Bluebird (Marvel Comics)
|First appearance||Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962)|
|Created by||Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, Kurt Busiek, & Pat Olliffe|
|Full name||Sally Avril|
|Supporting character of||Spider-Man|
Possesses a variety of gadgets
Bluebird (Sally Avril), sometimes rendered Blue Bird, is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. She is usually depicted as a supporting character in the Spider-Man series.
Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, Sally Avril first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15 (1962). Sally was a minor member of Flash Thompson's entourage, appearing in only one issue during the Silver Age. Her "Bluebird" career was created by Busiek (scripts) and Olliffe (pencils) in 1996.
Fictional character biography
Thirty years later, writing for Untold Tales of Spider-Man, Kurt Busiek resurrected the one-note brunette from obscurity and gave her a background. She was an ambitious, thrill-loving girl who took blue ribbons in gymnastics. With fellow popular kid Jason Ionello, she attempted to cash in on a Daily Bugle contest offering a thousand dollars to a reader who brought in pictures of Spider-Man. Although their mission was a bust, Sally loved the thrill and became very smitten with the web-slinger when he touched her cheek just before leaving her and Jason with a warning to give it up.
Sally and Jason tailed Spidey again, who was (unwillingly) working for Electro. The flash from Sally's camera roused Spidey from his hypnotic state, and a well-placed kick by the athletic young Sally took Electro by surprise long enough for Spidey to readjust his mask — which Electro had been preparing to remove — and defeat him. Spider-Man posed for a shot with an ecstatic Sally and Jason that the Bugle ran.
Suffused with glee, Sally tried to get a permanent gig on the Bugle, but was told the photographer's job was filled — by Peter Parker. Peter admitted this but asked her not to tell their fellow Midtowners. Sally donned an eccentric blue-and-white costume and decided, with her aerobic skills, to become a superheroine. She asked Peter to take some Bugle pics of her doing some stunts, but Peter refused. Angered, she threatened to blackmail him by revealing that he took Spider-Man pictures, but he undercut her by telling them himself.
Bluebird's zeal but lack of experience caused trouble for Spider-Man during fights with Scarlet Beetle and Electro. Her "ether egg" weapons would detonate prematurely or have little effect, once even allowing the villain to escape. Considering her more trouble than she was worth, Spider-Man allowed the Black Knight's men to hurt her quite badly in order to dissuade her from interfering in his fights again, although he later felt remorseful.
Bruised but undaunted, Sally and Jason headed to an area where Spider-Man was fighting the Black Knight, with Sally's camera. She intended to capture some shots of the fight. However, Sally's zeal ended up costing her her life when she begged Jason to speed in his car, and the two ran a red light. Their car struck an oncoming bus, with Jason incurring mild head trauma, and Sally being killed.
Spider-Man felt horrible about this. "She'll never laugh again... She'll never toss her head the way she did, instantly dismissing whatever she didn't want to think about in favor of something new. She'll never smile, never capture everyone's attention with a few words, never light up a room with her determination and humor. She could be obnoxious, even pushy, but she was vital and alive and fun to be around and now she's gone."
Powers and abilities
Bluebird possessed no superhuman powers and used the following gadgets to fight crime: a retractable rope-line, insulated boots to protect her from electricity, blue paint pellets and ether-filled "eggs". Avril was also a skilled gymnast.
In other media
- Sally Avril appears as Randy Robertson's shrill-voiced girlfriend in The Spectacular Spider-Man voiced by Grey DeLisle. This series depicts her as a blonde, although her natural hair color in the comics was black (she donned a long blonde wig as Bluebird). She generally has the original appearance of Liz Allan, who is Hispanic in this series. She loudly turns Peter down for a date in the pilot episode and then becomes angry that Randy doesn't seem jealous about him approaching her. Sally is shown to have some typical high school mean girl traits when she is utterly surprised as to why a gorgeous girl like Mary Jane Watson would come to a prom with the nerdy Peter Parker. Later, she tries to put Mary Jane down by sneering at how she was dumped by the "King of Geeks" Parker and she is seen yelling at her fellow clique-member Glory Grant over displeasing the latter's prom date Harry Osborn before he could offer their group a ride home in his personal limousine. She vociferously blames Peter for Liz Allan and Flash's breakup. She also mocks Flash Thompson's hero-worship of Spidey when he is framed for armed robbery by Chameleon and his associates Quentin Beck and Phineas Mason. Later Flash tells Peter, after May Parker's heart attack, that "even Sally feels sorry for you", suggesting that perhaps she is beginning to soften towards him. In "Probable Cause", she is paired up with Peter in a Police Ride-A-Long where they were driven around by Captain George Stacy. She continues to insult him, but when the car is attacked by the Enforcers, causing it to crash and apparently kill Peter (he has actually changed into his Spider-Man suit), Sally is genuinely shocked and saddened. When he turns up alive and well later, she even hugs him with relief, though she is still upset about the ruined trip and warns Peter to tell no one about the hug.
The Amazing Spider-Man series
- Kelsey Chow's brief role in The Amazing Spider-Man is simply credited as "Hot Girl" during the end credits of the film, but the actress revealed to media outlets around the time of the film's release that her character is in fact Sally Avril, and would have appeared in another installment prior to Sony's deal with Marvel Studios. Chow's character is additionally called "Sally" in The Amazing Spider-Man novelization
Marvel Cinematic Universe
- Sally Avril is portrayed by Isabella Amara in the MCU, and appears in Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017). Contrary to the comics, Sally is rather portly, intellectually gifted and is on the decathlon team with Peter Parker. She seemed to not care either way whether or not Peter stayed on the team.
- Amara briefly reprises her role as Sally in Avengers: Infinity War. She is seen on the bus with Peter and Ned when the latter makes a distraction so that the former can change into Spider-Man.
- Her surname "Avril" is revealed in Untold Tales of Spider-Man #6 (February 1996).
- Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962)
- Untold Tales of Spider-Man #6 (February 1996)
- Untold Tales of Spider-Man #7 (March 1996)
- Untold Tales of Spider-Man #10 (June 1996)
- Untold Tales of Spider-Man #11 (July 1996)
- Untold Tales of Spider-Man #12 (August 1996)
- Untold Tales of Spider-Man #13 (September 1996)
- The Clone Conspiracy #4
- Ngwije Americ (August 17, 2011). "Exclusive Interview: Pair of Kings' Kelsey Chow Talks Fight Scenes, Spider-Man and True Blood". TV Equals.
- Ana Dumaraog (July 10, 2017). "One Of Spider-Man's Classmates Is In Avengers: Infinity War".
- Bluebird at Marvel.com