Barbara 'Bobbi' Morse was first introduced Astonishing Tales #6 (June, 1971), though it took a while for her to get her character down. At first she was hinted to have some kind of psychic powers, then it was never mentioned again. To make a long story short, Bobbi was introduced as a biochemist and fiancé of the missing Dr Paul Allan, only for it to turn out she was really undercover for S.H.I.E.L.D., and Allan was an agent of AIM. After spending time with Ka-Zar as a jungle lady and bouncing around a little, she settled as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and crime fighter.
She first used the codename 'Huntress' in Marvel Super Action #1 (January, 1976), but that was a one-shot. She next appeared as 'Mockingbird' in Marvel Team-Up #95 (July, 1980). She was reportedly given the nickname 'Mockingbird' for her penchant to insult, or 'mock', opponents while fighting.
After becoming a freelance agent, Bobbi met Clint Barton, AKA the then-former Avenger Hawkeye, who was working as a security agent for Cross Tech Enterprises. The company he worked for was secretly corrupt, and with Clint's help Bobbi took down Crossfire, the company's head, and the two decided that, since they had natural chemistry, to skip the dating process and just get married. Bobbi joined Clint as a founding member of the West Coast Avengers, or WCA, and the two enjoyed a happy relationship.
Then, on a mission through time, Bobbi was hit with a love potion by the recently gone insane Phantom Rider, who believed Bobbi was destined to belong to him. After he had already consummated their 'relationship' with her, Bobbi came back to her senses and, traumatized by the ordeal, allowed Phantom Rider to die by falling from a cliff. She kept the truth to herself until Phantom Rider's spirit caught up with her and Clint in the present and the knowledge that Bobbi had killed someone put a great strain on their relationship. Unable to get past his hangups on killing, the two began to divorce...
...Until they worked past their problems and rebuilt their relationship...
...And then she died.
However, as luck would have it, it turned out that Bobbi had been replaced by a Skrull imposter years ago and the Bobbi that died wasn't the real Bobbi, but a sleeper agent who thought she was the real deal. Bobbi spent the time on the Skrull homeworld, being tortured by a Hawkeye-disguised Skrull, until she killed them, infiltrated the Skrulls, and basically kicked a load of alien ass until she was freed and returned to Earth.
With her marriage to Clint over, the two decided to reunite their relationship, only for it to end when Clint and Bobbi realized that her lifestyle and his are too conflicting. During this time, she made her own spy agency, the World Counter-terrorism Agency (WCA), and joined the New Avengers, got some powers, and continued kicking a variety of ass. She later joined the Secret Avengers in its 2013 Marvel NOW relaunch, though left when it was relaunched again.
Following a one-shot commemorating the 50th anniversary of SHIELD in 2015, it was announced she'll be getting her first ongoing series as a headliner, as part of the All-New, All-Different Marvel initiative. Written by Chelsea Cain and art by Kate Niemczyk, the book follows Bobbi as she deals with her newfound status as a super-soldier, and the medical issues that come with such a change. She'll also be a regular character in the new Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ongoing title.
Bobbi also got a cameo in one of the Micro-Episode prologues for The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!, then later a full guest episode as Mockingbird. She returned in the second season as a supporting character during the Skrull Secret Invasion Storyline.
At one point, it was announced Bobbi would headline a live-action TV series — Jeph Loeb described the project as depicting a post-college Bobbi recruited by S.H.I.E.L.D. as she evolves into the character from the comics, ala Smallville— but it never moved past the development stage.
Bobbi ultimately did make her live-action debut in 2014, when she joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe during season two of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. — played there by Adrianne Palicki. Originally a recurring role, Palicki was upped to regular status for the back half of that second season. A Spinoff featuring Bobbi and Lance Hunter, her MCU love interest, was announced to be in the works for a 2015-2016 debut. Called Marvel's Most Wanted, Bobbi and Hunter would be forced to leave S.H.I.E.L.D. and team-up with Dominic Fortune after they're framed for some unknown crime that makes them public enemies. A Most Wanted pilot was shot but plans for the full series unfortunately fell through... after Bobbi and Hunter had been written out of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., ending Bobbi's MCU presence prematurely.
On the video game front, she was winnable as the first limited time Special Operations hero in Marvel: Avengers Alliance, and is now available if you can get enough SHIELD points. She's also featured in Marvel Future Fight, with both her 2000s outfit and her MCU outfit available.
The following tropes apply to Bobbi:
- Aborted Arc: Multiple ones after the cancellation of Hawkeye & Mockingbird.
- Nothing has been heard of her mother, brother, or what happened to her father (which her mother was about to tell her before she was shot) since Hawkeye & Mockingbird. The World Counter-terrorism Agency, which Bobbi created and led has vanished; writer Jim McCann had plans for the team, had the book continued. Dominic Fortune, who took the super soldier serum Bobbi created vanished, despite last being seen soon after Bobbi noted that he had blood on his lungs and that she would try to help. The biggest one is probably how Widowmaker hinted that Clint and Bobbi would possibly get back together, but nothing ever came of it.
- The now cut short Secret Avengers doesn't give an answer to whether Bobbi was originally Barbara, who worked with Forson and the Cult of Entropy, was real or a false personality and memories implanted by Forson. It also doesn't resolve whether the character who gets away at the end is Bobbi, Barbara, or some combination of the two personalities.
- Action Girl: A quintessential. She may originally not seem like much, but you have to remember, she spent most of her life without powers of any kind.
- Alternate Company Equivalent: To DC's Black Canary. Fans not particularly familiar with her tend to assume she was created as a ripoff of Canary (the same way many assume Clint is of Green Arrow), but as she originally debuted as a completely different character in a Man-Thing /Ka Zar story and was later merged with an unused Spider-Woman villain, its likely that any similarities are unintentional.
- The similarities to Black Canary become far more blatant on the Live Action TV front; a year before Marvel brought Mockingbird onto Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., DC's Arrow introduced their version of Black Canary, Sara Lance, during the second season, who was made a regular Badass Normal rather than her traditional Badass Abnormal self, had a costume that, thanks to the presence of a mask, made it look slightly more like Mockingbird's get up, and instead of being a bare-knuckle brawler she primarily made use of two batons that could connect into a staff, just like Bobbi. Combined with the similarities already present, it made Bobbi joining Marvel's big TV show all the more ironic as she joined the cast two weeks after DC killed off Canary on their show.
- To some extent, the Robins, in a strange way. She fights in a fairly similar fighting style to Dick, including the use of small metal poles (in his case, Eskrima sticks, her case, her battle staves) though often owes to Tim Drake's too (the staff thing), has a similar sense of humor and uses similar tactics, and has a small bird motif.
- Back from the Dead: Even though she appeared as a spirit a few times, she was revealed to be Alive all along, with the Bobbi that died being a Skrull imposter. Admittedly, the Skrull honestly thought she was the real deal, so it may be that, even in death, she kept the form of Bobbi in the afterlife. Or, it wasn't thought out very well.
- Badass Bookworm: She's got a PHD in Biochemistry. In other words, you should be calling her Dr Bobbi Morse.
- Badass Boast: New Avengers: The Reunion: believing that Clint is dead and the one responsible just offered her a chance to join her, she replies with a headbutt, then this:
- Big Bad: Please, aren't we above Catfighting?
Bobbi: This isn't a Catfight. This is me, kicking your ass.
- And even that one pales in comparison to the one she delivers to Forson in Secret Avengers.Bobbi: You think you can kill me? You think you can try that and live?
- Badass Normal: She's a world class spy and martial artist and one of the most enduring Avengers. She did most of her thing as a completely normal human being. Until now, of course.
- Battle Couple: With Hawkeye and latter with Spider-Man.
- Berserk Button: Don't try to control her in any way, and definitely don't try to kill her.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Bobbi's very nice and friendly to most people, but she's also shown no hesitation in killing a rapist, beating a man half to death with her bare hands, cutting in his face afterwards before kicking him over a high edge. She managed to hide among the Skrulls, killing anyone who got too close to her, and became a horror story for them. She's not only one of the best spies, she's one of the most brutal. When she's not cracking jokes, playing pranks, or just enjoying some downtime with her friends. Beware the Nice Ones indeed.
- Big Sister Instinct: In the All New All Different Marvel era, Bobbi has developed this concerning Silk, as she is acting as Cindy's handler while she's undercover in Black Cat's gang. Its commented on that Bobbi has a similar experience to Cindy's time in the bunker (her abduction by the Skrulls) giving them some similarities, while Bobbi repeatedly comments on her worry for Silk's safety. She's also developing this towards Nadia Pym.
- Boobs of Steel: She's a very buxom brawler. Her outfits are even often skintight or cleavaged to highlight it.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: In Secret Avengers.
- Break the Cutie: Bobbi started out as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who hung out with Ka-Zar and later worked with and ended up marring Clint Barton. Then she was abducted, drugged and raped by the Phantom Rider, who then proceeded to try and ruin her life. She was one of the first characters to be replaced by the Skrulls and spent time on the run from them on their own planet, avoiding capture by a Skrull who had taken on Clint's appearance. Then when she was eventually returned, it was to a different life than the one she'd left behind because she'd been gone for years. Then the Phantom Rider came back to try and kill her again so they could be together forever.
- Seemed very broken when rescued from AIM in Secret Avengers, to the point where Taskmaster wonders what they did to her.
- Cain and Abel: Not quite, but after he found out she was alive, her brother Ben was not happy to see Bobbi.
- Continuity Porn: After Bobbi came back, there was quite a bit with her and Clint's past being referenced for any readers who hadn't known about it (due to West Coast Avengers having ended about fourteen or fifteen years earlier) including:
- Clint's attitude towards Bobbi allowing the Phantom Rider to die after he raped her (and his apology for the way he acted, which the real Bobbi had never heard, due to having been abducted before the Skrull imposter got back together with Clint).
- Bobbi's past as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, her background as a biologist, including the Super-Soldier Serum project she was involved in being referenced (and being revealed to have been used on Dominic Fortune).
- Then in New Avengers, Bobbi's life was saved using a combination of the Super-Soldier Serum and Infinity Formula; Bobbi's early storylines featured the Super-Soldier Serum prominently, she worked on a project to create some, and was closely connected to Nick Fury in multiple storylines.
- Composite Character: Bobbi's Mockingbird identity is actually the result of merging two characters together. Bobbi existed prior as a minor SHIELD operative who was going by the name 'Huntress', but since the name was taken by DC during a time when Bobbi wasn't being used, Mark Gruenwald decided to give her a new identity, and having came up with a design for a female Spider-Woman supervillain, decided to instead use the identity for Bobbi. The new identity stuck, and now most are unaware of the Huntress adventures.
- Cool Shades: After Secret Invasion, became her default look. As well as usual uses for spy lenses, they double as corrective lenses for her farsightedness.
- Cynicism Catalyst: At first, it was being raped by Lincoln Slade, which drove her to allow him to die. Then, her ordeal thanks to the Skrulls, which has put her into such a downward spiral that Clint is unable to be with her without being dragged down too. Bobbi's still heroic, but she no longer believes in Thou Shall Not Kill, and has borderline Fantastic Racism against the Skrulls.
- Bobbi herself became this for Clint. After their marriage broke down and she 'died' protecting him, he became far less noble then previous, and as pointed out by others, was what caused the WCA to eventually break apart. She also seems to be one for her brother Ben: Bobbi had previously lead her family to believe she was dead to protect them, which apparently hurt him a lot. When he found out, he didn't take it well.
- Deadpan Snarker, The Snark Knight, You Fight Like a Cow: She was given the nickname Mockingbird because, in battle, she was constantly cracking jokes and mocking her opponents, and outside of battle she always has a quip ready. Tuned down in Hawkeye and Mockingbird due to her more authoritative position requiring her to be more serious (and combined with old enemy Crossfire and the Slade family returning into her life, also added to that), but she wasn't afraid to make a snarky comment when needed.
- Her snark and original sense of humor have come back in full force in Secret Avengers.
- Deadly Dodging: As a talented acrobat whose main weapon of choice is a pair of metal rods she can turn into a bo staff, she's became something of a master of leaping out of the way of gunfire.
- Disappeared Dad: Its mentioned in Hawkeye and Mockingbird #2 that her dad left them, but her mom claimed that this is something she told Bobbi to cover up the truth. Before she can elaborate, Crossfire shoots her and she's hospitalized for the rest of the series. The book got cancelled at #6, and no other writer has expanded on Bobbi's family since, so we won't know anything else about it until someone does.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Bobbi was originally draw with brown hair in her first two appearances, and did not display very much of her hand to hand combat skills. The latter was lampshaded in a later issue, where she muses that she hasn't had much of a chance to show off her training.
- Eating the Eye Candy: Does this with both Ka-Zar and Clint.
- Emergency Transformation: After being shot, Bobbi is given a combination of super soldier serum and infinity formula to save her life. This turns her into a cross between Captain America and Nick Fury.
- Evil Knockoff: Had one in the form of Alkhema, created by Ultron from Bobbi's brain patterns.
- Femme Fatale Spy: Bobbi's early appearances included her seducing and becoming engaged to a man who S.H.I.E.L.D. suspected of being involved with AIM (he was). In Hawkeye, she says that one of the reasons she joined S.H.I.E.L.D. was because she liked the idea of being Mata Hari.
- Fun T-Shirt: One cover had her wearing an "Ask About My Feminist Agenda" shirt, which caused so much impact the paperback of that run is "My Feminist Agenda", the shirt was worn by Spider-Man when he had crash on Bobbi's couch◊, Bobbi's actress wore it, and Bobbi can appear in it on Marvel Puzzle Quest.
- Genius Bruiser: A super soldier who is also a skilled spy and recreated the original super soldier serum. She's brought to tears when Nadia mentions all of this.
- Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Inverted. Bobbi is much more likely to hit someone with her battle staves while Clint prefers to shoot arrows.
- In Secret Avengers Barbara even drops a gun in order to beat Forson half to death with her bare hands.
- Handicapped Badass: She's long-sighted, and needs contacts to see properly. When she came back, she switched to some Cool Shades with built in night vision.
- Hollywood Nerd: Subverted, the fact she's a nerd is almost never brought up. Though, in the announcement for her unproduced TV show, she was described by Jeph Loeb as being a 'Peter Parker-like nerd'. Either way, she certainly doesn't look like a nerd.
- Hot Scientist: Started out as one in Astonishing Tales and occasionally dips back into it when the plot calls for it (most visible in New Avengers The Reunion and Secret Avengers #3).
- I Have Many Names: As well as Bobbi Morse/Mockingbird, she's also been known as Roberta Morse, Huntress and Agent 19. And this doesn't even include the various ways her married name was presented.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Not only with her bo staff and battle staves, but with a gun as well. She's good enough to shoot someone in the head and purposefully avoid kidding them.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Due to her brash attitude and, as of late, high levels of PTSD, she can come off as a bit of a jerk. This is mostly a defense mechanism to hold others out, and personally she's one of the most loyal and moral of the Avengers. Doesn't care about the whole killing thing, though.
- Law of Inverse Fertility: She and Clint really wanted the baby, but she had a miscarriage before they got around to telling anyone about the pregnancy.
- Made of Iron: After Nick Fury gave her a treatment of the Super-Soldier Serum, she became this. Bobbi's now capable of taking excessive punishment without faltering.
- Meaningful Name: Originally joked about, with Clint saying Bobbi's name was Mockingbird because she made fun of people, but played straight in Secret Avengers when she acquires camotech which allows her to pretend to be anyone.
- Most Common Super Power: Her skintight outfits display her large buxom.
- Muscles Are Meaningless: She's now a lot stronger than previously, yet she's not exactly muscle bound.
- One of the Boys: For a while, she was one of the only two female members of the West Coast Avengers. Later, when she became a member of the New Avengers, due to the other girls having a very close relationship prior to her joining, she instead usually hangs around either Ronin/Hawkeye, Spider-Man, and Wolverine.
- One-Man Army: On Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. but also in the comics, where she spent an issue ripping apart metal robots like they were made of paper, as well as an issue where Dominic Fortune mainly watches while she takes out an entire group of people. Taskmaster's response when he regains consciousness in Secret Avengers is to point out that no walls can hold him — and that Mockingbird will tear through the entire place.
- Opposites Attract:
- Mark Gruenwald, who wrote and drew the first Hawkeye solo, found that the idea of a scientist/spy with a Ph. D. falling for a carnival archer who barely finished high school had a bizarre appeal.
- Birds of a Feather: On the other hand, what many fans cite as their favourite aspect about their relationship, and what Jim McCann cites as what he found appealing, was just how similar they are. Both are blunt, bird-themed heroes with a sense of humour and an abrasive personality who fight alongside and against beings far more powerful than themselves using only their own skills. A common nickname for their ship is in fact 'Birds of a Feather'.
- Before that, she was set up as the primary Love Interest for Ka-Zar, a jungle man in a loincloth.
- Pin-Pulling Teeth: Mockingbird does this during a snowmobile chase in the first issue of the Widowmaker mini-series.
- Romantic Runner-Up: After spending some time as Ka-Zar's love interest, she lost out to Shanna the She-Devil.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: For a time, she dated Peter Parker/Spider-Man, the most Adorkable Nice Guy of the Marvel Universe. They broke up because she and Peter realize that outside of being heroes, they don't have much in common to work as a couple.
- Spy Catsuit: Wore one as Huntress, but her costumes as Mockingbird (blue/black and white) and when she was working for SHIELD full-time (casual clothing) avert this trope. Her current outfit though seems to evoke this to some extent.
- The Unseen: In the teaser for Agents of SHIELD, she's said to have called to tell Coulson he's in if he wants her, but all of this information, as well as her name and codename, come through two Koenigs, one of whom has a pretty big crush on her.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: In two ways, bringing her into Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. After her latest tragedy ending with her being Put On The Bus, it seemed that Mockingbird had basically became something of a universal chew toy, as she's constantly going through shit yet has never had a solo miniseries or ongoing, or many out-of-comics appearances (especially compared to similar characters), making it appear Marvel didn't really care for her too much. Her joining the show, however, evidently in an important role given how much hype is going into it, seems to be the first step to getting some decent treatment. In a meta sense, however, its also a case for her actress, Adrianne Pilicki, who has been in multiple failed pilots (including, most infamously, the 2011 Wonder Woman pilot) and is a huge comic fan who evidently really wants to play a superhero, so casting her as Bobbi is giving her a huge bone.
- All-New, All-Different Marvel continues this further. Prior to this, Bobbi hadn't had regular appearances for over a year, only getting a cameo in Captain America and a guest-spot in S.H.I.E.L.D., while her SHIELD anniversary one-shot story dedicated to her had to share its space with a backup feature about Black Widow, resulting in a very short story. Following the relaunch though, Bobbi went from no regular appearances to regular appearances in four different ongoing books (her own ongoing, the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series where she's a regular, as well as being a supporting character in both The Amazing Spider-Man and Silk), making her one of the most exposed characters in the MCU.
- Tomboyish Name: "Bobbi" isn't the most feminine of names. Though, Bobbi's not the most feminine of women. It does occasionally get miss-written as 'Bobby', especially by those unfamiliar with the character, which is decidedly more masculine.
- Took a Level in Badass: More like several levels. She started out as a scientist who then trained as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, took on multiple undercover assignments, became a costumed hero and, by the time she joined the Avengers (as a founding member of the West Coast Avengers) she was skilled enough that her past with S.H.I.E.L.D. impressed Captain America himself. Bobbi only continued to take more levels in badass, becoming one of the Avengers who wouldn't hesitate to kill enemies, and becoming feared enough while the Skrulls were hunting her that she scared them, by not only managing to sneak into their bases, but infiltrating the ultimate infiltrators. Then she became a super soldier.
- Trauma Conga Line: Almost killed by S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, raped by the Phantom Rider, abducted by Skrulls, shot and almost killed, and most recently, left behind enemy lines without her friends knowing, where she's undergoing Mind Rape. It turned her into an Iron Woobie.
- True Love Is Boring: There's a reason her and Hawkeye tend to have problems.
- Underestimating Badassery: Just like Hawkeye, Mockingbird doesn't exactly get much credit. She's still one of the toughest and most versatile of the Avengers though, at least on level with Cap and Fury, prior to gaining the same abilities of the two.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Hawkeye. No matter how much they bicker and argue, they're still very close even when not currently romantically linked.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: Before administering the combination of infinity formula and super soldier serum, Fury points out that it means that Bobbi will watch everyone she knows and cares about die. Bobbi herself doesn't seem to have too much of a problem with it, but this is because its a new development.
- Her ongoing muses on this, though in a different way: Being made immortal comes with a lot of questions about the medical implications of such, so Bobbi has to go have regular check-ups with SHIELD doctors, something she does not enjoy. As she puts it, "If you could live forever but had to have a colonoscopy every week for the rest of your life, would you do it?"