oHOTmu or NOT Ep.77: Mockingbird to Mole Man

The superspy who loved Hawkeye. A sorcerer's apprentice. A movie producer/sack of ####. The king of the underworld. Which are hot, which are not? The Girls of the Hot Squad will tell you as they finish reading the eighth issue of Marvel Universe Deluxe.

Featuring permanent panelists Elyse, Isabel, Nathalie, Josée, Shotgun, and Amélie

Listen to Episode 77 below (the usual mature language warnings apply), or subscribe to oHOTmu OR NOT? on Apple Podcasts or Spotify!

Relevant images and further credits at: oHOTmu or NOT ep.77 Supplemental

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29 responses to “oHOTmu or NOT Ep.77: Mockingbird to Mole Man

  1. “Sexy Yourself!” I love everything about the idea of dressing as a sexier version of your everyday self for cosplay or Halloween.

  2. Another fun listen as we conclude issue 8. Can’t wait for the makeover roundup next episode! My cocktail shaker waits at the ready!

    But first let’s dig into all to good stuff we have right here and now!

    Mockingbird and Hawkeye eloped at the very end of the 1988 Hawkeye limited series written and drawn by OHOTMU editor Mark Gruenwald. The proposal itself happened offscreen between the final two pages of issue 4.

    From his intro to the Hawkeye trade paperback, Gruenwald states a desire to leave the hero “permanently transformed” by the events of the series, hence ending it post-marriage. Gruenwald himself had previously created Mockingbird for Marvel (originally conceived as a villain) and thought her an “ideal counterpart” to Hawkeye.

    Personally, I’ve always wondered about the uncanny resemblance the Hawkeye/Mockingbird pairing has to the Green Arrow/Black Canary coupling at DC. An ace archer with a quiver of gadget arrows just happens to romance a blonde master martial artist with a bird theme? Too close for coincidence!

    I had to double take during this episode when I realized Modred was not the same as Mordred. When first reading OHOTMU some 25 years ago, I just assumed that he was the character of Authurian legend and moved on! I ignored this character for decades due to a misread!

    I’ll bet that only does Mojo receive every film award gifted by his native dimension, but the statues are also molded in his likeness! Knowing the ego of this particular shitbag, I’d even wager the ceremony is called “The Annual Mojo Awards”!

    The two panels clipped for this entry were both taken from Fantastic Four 264, an issue written and drawn by OHOTMU darling John Byrne. The plot involves a famously reclusive cartoon producer and theme park mogul attempting to expand the earth by superheating the planet core, thus disturbing the Mole Man’s kingdom. It’s just as wacky as it sounds.

    Robots shaped like cartoon characters act as his bodyguards, so if want several pages of the Thing, Human Torch, and Mole Man obliterating loveable cartoons panel after panel, have I got a comic for you!

    Final thoughts:
    For those keeping score, this episode uses the word “shitbag” a total of 10 times. Impressive, but that pales in comparison to Episode 45, where the term appears a whopping 14 times! It’s little touches like this and the ceaseless lusting over Mephisto’s nethers that keep me an avid listener. Keep up the sterling work!

    1. Funny, it wasn’t until a few years ago I made that Green Arrow/Black Canary-Hawkeye/Mockingbird connection. Given his love for the Justice League (as seen in his writing of the Squadron Supreme) I wonder if Gruenwald did it as a conscious or even subconscious homage.

  3. Another excellent episode which helped pass the time in my commute.

    First off, ‘go to a party as your sexy self’? I’d have to go as the Impossible Man, because that’s impossible, man.

    Mockingbird – she’s a personal favorite. Love all the different iterations of her costume. I agree it works better with pants. As you know, I am a sucker for bucket boots, so those are a win. Marvel has done an excellent job of casting the right actors in their other media. Adrianne Palicki as Mockingbird on Agents of SHIELD was perfect.

    Modred – This would probably be the costume I would pick the wear. A little too busy and a little too unwieldy. I mean … chain mail pants? I don’t care what you have on for underwear, something is eventually going to get pinched between the links. Knowing my luck this is would happen at the most inopportune time.

    Mole Man – there must be some warehouse or outlet store for super-villains where green jumpsuits are always on sale. I wonder if when there is a villain party, the Mad Thinker, Doc Ock, and the Mole Man all say ‘I worried you might be wearing this too!’

    1. I agree, if there’s one character I’d like to make the jump from the Agents of Shield TV series to the big screen, it’s Adrianne Palicki as Mockingbird. Awesome casting. I was so bummed when she left the show.

      Add The Tomorrow Man to your list of green jumpsuit bad guys. The Leader would probably wear a green jumpsuit, too, but since his skin is green, he opts for yellow or orange, iirc.

      1. It’s simple color theory: if heroes wear primary colors to look strong and appealing, the villains will be in secondary colors to compliment their adversary. That makes for a lot of green jumpsuits. Besides the ones mentioned, there was also the Gargoyle/Gremlin and, on occasion, the Red Skull.

        1. For green villains, Spider-Man is full of them. Doc Ock wore the infamous green jumpsuit plenty. But also, the Scorpion, Green Goblin, Lizard, Vulture, Sand-Man’s shirt, Electro, and on and on. I keep waiting for a team of these villains to form under the name … Gang Green.

  4. There are two things I see in the main Mockingbird pose that look off:

    1. At this angle, we should be able the see some of the purple cloth on the right thigh of the unitard (maybe that was what was “missing”?)

    2. From what I read in life drawing books, people tend to… um… cock their hip because they are shifting their weight from one foot to the other. Here, Mockingbird has her left hip cocked and yet her legs show her distributing her weight evenly on both feet. So her left leg is actually longer than her right.

    I always wondered why Mole Man copied (DC Comics Flash villain) Captain Cold’s “eclipse glasses” look, until it was mentioned the glasses help with bright light (whether from living in darker places or the reflected light on snow). Thanks for connecting that for me.

    I supposed the “Where’s Wally” book publisher could look into a spinoff book with Disney/Marvel: “Find Mr. Fantastic’s Feet”.

    Fun episode, as always. It made my mom laugh too (every she overheard parts of it).

  5. Fun episode with great conversation about these characters.

    Mockingbird is one of my favorites. I like her attitude, her relationship to Hawkeye, and I think the staves are WAY COOL. Funny to hear the group talk about how impractical the voluminous sleeves are, they did get her into trouble once when fighting Captain America. He lured her into a thicket and her sleeves got stuck on thorns, enabling him to take away her staves. The more modern costumes she wears have dispensed with the giant sleeves. Also, at least for a while there, Mockingbird would unnerve her opponents by literally mocking them. They’d get angry and make mistakes and she’d clobber them. Kind of like Spidey does to his villains. I don’t think they’ve played up that aspect of her character in a while.

    I also have never heard anyone say “stave” out loud. I always thought it rhymed with “brave” but you pronounced it differently.

    Mojo’s mechanical “tail” has been shown to grab things–it kind of has a hand appendage on the end. He was a pretty awesome toy when they made the action figure version of him.

  6. Modred – He’s basically Raistlin from Dragonlance, huh?? Also, “Modred” is in fact an alternate spelling of “Mordred”, and is closer to the original Welsh spelling, “Medraut”. Notably, Stan Lee used the “Modred” spelling for Arthur’s evil son in Marvel’s “Black Knight” series in the ’50s. Camelot Modred and Modred the Mystic are still separate characters though.

    Mojo – Mojo is horrible! I love him! I’ll always remember him from the 90s X-Men animated series where he was voiced by Matt Frewer. The freakiest thing about Mojo for me is how absolutely manic he is, like the ultimate rich asshole constantly high on cocaine. He’s definitely up there with Shadow King and Sugar Man among the X-Men’s creepiest villains.

    1. Oh my goodness, I never connected Modred with Raistlin before but that’s all I see! Good catch! Does Modred have a twin brother as well?

  7. Impressive podcast most impressive.This is Liz Anne Oswalt.
    Sorry for Mockingbird. She looks better without them. Yes the plumage is exactly what a Mockingbird looks like. As for how it sounds. Whenever they want to sound like. They were given the name mockingbirds. Because they copy the voices of other birds. Kind of like a vocal chameleon. The arm thing is probably to copy the wings of a Mockingbird. Or she’s a big Stevie nicks fan. Interesting to know that she had been in the Marvel movies since the second avengers movie. We just didn’t know it until the TV show. And her husband Clint had aged 19 and scribed on the back of her watch. I am slightly embarrassed that had dawned on me. It’s a skintight outfit. There’s not really much advantage to it having long pants. In the hot summer of New York even worse LA. Long pants be a total disadvantage.

    Even with the short ponytail. Her outfit is mostly black. She would be sweating like crazy. Also the weapons are called escrima sticks. Not chain less num chucks. And they can be quite useful in battle. Many Filipino martial artists love to use them. As well as people that have practiced JKD the art form that Bruce Lee himself created. If she knows that she’s doing the arms won’t get in the way. I think there may that way so they can shoot out from under into her hands. Though her newest costume doesn’t have a long sleeves anymore. It can be difficult to use this type of weapons with sleeves like that. I have a dress like that and have used nunchucks. But it can be done. If she were a skirt with that outfit. She would get massive amounts of the friendly teasing from her husband. Granted seeing what he wears he would probably get it right back. They are both smart Alecks. The pirate boots against you. They look as stupid on her as they do on Capt. America. So I’m sure if her costume is used in the Hawkeye TV show or any avengers movies. She will probably get better boots just like Steve Rogers did.

    Mordred’s symbol definitely looks like an upside down Wi-Fi symbol. I think it was supposed to symbolize a wizard’s hat at the time. But, I’m sure they will go with it now. The buckled pilgrim looking boots are a little weird. Specifically with a chain mail costume. As well as the cloak and whatnot. Green and red together? Is he celebrating Christmas early? Also marry Christmas happy Hanukkah, happy holidays. Happy Kwanzaa. He does kind of look like an evil version of the Witcher. I read the issue where he fought Capt. America and Capt. Britain . And momentarily he did make himself appear to be Capt. Britain. So he could strike Capt. America in their fight. Sadly I didn’t read the follow-up issue. It was the 80s and it was hard to find. I bought that issue at a 711.

    Mojo is kind of an awesome character. And kind of fun in the X-Men cartoons. This is definitely an Art Adams drawing. And it works well for the character. He kind of fits the stereotype of what a TV executive or movie producer would be. I wonder if he’s based on the guy for Miramax? It’s only slightly less disgusting than the real-life figure. These been an ongoing kind of interesting character within the X-Men series. He does stay with the same stick but it works for him.
    Mole Man a decent enough character. But, I was never that into this character. He said decent appearances in the FF as well as the X-Men. But, without the giant monsters he controls. He’s not much of a threat. He’s a good enough combat. But looking at who he faces he just doesn’t work. Though Paul Heyman could probably play him in the movie. As for his outfit is blind. Well practically. So he probably want to keep it simple. The fact that he’s wearing the blue glasses is him taking a risk. But, that’s probably why he doesn’t realize how ridiculous the Cape looks. And the Mole Oids aren’t exactly Joan Rangers themselves. So there’s no one to explain to him how to coordinate and outfit better.

    I’ve heard of people defecating themselves when they were super angry. From comics and whatnot not real life thank goodness. But, I’ve never heard of anyone being so angry that they wet themselves. It’s just a joke that I don’t get. Also if you have the time to unzip and whatnot when he does go to the bathroom? The Hyde bit just isn’t something I find that funny. And my sense of humor is pretty weird. Then again maybe that’s why don’t get it. At any rate can’t wait to hear the next podcast.

    1. It’s not clear to me that Laura is Mockingbird, since Mockingbird already appeared in Agents of SHIELD (look for an opinion in our upcoming special). Has a similar back story perhaps to pay lip service to Bobbi Morse, but not the same character as far as I’m concerned.

      1. Agents of Sheild no longer counts. See Loki. Morbus talked about Colson’s death. As a time lord he’d know about the fake out. Pulmuters universe has been removed as cannon from the Marvel universe. Figgie hates him. I’m Shocked that the DD show is now cannon. But, glad. Hopefully they’ll bring back Cage. And the 2 women that make up the daughters of the Dragon. Though they may want to recast Iron Fist. And this was before the first multiverse string was pulled. Now they’ve pulled 3. We’ll see. But, she is agent 19. As Clint put on her watch. Maybe she is Bobbi and they changed her name. That farm is well hidden.

        So who knows? But, for me I think it’s her, but we’ll see. As much as I’m annoyed Death Lock isn’t cannon as far as I can tell Agents of Sheild is no longer cannon. I remember hearing that on Gace Randolph’s U-tube show. Sorry I don’t think the tv shows Pulmutter had his fingers in count any more.

        1. They all count because they’re somewhere in the Multiverse, but that may be it.

          Anyway, it’s not canon that it isn’t canon until they overtly make it canon in a canon project. So to speak.

          1. This is the first time I’ve had that watch inscription explained, lol! I thought it had the letter “I” 9, and sure, I took it to mean it was her previous SHIELD designation (so I rejoiced over THAT revelation), but not until this moment did I realize Agent 19 is Mockingbird in the 616! A Bingsearch just confirmed it, and plenty of websites are speculating over it. I read one that I liked, proposing that Laura Barton retired as “Mockingbird” and Adrienne Palicki’s Bobbi Morse took up the mantle when she joined.

            I do think that the MCU embracing the ABCVerse of Agents of SHIELD (and ostensibly the Inhumans) is a hard order. Much as I loved AoS, they villainized Coulson in the 616, and the plans to replace mutants with Inhumans was a crashing failure, (thankfully.) So we’ll see what they do. But, I am now DOUBLY in love with the fact that Laura was not only a SHIELD Agent, but she was (a) Mockingbird!

          2. Uh-oh, I think it got et. Well, editing is the writer’s friend.

            What I’d said:
            I hadn’t realized that inscription was a “19”. I thought it was “I9” as in “Igloo or Ice”9. And Bingsearching just confirmed what I realized I once knew already in July! https://twitter.com/NewMutant/status/1411490961520304131?s=20
            One of the Search results led to an article that proposes the possibility that Laura Barton Was Agent 19, aka Mockingbird, then when she married and retired, Bobbi Morse took up the mantle as Mockingbird in Agents of SHIELD. I want/need Feige to embrace that TV show, but I guess that’s a hard ask, seeing that it would have to include the failed Inhumans plotline.

          3. It didn’t get eaten, sometimes the system doesn’t recognize your IP address and flags it for approval. Then I need to get up the next morning, you know how it is.

  8. Mockingbird: Pants, please. I preferred her long pants costume by far, but she had the bare legs look for a long time. She adopted it around West Coast Avengers #12 in 1986, and had it all the way until the mid-2000’s, after various shenanigans. The story was she and Hawkeye were “loosening up” being in California, so he got bare arms in his costume as well. Not as noticeable a change for him, though. And really, my largest complaint is I loved Mock’s original white boots, not these black ones. Yes, I know they’re not practical and will get dirty easily, but the white boots looks so cool and unique. Oh, and that is indeed a pony tail, not a rat tail. Really wasn’t thrilled this entry came during this version of her look. The previous costume and hair style appealed to me so much more.

    Modred: Why didn’t Modred team up with Mordred, Dredstar, Dredlocke, and Penny Dredful to become the Totally Dredfuls. Missed opportunity.

    Mojo: I hate him. He’s annoying. He’s gross. He’s too powerful. He rarely gets soundly defeated. I just groan whenever he turns up. And from his visual, an immensely disturbing bit is those Clockwork Orange style hooks holding his eyes open, like the spineless ones muscles have atrophied so much, they can’t blink without mechanical assistance. So very EW!

    Mole Man: I kinda relate to his background, not fitting in, being bullied, etc, but that still doesn’t get me to like him. Because he also acts incredibly pompous and arrogant. Maybe it’s not everybody else, maybe it’s you, dude. But I do like the small, squat guy who fights well enough to take down much bigger opponents. That is great to see.

    As for the cover comments, I heard from Mephisto that the Hot Squad is always welcome at his Hotel Inferno and can have a grand in complementary casino chips any time they stay there. So yeah, he really appreciates the Hot-liments.

  9. I’ve been reading Ka-Zar back issues from the Bronze age, and I’m surprised Mockingbird’s entry didn’t include Bobbi Morse’s introduction/history from there first. Bobbi spent her earliest intro days courting the blonde Tarzan in the Hidden Jungle! She crash-landed up there and hijinx ensued! Then he came to Manhattan, following after her, and hijinx continued briskly! It was a blast to see her in such 70’s get-ups, and being a breakout female character who appeared damsel-in-distressy then turned out being a SHIELD agent and a scientist to boot!

    Oh, and ho-lee-shit. I just looked up one of my old Tweets, and there it is plain as day. I saw it and forgot it, hahaha!!! Bobbi Morse is Agent 19.


  10. Late to the party, but I will say Mole Man’s looks softened over the years. He just looks like a squat guy here, but Kirby gave him a more unique appearance. He kind of looked like Danny Devito’s Penguin in a lot of ways. Very prominent, mole-like nose/snout. Still human, but barely. Made his plight seem a bit more believable, honestly. Again, fail on the OHOTMU dept. for not going back and showing more classic panels, but Kirby was suing them at this point, so maybe they didn’t want to give him too much exposure.

  11. I’m even later than Chris Franklin but hopefully I made it under the wire. Stupid holidays ruining my podcast listening. Needless to say, everyone knocked it out of the park again. This show is always a fun listening and it’s great to get back into it!

    Mockingbird – I only really remember her from the Hawkeye mini-series with all those fun mort villains, Silencer, Oddball, Bombshell, and Crossfire. I thought she made a great partner for Hawkeye and would like to see more stories with her. “Sexy train.” Of all the crazy “sexy” costumes I’ve heard of, sexy train tops them all. Take that, sexy Bert and Ernie! And isn’t a sexy version of yourself, just yourself with confidence? I could never pull that off!

    Modred – I love how the artist went out of their way to make sure the fabric was flapping in the wind. I feel like too many of these entries are a little too static. It also teases the flap revealing the bulge, which I’m surprised the ladies didn’t point out.

    Mojo – I agree with all the no here, but his look fits his character perfectly. Excellent design, terribly not hot!

    Mole Man – This guy must spend a fortune in Pomade! Or maybe just gets all the leftovers thrown out? That hair is super slick!

    For Mr. Hyde, that is one….uh…… thick stream. The girth is impressive! Think about that, Hot Squad!

    Thank you for the hot-pliment! If I’m hot as the earth’s core, I can liquify iron and can finally become a superhero with that heat! Can the ladies design my costume?

    Super fun as always! The ladies and Siskoid always brighten my day. Keep up the great work!

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