Marvel’s most infamous Avengers retcon
Today, I argue that Mockingbird’s past with Phantom Rider should be more or less restored in continuity.
In Winds of Change, I highlight some retcons that I think should be implemented, like how I think Apocalypse should have been behind Wolverine to get his adamantium.
One of Steve Englehart’s most remarkable storylines during his run on West Coast Avengers was the epic adventure known as “Lost in Space-Time”, where the team took a long journey through time (as back in the present, Hank Pym decides he’s dishonored himself enough. to end everything). Time travel also had a controversial story involving Mockingbird which led to his marriage to Hawkeye breaking up for a time.
WHAT HAPPENED BETWEEN MOCKINGBIRD AND THE PHANTOM RIDER ORIGINALLY?
It all started in West Coast Avengers # 18 (by Steve Englehart, Al Milgrom and Joe Sinnott), when the West Coast Avengers were time traveling. They were in the Wild West (a period that Hawkeye spent time with in the past and befriended many of Marvel’s Wild West heroes) when they got ready to leave and suddenly one Heroes of the West, the Phantom Rider (who had seemed a little too obsessed with Mockingbird during their short stay together) abruptly prevented Mockingbird from traveling with the rest of his Avengers teammates !!
The next issue, the Phantom Rider then drugs Mockingbird to erase her memories and make her fall in love with him …
His disturbing plan seems to be working!
Eventually it starts to work really well and Mockingbird and Phantom Ride basically become a couple …
His disturbing plot continues to work well in the next issue …
However, there is obviously something in her past that connects her to her past life, like her fascination with one of Hawkeye’s modular arrowheads that she soon begins to use as a necklace.
In the next issue, however, the other Western heroes (who were naturally wondering why their friend Hawkeye’s wife suddenly abandoned her husband to go with Phantom Rider) conspired to break the effects of the drug on Mockingbird, and when they did, well, she didn’t take it well …
This story came to a head in West Coast Avengers # 23 (by Englehart, Milgrom and Sinnott), when Mockingbird tracked down Phantom Rider and confronted him …
He handles it all terribly and even threatens to KILL HER!
But during their confrontation, she knocks him off the cliff and he manages to grab onto the ledge, but even here, as he needs her help to avoid falling to his death, he’s a fool for her, ordering her to save him …
She just lets him die …
Eventually Hawkeye found out (through the Phantom Rider himself, who was now a ghost in modern times) that Mockingbird had let Phantom Rider die and Hawkeye was a total jerk about it. Not “my wife was tortured by this psychopath!” but “my wife let a guy die!” So they decided to divorce.
WHAT IS THE CURRENT CONTRACT WITH MOCKINGBIRD AND THE PHANTOM RIDER?
In Mocking bird # 8, the latest issue in the rather good but fleeting Mockingbird series from Chelsea Cain, Kate Niemczyk, Sean Parsons, Rachelle Rosenberg and Joe Caramagna, Mockingbird is on cruise while her ex-husband, Hawkeye, is on trial for the Bruce murder Banner during Second civil war. Since Mockingbird was found alive for Secret invasion, she had been disturbed by the ghost of the Phantom Rider.
Well, in this latest issue, Phantom Rider reappeared to annoy Mockingbird and there’s a major throwback to the previous storyline.
First of all, Phantom Rider is described by Mockingbird as his “ex” …
And we learn why later in the issue, as she explains that everything that “drugged” her was a lie Hawkeye just told himself about why Mockingbird cheated on her with the Phantom Rider …
WHY WAS THIS MOCKINGBIRD RETCON A BAD IDEA?
Okay, first of all, that now means Mockingbird let Phantom Rider die for … no reason, right? She just decided not to save the guy she was cheating on her husband with for … why? It does not mean anything.
I totally understand wanting to get away from the whole “letting the guy who basically raped me die, which led my husband to wanting a divorce” part of Mockingbird’s past. It’s a strange part of his past, for sure. But you do it just by not entering it, not by actively bringing the topic back again, only by changing it so that it no longer makes sense.
Also, it probably wasn’t the best idea to establish that it would be “ridiculous” to believe that Mockingbird could ever do something against their will, as it certainly seems to imply that if someone else was drugged. to do something against her will, then it’s clear they just weren’t strong enough to avoid her, right? It doesn’t quite deviate from the area of victim blame, but it certainly does come close to that area. Much closer than you probably would ever want, really.
I did a “remember to forget” about this when the problem came out, but I really think it’s a noticeable enough misstep that they have some future history establishing that it is. no longer the case. Again, I don’t need Mockingbird to dwell on its past with the Phantom Rider, but bringing this back only to make Mockingbird look WORSE is a pretty bad idea in my opinion that it would be worth it. to ask someone to erase. that Marvel continuity story.
Well, that’s it for this tome! If you have a suggestion for a retcon that YOU would like to see, drop me a line at [email protected] and maybe I’ll agree with you and feature them here!
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