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Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Mike Deodata (artist), Rain Beredo (color artist), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters and production), Mike Deodato and Rain Beredo (cover artists), Lauren Sankovitch (associate editor), Tom Brevoort (editor), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
In the present, Mockingbird is giving an interview for the record and recalls recent events surrounding her injury and rejuvenation. She says she should be dead and would be were it not for the fact that her teammates stumbled across a super serum that saved her life. She knows she should be dead, so she wants to make the rest of her life count. Recently, at Avengers Mansion, Spider-Man arrived to explain that he was quitting the team. Victoria Hand knew that the reason behind his decision was his complete distrust of her and the two became entangled in a no-win argument. As they sniped back and forth, Mockingbird arrived looking incredibly well considering what she’d been through and she was greeted with warmth. As she spoke to Ms. Marvel, Ben Grimm and Jessica, Wolverine took Spider-Man to one side to have a word and was joined by Luke. Victoria took her phone and started tapping away. In the present, Mockingbird speaks towards the camera and explains that she was saved by a mixture of Cap’s super-soldier serum and Nick Fury’s Infinity Formula. She didn’t know what she was now capable of, but she was looking forward to finding out. She adds that the opportunity came pretty quickly. Sin and her Nazi robots attacked the USA and the Avengers went out into Manhattan to confront them. Mockingbird quickly took one of the pilots out and used his machine to attack some of the others. As the Avengers used great teamwork to attack the machine and simultaneously get civilians to safety, Mockingbird continued her rampage. In the interview, she explains that none of them knew at the time the whole story. All she knew was that New York was their home and she wanted something to hit. These souped-up Nazi robots were perfect. Back to the battle, as Wolverine took out several robots, Mockingbird used the one she’d acquired to crash into several more before landing gracefully on top of a nearby building. She was loving her new self, but she was brought down to Earth when she witnessed the collapse of Avengers Tower in the distance. She concludes her interview by saying she now knows why she’s been given a second chance at life. It’s so she can kill the Red Skull!
(present)Mockingbird sits down for a taped oral history interview and opens up about a few things. She figures Steve Rogers will be vetting all these tapes so anything she says that she shouldn’t say will never see the light of day. She explains that her problem is that she is a trained agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. The whole of her training is about being invisible in plain sight and she’s very good at that. Always has been. So, being an Avenger is quite a jarring experience for her most of the time. By definition, it’s the opposite of being a secret agent. All of her mental training is completely useless. All it does for her now is make her probably one of the most uninteresting super heroes on the planet. Not to her teammates, perhaps, but to the general public. She doesn’t do interviews. She rarely makes public experiences and her ex-husband used to call her the bass player of the super hero world. She knows that it’s her own fault, and maybe it’s time that stopped.
She continues to say that she almost died recently, for real. She was a death’s door. She was shot in the stomach by a trained soldier of fortune and should really be dead. She’s not saying that in some kind of dramatic fashion. She should actually be dead. However, the only reason she’s still alive is because her teammates stumbled across an experimental fifty-year-old super-soldier serum that saved her life. She looks away as she thinks about how that could easily never have happened. She adds that she doesn’t know how it works or for how long. For all her training and life experience, there’s nothing that really prepares you for… She looks to the side again, struggling to say the words. She then turns back and says she should be dead. She has to make the rest of this count.
(flashback, Avengers Mansion)The team is at the dinner table. Everyone is seated apart from Spider-Man. “I’m out,” he says. He apologizes but that’s all he came to say. He figures he owed them the courtesy, but he can’t do it anymore. He’s not cut out for this Avengers life. Victoria Hand asks what has changed. Spidey replies that, as they can see from his awesome new Spidey suit, he’s been working with Reed Richards and the Future Foundation. When Luke then jokingly asks how the future’s looking, Spidey replies that it’s awesome. You can watch TV on your phone. Ben Grimm points out that he’s also with the FF. “So what?” Victoria asks what this is really all about. Spidey doesn’t reply to that, but says that if they need him then they can call.
Wolverine reckons he knows exactly what this is all about. “It’s about me,” replies Victoria. “Well…” says Spidey. Victoria finds this amazing. Spider-Man still thinks she is working with Norman Osborn and H.A.M.M.E.R.! Spidey tells her he knows she is. Aggrieved, Victoria puts her hands on her hips and replies that she pointed them to him. She set them up for the Avengers to take them and risked her ass to do it. They know it was her. She put a target right on her ass. “And yet,” replies Spidey, “Look at you. You’re fine. Meanwhile, Mockingbird got shot.” Victoria says that she got herself shot because H.A.M.M.E.R. is a real concern. She got hurt because they are dangerous as *@%&. They’re lucky that’s all that happened.
Spider-Man is being deliberately obstreperous. “Lucky is a word,” he says. Victoria explains that she got a tip on where they were and she sent the Avengers to them because that’s her job. It’s the job Steve Rogers gave her. Spidey says that’s what she wants them to think. Frustrated, Victoria holds her arms out wide and asks if he doesn’t trust her. She’s right here. Her name is Victoria Hand, middle name Louise. “What’s your real name, Spider-Man?” she asks. Spider-Man turns his back and says that he’s done. They can call him Mr. Done. As he departs, Victoria tells him she’s not the one that’s been accused of murder in the press numerous times. Danny calls for them to settle down, but Victoria isn’t letting this go. She says she’s not going to sit there and let this guy in a mask railroad her out of a job. Spidey asks her not to worry about it and says buh-bye. He asks the rest of them, while they’re looking down the barrel of Norman Osborn’s crazy gun, to remember…
Before he can complete his sentence, he looks around and sees Mockingbird entering the room. She smiles broadly. “Hey guys. What’s going on?” she asks. Everyone stands and greets her. Luke asks what she’s doing there. She replies that she lives there. Danny points out that she was severely wounded and should still be in the hospital. Bobbi raises her shirt to reveal a well-toned midriff. “All better,” she replies. Ben and Danny are speechless, and slightly embarrassed. She explains that she discharged herself. She was sick of waiting around and was getting goofy in there. Jessica tells her she looks amazing. Bobbi replies that she feels amazing. As they chat, Victoria watches Wolverine take Spider-Man to one side, joined by Luke who have a little secret chat nearby. She takes her phone and taps away on it.
(present)Mockingbird continues her interview. She says that the formula that saved her life was a mix of sorts of the super-serum that made Captain America and the Infinity Formula that kept Nick Fury alive and healthy all these years. So, she now supposedly has the strength and agility of Captain America with the added vigor and vitality of Nick Fury. Supposedly. Or, it will all backfire and her head will melt off her body like a Raiders of the Lost Ark Nazi. Who knows what will happen to her. But, she is alive and really overwhelmed by the warm reception she received from the Avengers as she walked through the door. She really was. She stopped them in their tracks. It was really nice. She brushes her blonde hair away from her face and adds that what she was really looking for was a way to test her newfound self. Not long afterwards, the opportunity presented itself.
(flashback)Nazi robots attack New York City destroying anything they can and killing people indiscriminately. The Avengers are soon on hand. Power Woman, Iron Fist, Wolverine, Mockingbird and Luke Cage are standing atop a building watching the action when an explosion rips the roof apart. Some fall from the building including Mockingbird, who picks herself up. “Ow,” she sighs as she looks up to see one of the machines looming over her. Ready for action, she leaps into the air as the robot blasts the ground beneath her and pulls her fist back as she reaches the cockpit.
(present)Mockingbird speaks to the camera. She says that the Red Skull had a daughter. Who knew? The worst Nazi in the world found a lady to have a baby with. Her name is Sin, believe it or not, and she’s even worse than her dad. She’s worse than the worst Nazi ever. Well, she adds, arms folded, she wanted to be. So what better way than unleashing hell on Earth? She didn’t know all the details. None of them did. All she knew was that she was some crazy Nazi chick, there was something about evil enchanted hammers and some insane power source for all her Nazi weapons and gear. The highlights were the powered-up Nazi exosuited war machines that were hammering down on New York, Washington and who knows where else. New York is their home and she needed something hit. Souped-up Nazi robots? “Perfect,” she adds with a smile.
(flashback)Mockingbird smashes the cockpit window, grabs the pilot and throws him out. As Luke and Jessica prepare to start saving civilians, Wolverine asks Luke Cage to throw him. Luke responds immediately and gives him the old fastball special. Wolverine lands on one of the machines whilst Mockingbird clambers inside the one she’s appropriated. She then proceeds to start blasting the others, relishing the excitement. Wolverine claws his way into a cockpit and confronts the pilot. “Heil this, bub!” he remarks as the machine falls to the ground. The explosion takes out two or three others nearby.
Jessica finds some civilians and asks them to get inside a nearby building. One of them asks who she is. She replies that she’s an Avenger. “Which one?” he asks. Jessica reckons they should focus on other matters. Their path is suddenly blocked by one of the robots but, before it can attack, Mockingbird uses her machine to destroy it. Jessica tells her she rocks as she and the boys dash off.
As Iron Fist and Luke Cage make their way through the carnage, Danny quips that he’s thinking of moving to Seattle. “Because stuff like this never happens there?” replies Luke. Danny says he knows him so well. Several robots take to the air and head towards Mockingbird. She allows them to get close before leaping from the cockpit high into the air. Her robot crashes into the others, taking them all out and she lands gracefully on a rooftop with aplomb. She smiles. “Oh, I like the new me.” Unfortunately, once she is standing up again, she looks across the city at the burning Avengers Tower. One moment it’s standing, the next it’s crumbling in on itself and collapsing to the ground. Bobbi kneels down in grief.
(present)Bobbi explains that Avengers Tower falling was one of the sobering moments of her life. She’s seen a lot of stuff in her life, but… She finds it difficult to speak thinking about it. She says that she was instantly pulled out of herself, ashamed that she was enjoying the battle. She believes she wasn’t enjoying the battle, as such, but enjoying that she was alive. She had cheated death one more time and now it was an all-new her. She was a super soldier of sorts and wanted to live up to it. But, now she knew, once the tower fell, she knew she was being given this second chance for a reason. She was going to do what a super soldier does. She was going to turn the battle around. She was going to take it right to the Red Skull’s doorstep and put her fist right through her skull. She pauses to allow her anger to subside. She concludes the interview by adding that she knew why she was given a second chance. It is so she could kill the Red Skull.
(flashback)Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Mockingbird, Ms. Marvel, Power Woman, Spider-Man, Thing, Wolverine (all Avengers)
Victoria HandNazi pilotsInnocent civilians
This is part of the Fear Itself crossover.
Mockingbird’s ex-husband is Clint Barton, Hawkeye. She was shot in the stomach in New Avengers (2nd series) #9.
Raiders of the Lost Ark is a 1981 action movie directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Harrison Ford and Karen Allen.