Review: Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! #1

Patsy_Walker_AKA_Hellcat_1_CoverShe’s managed to escape her past, her enemies and even the depths of Hell (literally), but nothing will prepare Patsy Walker for the hard knock life of job hunting in New York City! Being Hellcat is hard enough – why does being Patsy Walker have to be so hard too? Not to mention everyone’s going crazy for the reissue of the old romance comics that her mom wrote about Patsy’s actual teenage years. Getting recognized left and right is starting to cause trouble in both her personal and super hero life. But hey, nothing keeps Patsy down. She loves life, no matter what curveballs it throws at her. Get ready Marvel Universe – Patsy Walker’s here.

Written by Kate Leth with art by Brittney Williams, Patsy Walker A.K.A. Hellcat #1 feels like a Marvel superhero comic done Archie style. The writing and the art has a comedic style about it all that feels like it’s aimed primarily at Tween girls. That’s not a bad thing, as a late-thirties male, I still found the comic cute and want to see what happens next.

The comic itself follows Patsy as she attempts to get her life together and Leth peppers the comic with humor and a little action. The story itself just kind of flows and somethings you just need to go with. The comic has a lot in common with Marvel’s Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, and I think that might be my issue with it. For as cute and fun as it is, the comic doesn’t yet have a voice that really makes it stand out on its own. It feels like Squirrel Girl in many ways with different characters and a slightly different style as far as look.

The side cast of characters so far are fun, and are nice and diverse, adding some new characters to the Marvel Universe with potential. The comic within a comic, and the ramifications, are the closest we get to Jessica Jones‘ depiction of the character. And that concept could be fun if done right.

There’s also the question of the comic deviating from Jessica Jones. I’m not really familiar with Patsy Walker, only having dealt with her as a side character, but the comic runs us through her life. This Patsy Walker plays off the comic life, and for those coming over from the televisions show, they may be a bit confused. Ironically a darker, adult oriented comic with a female lead is something that currently is lacking in Marvel’s line-up (so far). Not having the two characters line up a bit more is something I definitely question as a decision, but the comic should be judged by what’s presented.

The art by Williams is cute, but the depiction of Walker varies a lot throughout the comic. In one panel she’s a shorter, stouter version, in others she’s a bit lankier. The switch was very noticeable to me, and in a web comic where the stories are presented in smaller chunks this might work a bit better, but it’s a little distracting. There’s even instances where two panels in a row depict her differently. The style though is fun and matches the tone of the comic.

The comic is hit and miss for me. Overall, I think it’d work better in smaller chunks as a back-up comic, but I also accept that I’m not the audience intended for it. Still, it’s cute in many ways and there’s a lot of potential here to see the comic stand on its own. So far though, this is more slice of life than superhero antics.

Story: Kate Leth Art: Brittney Williams
Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review