PATSY WALKER A.K.A. HELLCAT #4
Written By Kate Leth
Art by Brittney L. Williams & Megan Wilson
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: March 23, 2016
Patsy is on the first day of her new gig working with Howard the Duck and the semi-Skrull Tara, while Casiolena moves forward with her machinations toward the Hellcat. After Bag Lady launches her assault, Valkyrie comes to the rescue, teaming up with Patty to take down their common foe. Meanwhile, our favorite super-strong lawyer has to manage some rather upset company who expected to meet our hellish heroine.
In a couple of ways, Patsy Walker A.K.A. Hellcat #4 reminded me why it is vital. For one, it has a wide range of people from cover to cover, many of whom are women. Patsy herself is multi-layered, her realization of the serious aspects of her life countered by her joy and optimism about the world around her. You just can’t keep a good Patsy down, and that’s evident as she embodies the value of healthy positivity and maintaining a sense of humor despite less than desirable circumstances. Beyond our main character, we have many women who take front and center and who have a wider range of bodies and presentations than what we typically get in comics. They also outnumber the men in this issue, which is wonderfully refreshing.
Kate Leth’s sense of humor shines through our main character and random spots throughout this instalment of the series. From the knowledge of when to swipe left to a rather witty and nerdy turn of phrase, Leth infuses wit and snark for days in both Patsy and the people she interacts with. This style of writing is a major reminder that not everything in cape comics for the Big Two have to be serious or packed with punches. Sometimes we need something more lighthearted yet that speaks to the lives of many young millennials trying to make it in the world, let alone New York.
Where Brittney L. Williams stands out in Patsy Walker A.K.A. Hellcat #4 is in the various expressions for each of the characters. Williams’ work reads like a real conversation, as we shift our expressions moment to moment when interacting with others, but also captures Patsy’s emphatic nature or Tara’s chill yet somewhat guarded demeanor. These emotional distinctions make the issue lively and fun throughout the story. Megan Wilson’s use of foreground and background coloring and shading was a nice technical touch. This work helps to keep up with the pacing in the issue and provides emphasis on characters or movement. The deliberate switches in each panel draw our eyes to any number of elements, whether people or bags that function as spatial distortions.
Patsy Walker A.K.A. Hellcat #4 is one more fun and engaging chapter in a series that has been entertaining with every installment. It’s nice to see Patsy get closer to being back on her feet while also figuring out how to manage her life as a superhero, her plans, and the woman holding the rights to her comic. Full of laughs, heart, and some eyecatching technical effects through art, this series does not disappoint and this chapter on its own was a great adventure, page by page.
Come back next month to see how Patsy’s first arc ends. Same Cat-Time, Same Cat-Channel!
The Verdict: 9.0/10