Netflix’ Jessica Jones was my first introduction to Patsy Walker, also known as Hellcat to Marvel comics fans. You might remember her as “Trish” Walker, Jessica’s radio personality friend played by Rachael Taylor. As you can see by the karaoke comic art and the punny title, this Patsy Walker is a lot more fun than Jessica Jones‘ Patsy Walker. That’s the best way to describe this comic – fun!
While I appreciate that a lot more comics, superhero and otherwise, are trying to be more lighthearted, the humor and characters in them often come off as one dimensional, glib, and just not funny. Writer Kate Leth hops over all of those problems the way Hellcat can hop across NYC rooftops. From issue one, Leth creates a world where established characters like She-Hulk and Dr. Strange cans how their lighter sides alongside a new stable of Patsy Walker’s friends. The cameos and comic nerd easter eggs are fun, but I think even the novice comic fan would appreciate most of the self-contained story found in this trade paperback (a TPB is a collection of five or six issues of a comic run).
It’s a fun book, but also one with a coherent plot. I’ve been disappointed by the needlessly confusing storytelling coming out of Marvel and DC lately, and again Leth avoids these pitfalls. In this book, you get to know a down on her luck Patsy Walker, a recently fired temp trying to make ends meet in NYC. A villain pops up that catalyzes her personal life and professional career. As an avid comic reader, I enjoyed the villain in this book more than most. The interactions between the good guys and bad guys are genuinely funny, and there were some background sight gags that you wouldn’t necessarily notice on a breezy read. Artist Brittney L. Williams’ whimsical style fits the writing perfectly on issues 1-5 contained in this TPB (I didn’t like the art in issue six but that is just preference).
This was a fun jumping off point to the new Patsy Walker, whether you are a comics nerd with encyclopedic knowledge or a casual fan.