The main story of I Can Explain is that Bobbi has been developing some pretty interesting powers as of late, slowly becoming something more than human. The first issue sets everything up, giving her different outfits and situations during her regular doctor’s appointments (that SHIELD has set up to keep an eye on her new “condition”), leaving us to wonder just what Bobbi has been up to.
As Bobbi navigates these tales, we get further clues as to what’s happening to her, leading to one hell of a finale in issue #5. Cain did a SUPERB job with this book, making us love Bobbi from the first moment we saw her. Each story, including the One-Shot at the end, showed us something different about Bobbi Morse. Whether it was her brains, her skill, her guile, or even her heart, the stories peeled the layers off Mockingbird one at a time to show us that she is one of Marvel’s best, even if she doesn’t get acknowledged for it.
As for the dialogue, it was fantastic throughout, Cain taking after good friends Brian Bendis and Kelly Sue DeConnick with her witty, off-colour sense of humour keeping me laughing the whole way through. Even the little things, like Black Widow looking at Bobbi in her dominatrix get-up (long story), and saying, “Nice boots,” made the book that much better, bringing a light-heartedness to the stories that there should be more of in comic books today.
The subtext was what really grabbed me however, writer Chelsea Cain pulls no punches examining the still omnipresent sexism in the world today, using Bobbi’s life to hammer home to the fact that despite all the progress society has made, it hasn’t been enough, and women are still considered second rate to men. Each story attacked this idea from another angle, from Bobbi saving Lance from the Hellfire Club (along with the Queen of England apparently), to how Bobbi helped save a young teenage mutant and her friends from getting killed by the authorities, and even to her getting to the bottom of what her weekly doctor visits are really about. Everything is put under the microscope, the book a feminist declaration that equality does NOT exist the way we want it to, and that the fight for it is far from over.
This was Cain’s first foray into the comic book medium, but if this book is any indication, then I can’t wait to see what she does next.