Patsy Walker AKA Helcat #1
Written By: Kate Leth
Art By: Brittney L. Williams
Release Date: 12/23/15
Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat was one of my most anticipated titles from All New, All Different Marvel and this was even before the Jessica Jones Netflix show. Patsy is a very interesting character with a lot of history in the Marvel universe.
Patsy Walker first premiered as a romance comic book character in the 1940’s. Marvel then revamped her character into the superhero named Hellcat in the 1970’s making her join the Avengers. Before All New, All Different Marvel Patsy was working as a investigator for She Hulk’s law firm and this series picks up from where She Hulk left off.
The issue opens up with Patsy pitching a new business idea to Jen Walters (ex-boss/best friend) and Sharon King (She Hulk’s landlord). She wants to open up a super temp job to people who have abilities. The rest of the issue explores how Patsy came up with her new business idea.
Hellcat stops a robbery from a new Inhuman villain who calls himself, Telekinian. He has the abilities to manipulate objects and their gravity. As the issue continues Hellcat learns that Ian is not actually a villain he just doesn’t know what to do with his powers. Patsy and Ian become quick friends and even roommates.
As the issue continues Patsy’s past starts to catch up to her. As she is shopping with her new roommate she runs into Tubs (a friend from her childhood and character from the Pasty Walker comics). Patsy finds out that Hedy (Patsy’s frenemy from her teenage years) has reprinted the Patsy Walker comics without her permission.
If you’ve been reading my reviews on The Marvel Report or have been watching my reviews on Comic Uno then you may know that I feel a lot of new All New, All Different Marvel titles aren’t new reader friendly. This is a shame because I thought the whole point of of All New, All Different Marvel was to allow new readers to find a good jumping on point. But I am happy to say that Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat is completely new reader friendly!
This series is taking Patsy on a new journey, but it doesn’t forget Patsy’s old roots. It actually embraces it! I like how this series is mixing both the Patsy Walker romance comic cast and the Hellcat superhero cast. I am especially excited to see how Hedy is going to fit into this series. We saw Hedy in the Hellcat mini series in the early 2000’s but we really haven’t seen the character since. In the mini series Hedy knew Patsy was Hellcat and it seemed like both characters respected each other. Now I am curious to see what approach they are going to take with the character in this series.
Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat has a very light tone. There are Broadway jokes that are going to make you laugh out loud and if you are a New Yorker I think you can relate to a lot of the situations that happen in this issue. But even if you aren’t a New Yorker or a 20 year old something woman I think you are going to be able find something to like in this book.
I was very impressed that even though this book is light and fun the issue wasn’t afraid to touch upon Patsy’s darker side. I feel some writers would want to stray away from Patsy’s time in hell, but as I stated before this series embraces Patsy’s past. I hope we can see the series continue to do this in the future.
I keep talking about the leading lady in this book, but something I was also very impressed with is how the book established it’s supporting cast so quickly. You didn’t have to read Soule’s She Hulk run to understand that Patsy and Jen have a good friendship. The book introduces you to old friends, but at the same time makes you care about the new character, Ian.
This Patsy Walker series plays with something I have rarely seen any other comic play with and that is, “What do you do with your super powers if you don’t want to be a super villain or super hero?” I am sure there are plenty of people in the Marvel universe that are like Ian and just use their powers to get the remote control on the other side of the room because they are too lazy to get up. I am really excited for this series to explore these type of characters, the characters that Marvel never had time to explore before.
The art is cartoony and it fits the title’s tone really well. I like the little hellcat symbols throughout the issue, especially when she changes out of her costume. I also thought it was cute whenever Patsy got shocked or defensive the artist would show her fangs come out, that was a nice touch.
Another feature I noticed in the artwork was the influence from anime. For example, sometimes the artist will draw Patsy smaller to show more expression. I am still debating if I like the use of this style in the comic. It may work for the book, but I want to see how the artist uses it in future issues. My advice is not to overuse that style, and use it sparingly.
This was a solid issue 1 and a great jumping on point for new readers to Hellcat. Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat is a series that celebrates Hellcat’s history, but at the same time tells a story of a brighter future.