I get why DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. would want to get a solo Deathstroke movie going. I do. He’s male, a “gritty” character and an anti-hero who’s often put in the role of the villain but who has his own moral code regarding the work he does. The character has become a fan-favorite on “Arrow” where he’s portrayed by Manu Bennett and it was semi-announced a while ago that Joe Manganiello would play him in Ben Affleck’s solo Batman movie, though that might change.
Also, I couldn’t be less interested in a Deathstroke solo movie. In fact, I feel like I’ve already seen it.
If this year’s success of Wonder Woman and Spider-Man: Homecoming has taught us anything it’s that audiences want something different, something brighter and more inspirational. They want to see a woman taking on the Big Bad and a hero not being so morally conflicted about every damn thing he or she does.
That’s why I want a Mockingbird movie.
Mockingbird isn’t a huge part of the Marvel Universe, known primarily as either a SHIELD agent or in relation to Hawkeye, to whom she was married for a while back around the time both were part of The West Coast Avengers team. She’s been a constant presence, particularly since playing a fairly integral role in the “Secret Invasion” storyline and recently headlined a critically-acclaimed solo book for a while. Barbara Morse, Mockingbird’s alter ego, showed up on “Agents of SHIELD” for a season or so, played by Adrianne Palicki, an efficient and highly-skilled operative of the agency.
Having been a fan of the character since her WCA days, I want a movie, though. I want a story where Agent 19 is given the leeway to be SHIELD’s own in-house costumed adventurer, not part of The Avengers but using some of the same grey-area tactics they employ and falling outside the usual reporting structure. I want a spy movie where Bobbi goes deep undercover internationally to retrieve a secret vital to national security. She’s patriotic and morally certain while also taking the risks necessary to complete the mission.
If female spy movies really are the hot new trend in Hollywood following Atomic Blonde and with Jennifer Lawrence’s Red Sparrow coming next year, Mockingbird would allow Marvel Studios to get in on that. If adjustments need to be made that account for Palicki’s small-screen portrayal, so be it. If you want to make her part of the all-female movie pitched by Scarlett Johansson, Tessa Thompson, Zoe Saldana and others, I’m good with that too. Just make it happen. Mockingbird has for too long been relegated to the background or defined by her relationship to male characters. That can change and it can be awesome.
Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.