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Thursday, March 24, 2016

patsy walker, aka hellcat! #1

Hellcat is my new favorite comic book. I know I've only read, like, two comic book series, but still. She's kick-ass, someone you want to be best friends with, and the series itself fun, funny and totally cute. But first, a little backstory.

Hellcat began in 1976 when she appeared in The Avengers Vol. 1, #144. Her alias, Patricia Walker Baxter Hellstrom grew up as the subject of her own comic book series. (I know. Comic-ception.) Patricia's mother, Dorothy Walker, found success creating the comic book detailing romance and adventures of her teenage daughter and her friends.

Patricia, being fascinated with superheroes, convinced the mutant Beast to make her into a superheroine. She tagged alongside The Avengers (where she picked up the forgotten costume of former superhero The Cat), but was never invited to join. (Here's her full origin story.)

The character's resurgence came in December (2015) with "Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat!" Though this series is a self-contained telling, there are plenty of nods to Patsy's past. (And, yes, she's totally the same Patsy Walker/Trish Walker that's in Jessica Jones on Netflix. I completely geeked out when I realized it.)

"So let's backtrack just a touch. Get to know our hero with these Patsy Facts! Her mom wrote romance comics about her teen years! Pretty weird, Mom! She has not had the greatest love life. I mean, yikes. Powers include butt-kicking and butt-punching, which she learned on the moon, and more! These days she works as an investigator for Jennifer Walters. [She-Hulk. Who is a lawyer.] Oh, and she can sense mystical energy. It's pretty neat."

It opens with Hellcat defeating a petty thief with superpowers, Telekinian. He confesses that it was his first crime, and he only did it because he's recently unemployed. The newly-fired Patsy befriends Telekinian (Ian Soo) and becomes his roommate.

Patsy and Ian drop into a bookstore to pick up something he'd ordered, when Patsy discovers her "best frenemy from her youth," Hedy Wolfe, was benefitting from Patsy's mom's death by republishing all of the old "Patsy Walker" comics.

Later, the bookstore owner, a childhood friend of Patsy's, hires Ian. He sees his telekinesis as a helpful, rather than threatening, trait; this is apparently a rarity. Off-duty superheroes, mutants and people with power tend to have difficulties finding an employer willing to hire a freak.

Thus, the plot of the series begins: Patsy decides to create an employment agency for heroes "and other cool friends" that need work.

It's seriously a super cute comic. It very much has a millennial vibe and would be great for teenagers, college students, and adults who appreciate a bit of silliness.

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