PATSY WALKER, A.K.A. HELLCAT #1
Written By Kate Leth
Art by Brittney L. Williams & Megan Wilson
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: December 23, 2015
It’s Patsy! It’s Patsy!
Patsy Walker, aka Hellcat, is really just trying to make an honest buck, even if superheroism is in her blood. From helping a would-be villain get back on his feet to trying her best to find a job, Patsy is steadfastly positive. By the end of the issue, we get a see a glimpse of where she’s headed, but also how she’s going to use her skills to help people make sense of their lives.
Let’s be real: I’m going to continue reading this series JUST because Patsy recognizes that Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth need to play Elphaba and Galinda respectively in a Wicked film adaptation. But for real, I enjoyed the Hellcat out of this series. Patsy is more than willing to get serious when she needs to be, but otherwise she’s filled to the brim with enthusiasm. This series is a great break from serious superhero matters and has some rather excellent analogs. I love a series that is able to create an atmosphere of levity as soon as it’s released, and Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat is definitely that series so far.
Kate Leth’s Patsy is super wonderful to read. She feels like someone absolutely imbued with life and optimism despite her past, and she has a knack for connecting people and bringing out the best in them. Leth’s writing throughout the issue is spot on for each of the familiar characters, and even the supporting characters have an integral role to play through each page. I like that Leth jumped right in to establish Patsy as a fun loving and quirky woman, while also exploring her sense of heroism in more than a “let’s punch baddies” way. While Patsy is certainly down for a fight, she does not get carried away, and Leth excellently balances Patsy’s zest for life with the reality of the day-to-day.
Brittney L. Williams and Megan Wilson create art that I can’t help but smile at. Every panel was infused with happiness and joy, even when Patsy skimmed the surface of her sometimes dark history. In addition to Leth’s writing, Williams and Wilson most superbly convey Patsy’s go-getter attitude. I like the stylized elements of Williams’ art and Wilson’s colors and how they coalesce to illustrate Patsy’s energy and zeal.
The supporting cast of this issue is part of what’s going to help it survive. There’s one character in particular I was happy to see, and the hints dropped about him mean the world to me. From his discussion of Wicked, to his use of ‘partner’ to describe a past relationship, he provides a great analog to queer issues. While we have to put the clues together at this point, I have zero doubts that our fresh face will add to the representation I and other readers yearn for in comics.
If you want some Squirrel Girl-esque feels with a character who faces adulthood head on, pick up Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat #1. I enjoyed this issue, especially as my first real exposure to Hellcat besides random longbox issues of the Avengers. This series really has a lot of potential and it’s a needed reprieve from the tedious effects of events or the more serious tone of other series. Patsy most certainly deserves your time.
The Verdict: 9.0/10