As part of our lead-up to Marvel’s Jessica Jones, we’ve put together a few posts to introduce you to what we know about the show’s cast of characters—most of whom have quite a bit of history in Marvel Comics. Today, we meet Trish Walker.
Trish “Hellcat” Walker is set to appear in the first season of Marvel’s Jessica Jones, premiering on November 20 on Netflix, portrayed by Rachael Taylor. In the show, the character goes by a different name than her comic counterpart, but it does seem that Trish will be loosely based on Patsy Hellcat Walker – a member of the Avengers and the Defenders with a long and complicated history in Marvel Comics.
A Brief History of Hellcat
Originally the subject of a comic book written by her mother, Walker eventually became an important member of both The Avenger and The Defenders. Growing up, Walker always idolized superheroes, and eventually became one herself after she donned the costume that was once worn by Greer Nelson (Tigra), and decided to go by the code name of Hellcat. She eventually served as both an Avenger and a Defender for a number of years before she married Daimon Hellstrom, known as the Son of Satan. Daimon was a leader and master of the occult and dark arts, and the two eventually relocated to San Francisco, where they became investigators of the paranormal.
In a dark and tragic turn of events, Daimon’s dark soul reemerged and regained control over Daimon. Walker was so shocked and troubled by the sight of Daimon, she fell into a vegetative state, but was aided by a supernatural force that helped to separate her spirit from her vegetative body – effectively killing herself.
While in Hell, she encountered Hawkeye and other superheroes that were on a mission to rescue Hawkeye’s wife, Mockingbird. The team eventually returned to Earth with Hellcat instead, and Hellcat devoted the rest of her life to being a superhero once more.
Important Hellcat Themes
Hellcat’s growth in popularity seemed to coincide directly with the various feminist movements of the 60s and 70s. The rise of Second-Wave Feminism in the 70s, which was focused more on sexuality, the role of women in the workplace, and their role in family, allowed characters like Hellcat to shine. Where Wonder Woman was, to quote Ultron, “God’s righteous woman,” Hellcat, on the other hand, was a more scrappy, damaged, and realistic icon. Hellcat represented another group of women that may not have been able to relate to the glimmering Wonder Woman.
Hellcat is a lot like some of my other favorite Marvel characters. Like Hawkeye, Black Widow, and Mockingbird, Hellcat, for the most part, has no super human abilities. She has minor psychic abilities and can generate some force fields. She’s also a well-trained acrobat, gymnast, and martial artist. Like other heroes, her suit enhances some of her abilities, too, since it allows her to be able to use things like grappling hooks, retractable steel claws, and other gadgets.
Miss America Magazine #2
The Avengers Vol. 1, #144
We know that the character in Jessica Jones is named Trish Walker and is based off Patsy Walker. At this point, it’s hard to determine whether or not Trish will have any heroic abilities, whether she’ll take on the moniker of Hellcat, or whether or not she will be aiding our titular hero in any of her exploits. Considering the fact that Hellcat was once part of the Defenders team, I find it highly possible that Trish may end up making an appearance on Marvel’s The Defenders when the heroes in Netflix’s corner of the MCU untie to fight an even bigger threat.
To read more about information other characters from the series, see:
Marvel’s Jessica Jones will be available to stream in its entirety on Netflix on November 20. Happy streaming!