I’m a huge Hellcat fan. Not just because of who she is as a superhero, frankly in many ways she has yet to be fully realized in that role, but because of her evolution and history. She is somewhat problematic as a female comic book character but that makes her all the more important each time she is reimagined. I keep hoping at some point, I hope, someone will finally get her right.
She gets another shot this December when Marvel introduces Patsy Walker A.K.A. Hellcat.
Hellcat didn’t begin life as a superhero, she was in fact, Patsy Walker, star of her own teen romance comic back in the 40s. She was so popular that her comic and others with her featured in it, were published continuously throughout each iteration of Marvel, the Golden Age, Atlas and then the Silver Age. In the 60s Patsy and her best friend Hedy made an appearance in the Fantastic Four, moving them over to the modern day Marvel universe. It was stated in the comic that the adventures of Patsy Walker were fictional stories written by Patsy’s Mom during Patsy’s teenage years.
Jumping forward to the 70s she took on the mantle of Hellcat and joined the Avengers. Reimagined by Steve Engleheart he saw Patsy differently than she had been depicted previously, his Patsy understood her past and wanted to reinvent herself by becoming a hero. She wanted to jump in feet first. Her now ex-husband, Buzz, had allowed himself to be experimented on and became the villain Mad Dog. He kidnapped Hellcat and wanted to kill her but she eventually defeated him. It was this Patsy who fell in love with Damon Hellstrom, the Son of Satan. They married and became occult investigators often working with The Defenders until the reboot of Hellstrom in the nineties with Hellstorm: Prince of Lies.
Here Patsy suffered quite a bit, having saved Damon’s life by restoring his Darksoul, she goes insane when she sees his true face. He keeps her drooling, blabbering self under lock and key until she becomes coherent enough to regret her actions and commits suicide. Damon, being the Son of Satan, won’t accept her choice and takes over hell as the new Satan. He then uses his new found power to force Hawkeye and the Thunderbolts to resurrect Patsy. She comes back to life with new Hell born powers. He later lies to her and makes her believe he is part of a long planned plot to take over Hell so he will drive her away to keep her safe.
She has kicked around a bit since then and shown up from time to time. Her most recent appearance was in the late great She-Hulk title, written by Charles Soule. She was Jennifer’s investigator. Having loved this title from beginning to end I am hoping that the new Hellcat series will be similar in tone. Quirky and fun with moments of depth. She should have a strong forum as the character will no doubt be getting more attention from her appearance on the Netflix Marvel show, Jessica Jones.
Marvel’s press release had this to say about the new series:
…PATSY WALKER, A.K.A. HELLCAT! will spotlight this modern-day superhero who refuses to say NO to any adventure even if it does prove to be more than what she can handle.
“I want to continue the thread of her being the kind of girl who calls you up out of the blue and you always say yes, because it’s an adventure,” says Leth. “She’s a super hero martial-arts wiz that can sense mystical energy! She learned how to fight on the moon, so you KNOW she’s good at what she does and has the history to back it up.”
Beginning her heroic career with the Avengers and then becoming a core member of the Defenders, Hellcat’s new series will be inviting readers into a no-nonsense journey following this kick-ass super hero as she tries to make a name for herself alongside some of the most powerful Marvel heroines around.
“With this series, Kate and Brittney are going to provide a unique spin on the super hero, providing readers with a Patsy Walker who is both supremely relatable and supremely awesome,” says editor Wil Moss. “And look for guest appearances by all of Marvel’s top female heroes, including She-Hulk, Kate Bishop, Captain Marvel and maybe even the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl!”
This December, Patsy Walker plans to claw her way to the top no matter what it takes! Be here for this brand new, action-packed series as this feline femme fatale reestablishes herself among Marvel’s mightiest within in the pages of PATSY WALKER, A.K.A. HELLCAT!
Patsy has been exploited and abused throughout her Marvel storylines. First by her mother who used her childhood as a way to make money, then her ex-husband who was so angry at losing her that he decided to kill her instead and even Damon, who while he loved her couldn’t control his darker impulses and ended up driving her insane.
Patsy is way overdue for a triumphant return. Here’s hoping this is her time.
Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat! will debut in December and will be written by Kate Leth and drawn by Brittney Williams.
PATSY WALKER, A.K.A. HELLCAT #1
Written by KATE LETH
Art & Cover by BRITTNEY WILLIAMS
Variant Cover by GEORGE PEREZ
On Sale in December!