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Review: Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat #14

patrsy-walker-14Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat #14 is a flash grenade fast end to the Black Cat story arc as writer Kate Leth, artist Brittney Williams, and colorist Rachelle Rosenberg show the final battle between Hellcat and her Hellkittens and Black Cat’s girl (and gay ginger) gang. Ian Soo and Jubilee play major roles in the final action sequence while Leth shows that Ian is better being himself around his new boyfriend Tom than walking on eggshells around his ex, Zoe.

Teaming up with an enemy is an old-as-the-hills Marvel superhero trope with heavy hitters, like Hawkeye, Black Widow, and Rogue starting out as a bad guys. Except Leth and Williams add a personal touch with Zoe trying to seduce Ian to join her in his bedroom, and there are the awkward feeling of being exes combined with the fact that she didn’t care about her bisexuality. Zoe had romantic feelings for Ian, but she minimized his bisexuality and the fact he didn’t want to dress in a traditionally masculine way, which made him feel low. Even though they are fighting together against Black Cat, Leth is clear to say that they aren’t friends. Williams also cuts the “ex-reunion” close with a panel of raised hand while Rosenberg replaces the cool night colors with the pink and yellow pastels of a Jubilee morning donut run.

The mind control mechanics starts to wear a little then in Hellcat #14, but Williams makes up for it with some strong aesthetic choices, like everyone in Black Cat’s gang wearing matching pink and black cat jackets. This includes Tom Hale, whose dialogue while under mind control is hilarious and pathetic. Everyone calls Black Cat, “Ms. Cat” for some reason, and there is no way for her to have any kind of real relationships because they are all based on her scratching them with magic claws. She may get to do snow angels in bank vaults, but Felicia ends up alone in the end. Williams’ art is super funny when she shows Black Cat enjoying her powers between muttering about Spider-Man, who she still kind of has a crush on.

Leth makes Ian Soo and Jubilee integral parts of the plot in Hellcat #14. With the arc wrapping up, Jubilee’s vampire abilities, which seemed to be just played for laughs in previous issues, come in handy in the final fight. (You can’t scratch incorporeal clouds.) Ian’s telekinetic abilities have also come a long way since he was failing at robbing armored trucks back in Hellcat #1 and instead blasts with large swathes of pink from Rosenberg taking out Black Cat’s henchpeople. Jubilee and Ian are a pair of badasses and also happen to be great allies and friends to Patsy. Not even a girl gang can keep them down.

Although the plot was dependent on mind control, Hellcat #14 is a strong end to the comic’s third arc as Kate Leth, Brittney Williams, and Rachelle Rosenberg give Hellcat a personal connection to Black Cat’s gang through Ian and his ex and add plenty of physical comedy, smooching, and fierceness to see this story to the finish line.

Story: Kate Leth Art: Brittney Williams Colors: Rachelle Rosenberg
Story: 7.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

General Marvel