PATSY WALKER AKA HELLCAT #16
Writer: Kate Leth
Penciler: Brittney Williams
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: VC’S Clayton Cowles
Release Date: 03/15/17
Can Patsy Walker have it all? It’s hard when you’re a uber cute superhero trying to balance hell dimensions, arch-frenemies and a temp agency. Patsy is also a human being after all, even if she forgets it!
Patsy’s cosmic flu is only one of her many issues plaguing her. The entire 68 Jay Street disappears, Miss America is suddenly Miss Canada and frenemy Hedy is in love with Hell demon Belial. Thankfully, once Patsy’s anger with Hedy and Belial goes down (slightly) she allows Belial to help her with cosmic stress flu. He forces her to confront her issues and the stress that’s underlying her life. Belial makes himself appear as Jen which allows Patsy to open up – talking about how hard it is for her to lead this life of human/superhero.
For Patsy her stress has been manifesting into anger – wanting to punch out her problems rather than talk them out. Belial teaches her to manifest it healthier as she manages to forgive not only him but Hedy and everyone else who has been causing her grief. Instead of looking at it from a purely superhero perspective, Patsy finally looks at thinks as a human being and this allows her to be a hero once more.
Leth has been bringing her A-game with her take on the journey of Patsy Walker. The series has been dealing with a multitude of important topics from sexuality to grief – and now Leth lets Patsy break down. We all keep things inside and we all know keeping things inside is the complete opposite of what we should do – yet we do it anyways. With this issue, Leth highlights what happens when you bottle up your emotions and ignore the problems in front of you.
Patsy misses Jen. However, what she doesn’t realize is that she doesn’t need Jen to be the hero she is. This is such a beautiful moment that shows such an important side of grief. When someone you love almost dies you begin to think that you can’t do anything anymore, without them there you are useless, but that’s not true! This scene between Patsy and “Jen” teaches readers that after tragedy you CAN still do it! And you ARE still a hero! This truly was the perfect way to end this chapter of Patsy’s life. She is able to forgive and able to move on continuing to be the best Patsy Walker she can be!
Brittney Williams and Rachelle Rosenberg are a team full of magic. Williams pencils emotion to perfection with the way she details the little things with Patsy. Her face is constantly shifting between emotions and Williams makes these emotions believable.
The way Williams draws Patsy’s eyes as if they are helpless and tired all at once. Her eyebrows are furrowing and she just looks defeated as she admits how much Jen’s injury shook her up. Williams allows herself to rely on visual language that is so rarely seen in comics. Sometimes, Patsy’s body language and facial expressions say more than she ever could with her words.
Rosenberg’s colors help set the mood for Patsy’s story. Belial and Hedy’s relationship take place against beautiful pink backgrounds. Sure, they’re in hell but at least they’re in love and Rosenberg shows that. Contrast Hedy’s trip to hell against Patsy’s in which the backgrounds are orange. It’s not a hell of love but it’s not as intensely red as Rosenberg usually depicts hell. These small little changes and attention to details are what make Williams and Rosenberg the best team for Patsy’s story.
Leth, Williams and Rosenberg have been creating something special with Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat. It was a risky story to bring forward especially with their less than conventional take on a multitude of things. It is a comic story that truly has felt like a breathe of fresh air. Leth teaches readers that real, human feelings are harder than any super villain – sometimes you are the person you need to face. However, once you face yourself and all those pesky little demons within you can be the hero you’ve always wanted to be.
If you haven’t read Hellcat let yourself! Go pick it up! It is for everyone – not just girls, not just younger people, it is for everyone. Leth has written something for everyone in every issue. It may seem like your average story about superheros but underneath it all it’s a story about humans.