disinterest, and after almost 25 years out of circulation, it’s debatable how many people were interested in seeing her return.
However, McCann’s writing brought out the very best in this situation. The final issue continues as the first three have, casting Hawkeye — sorry, Ronin — and Mockingbird as spouses who are also spies in the “True Lies”/”Mr. & Mrs. Smith” vein, with a dash of added superheroics. It’s far better than it has any right to be.
Past issues have shown that McCann is clearly concerned with straightening out Bobbi’s newly-fractured continuity, and this issue is no different. Anyone looking to find out how her personal timeline shakes out will not be disappointed with the information presented in this issue, but far more encouraging is how much effort has been made ensuring that readers are invested in the scenes that mainly exist to plug continuity holes. The emotion successfully carries the weaker moments of the script, and helps the story hit the necessary beats so that we actually feel how they’ve changed over the course of the series. Why can’t all superhero comics get it this right?
Lopez’s art successfully merges the superhero and espionage elements of the script perfectly, with strong storytelling and high-octane, cinematic visuals for the final act of the story — the final scenes look like they could be taken from any Hollywood blockbuster. It’s rare that a book’s artwork can live up to the expectations a Jo Chen cover creates, but Lopez actually comes up to scratch.
This series has been an unexpected hit, and definitely worth picking up in collected form if you haven’t been buying it already — without giving away the ending, there’s plenty of room for a follow-up. Marvel would be mad not to commission one. It’s the best superhero action movie never made — and as we know, good superhero movies should always come back with an even better a sequel.