I have to admit I’ve never really followed Marvel comics much (or DC for that matter), but I picked up Patsy Walker aka Hellcat! Hooked on a Feline on the recommendation of a friend. This was a fun introduction to a character I didn’t know and a world I barely know.
The story follows Patsy trying to find a job and normal life in NYC. She also does some standard superhero villain busting on the side (mostly on her own). She has a hard time finding steady work, and gets evicted from her storage closet home. She meets Ian who tries to mug her using his telekinesis, and she beats him up, and decides to reform him. It turns out he’s the solution to several problems. He needs a roommate, and he puts Patsy on the scent of a villainess who’s gathering super-powered people for some nefarious purpose; the trick is they have to prove themselves in villainy, which Ian clearly failed to do. As Patsy, Ian, and friends including Jennifer Walters (She Hulk), Tom Hale (childhood pal), and a handful of other super-powered ladies, try stop the villainess Casiolena, they also run into a series of side problems. Problem 1 for Patsy is that her mother who has since passed away wrote books about her (Patsy’s) life, and Patsy’s frenemy Hedy Wolfe who holds the rights to the books is trying to keep Patsy from stopping publication or taking a share of the profits. Problem 2 is Patsy and Ian’s landlord may be crooked, which leads to a consult with Dr. Strange about magical bedbugs. Problems 2 and Casiolena are solved by the end but problem 1 remains, with the possibility of Jessica Jones being brought in to assist Hedy.
Hedy is awful and I hate her, and it’s fun. Patsy and Ian are a good team, and Tom’s a great non-powered supportive buddy. There’s drama here, but it’s not distracting from the adventure and entertaining banter that a classic superhero story needs. Patsy hints at the drama of her past, but there isn’t too much detail which I appreciate, since too much personal drama is a turn-off for me in this kind of narrative. The ladies can stand on their own, especially Jen, who we need a little more of. No one’s perfect, but everyone tries to help each other out.
The art has a similar classic look, but softened a bit. Patsy goes chibi at times, which helps keep things on the lighter side. The only complaint I have is that both Ian and Tom look a little bit feminine, creating the appearance of an all-female cast. Tom I think is gay, but that doesn’t mean he needs to look girly. Ian is also not distinguishable from the girls sometimes. I’m totally fine with girl power, and in this case it really drives the story, but turning not-girls into girls for the sake of girl power kinda defeats the purpose for me.
Overall, this series looks really promising and I’m looking forward to the next one.