PATSY WALKER, AKA HELLCAT! DON'T STOP ME-OW
Writer: Kate Leth
Artist: Brittney L. Williams
Colorist: Megan Wilson & Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Rating: 9/10 Cat Lives
To say I wasn’t excited to return to Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! would be an understatement. My read through the first volume was such an enjoyable experience, getting to meet new characters and exploring the relationships between Patsy and other Marvel heroes. I hope you have cat-like reflexes because there are going to be some spoilers coming your way.
Where Are We Meow?
Last time I saw Patsy, Jessica Jones had just confronted her, revealing that she was paid to investigate Patsy. Our story picks up not too long after their boardwalk encounter as we learn that Jessica was hired on by Patsy’s best frenemy, Hedy, to dig up dirt. What I found interesting during this read was compared to the cover that features Black Cat (and this review’s title), Hedy causing drama for Patsy makes up over half this volume of issues. Things don’t go so great for Hedy as she not only loses her investigator to Patsy, but the rights to the comics Patsy’s mother signed over to her due to some good old fashioned legal research!
At this point, you would think that would be the end of Hedy, but oh no reader, she isn’t going down without stirring up more drama as she finds it pretty easy to convince both of Patsy’s ex-husbands to come after her. One of them even banishes Patsy into another dimension. This is Patsy though, and no demons or ex-husbands, or even frenemies will stop her from setting things straight as she sees through poor illusions and busts out.
While petty drama is out of the way, there is no time for a cat nap for Patsy as a criminal kitty sees Hellcat as a threat to her taking over New York while the big heroes are out. Black Cat enters Hellcat’s current life alongside a newly recruited group of vandals. One such member even consists of Patsy’s roommate’s ex-girlfriend. Yikes. Hellcat and friends set out to thwart Black Cat’s plans after she broke into Patsy’s work and stole Bag Lady (she was a one-time sorta villain with a Mary Poppins bag). All the action builds up for these two cats to finally square off only for the outcome to be continued in the next issue that’s not in this volume! Oh no!
PAWS-itively Good Stuff
After now finishing the first twelve issues of this series, I have to admit that this is one of the most fun, lighter-toned reads from Marvel I’ve enjoyed. I mentioned how much I enjoyed the more youthful art style of the series in my first review but something I didn’t really think about, was the meaning behind it. I’m sure the most obvious answer to the way the series was drawn and colored was to fit the tone of the book. I also like to think that the art style is also (along with the writing) in a way, the creators granting Patsy that wish of wanting to move on past all the dark and awful stuff from the past. That’s just a shot in the dark though on that guess but It gave me a new lense to enjoy this read from.
Cute cat faces and other fun visuals aside, my favorite part of this whole read has been Leth’s work at having so many great interactions among the characters in the series. With She-Hulk in a coma from the events of Civil War II, the gang has been pretty devasted, but throughout these issues, they find ways to be there for each other when someone is starting to feel down. Even with newer folks joining the group like Jubilee, Leth quickly and easily works them in, making them feel like a natural member of the team that’s been there the whole time. I also very much enjoyed exploring Ian’s story through this read. His eventual romantic build-up with Tom finally reaches that moment we can all go “aww” to. We also got to explore more about his back story with the introduction of his ex. This was a character who treated him poorly during their time together and made Ian feel like he had to hide part of his sexuality in front of this person. It was for sure one of the more heavy emotional moments from this series but I felt like it was done very well.
The Purrrr-fect Read
It’s hard to be mad at one Hellcat of a cliffhanger when the whole read was so damn enjoyable. It’s easily had me hooked to read the next volume (which I already have started) and follow along with such a pure-hearted and enjoyable group of characters. The pacing was good. The humor in both writing and art was a treat and I found myself feeling all warm and fuzzy after finishing my read. If you are looking for a really good read that can work well for both young and older readers, check out Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat!