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By Marc Strom
Clint Barton and Bobbi Morse's reconciliation concludes with NEW AVENGERS: THE REUNION #4 on June 3, from writer Jim McCann and artist David Lopez.
Charged with reintroducing Morse, aka Mockingbird, to the Marvel Universe after her return at the end of Secret Invasion, McCann decided to take her back to her origins as a secret agent.
"I really wanted to get Bobbi back to her roots and rebuild the character from the ground up," recounts McCann. "I didn't want us to get a character back from the Skrulls who was the same as when she last appeared in the 90's Handbook. She needed her own hook to stand on her own. It fit in nicely, I thought, with the character's history and the things she struggled with when she was first brought into the Avengers by Clint—she was used to dealing with things in a different manner than the Avengers. I loved the conflict that gave these two lovers, Clint and Bobbi, as well."
Even though Mockingbird had a long tenure with the West Coast Avengers, McCann feels that Bobbi's "definitely more comfortable in espionage" than in super heroics.
"She can call the shots easier in that world," he reasons. "When you are an expert marksman [and] have a PhD in biology and S.H.I.E.L.D. training, that puts you really high
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up on the food chain in the spy game. But when you're next to a guy that can summon lightning and a dude with adamantium claws and a healing factor, you're bound to have some issues there.
"The awesome thing about Bobbi is that even though she may question her place in the Avengers, she never lets them see her sweat. She's held her own against the High Evolutionary, for crying out loud. But I do think she likes soaring high in the world of espionage."
Bobbi's current mission, to prevent A.I.M. from exploding a bomb in Spain, has teamed her up with Clint Barton, her ex-husband and the Avenger currently known as Ronin who formerly went b Hawkeye. Despite the fact she has so far held Clint at a distance, McCann believes that Bobbi secretly has not put all of her feelings for him to rest.
"I think she wants
him along, but can't admit that to herself—yet," the writer explains. "She knows the two of them make a great team, but she's just come back, and the W.C.A. is her
thing. She's setting up this life for herself and doesn't know if she's ready to share that with Clint yet. She's also dealing with the posttraumatic stress disorder she's experiencing from her time on the Skrull world and the things the Skrull Hawkeye did to her while she was there, as well as the unresolved issues surrounding her and Clint's relationship pre-abduction. That's
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a lot to deal with on top of stopping a dirty bomb from killing half of Western Europe. But in the end she knows that there's no one else that can have her back like Clint. And he probably would have come along even if she said no."
Recently, fans discovered exactly when the Skrulls abducted Bobbi: shortly before her apparent death in AVENGERS WEST COAST #100. When sifting through that series' run, McCann says he had a number of reasons for choosing that specific moment over any other.
"[First], I didn't want to invalidate too many West Coast Avengers stories," prefaces McCann. "I could have gone back further, but that would have cheapened a lot of experiences. [Secondly], it made sense for maximum impact. Replacing her right before Clint and 'Bobbi'—now known to be a Skrull—reconciled made for a lot of drama and [would] hurt Clint as much as being abducted hurt Bobbi. The 'final days' he thought he had with his 'wife' were happy, but now he knows they weren't with the real Bobbi.
"[Thirdly], it seemed logical. Re-reading [through AVENGERS WEST COAST], Bobbi comes back and is pissed at Clint before the Ultron battle [in issues #89-91]. Then Ultron captures her, makes Alkhema off her brain patterns, leaves her for dead and tells the Avengers she's gone. Then 'Bobbi' shows up, looking fine and unhurt, and honestly lost her inner spirit. She takes full blame for their marital problems so they can reconcile, then dies a few issues later. It felt so atypical of
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the character, so this gave [me] a chance to say, 'No, she is still the fiery woman we knew and she and Clint still have a lot to work through!'"
While this series marked Mockingbird's return, it also served as McCann's first major comics work, and the writer confesses that the experience has "been amazing."
"I've learned so
much," McCann exudes. "People have been really
patient with me, and I thank them for that, and I feel like I've grown far more in these four issues than at any other time in my writing in the past for theatre or TV. That's really in high praise to Jeanine Schaefer, my editor. She's pushed me to be my best and the product is so much better for it."
"Working with David has been amazing. Seeing him interpret the script in some really stunning and often unique ways has to be the greatest—and best—surprise. That and the positive reactions of the fans. The support for this book has been phenomenal, so thank you to them!"
Before all the dust settles, however, McCann promises that the series' conclusion will alter both Clint and Bobbi in ways never before seen.
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"The ending is a status quo changer, taking these two in directions they have not gone in before. This last issue is full of everything that the series has built on—action, romantic drama, and surprises. That's what I love the most about these two characters—you never
know what they are going to do next!"
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