PATSY WALKER, A.K.A. HELLCAT #1
I liked this book, once I accepted this wasn’t my Hellcat. She isn’t the nutcase that extorted the Beast into making her a member of the superhero club; she isn’t the soft-centered hardcase from the recent Jessica Jones TV series; and she isn’t the crazy girl who won my heart by blowing up coffee pots after she joined the Defenders, either. This time, the girl in the catsuit is an out-of-work second-string superhero trying to make ends meet as a “Super Temp” — a kind of on-call, fill-in hero-for-hire. It is a cracked premise, but one that makes perfect sense to Patsy, the kind of hero who will spend a dozen pages getting to know the “supervillain” that she just foiled, incidentally talking him out of a life of crime (and gaining a roomate!) along the way. As in other recent incarnations of this character, Patsy’s publication past as a Golden Age comics character is part of her backstory, in the form of embarrassing romance comics written by her mother. Hijinks result. The letters column admits this is an “all-ages” book, and it has more to do with teenish drama about friends and jobs than leaping around in a super-suit, but I still liked it, most of the time. On that same letters page, writer Kate Leth promises to transcend that all-ages stigma, and walks the walk when Patsy stumbles onto a copy of “Butts Volume IX” in an LGBT bookstore. Yes, this happens. In fact, you might be best off reading the letters page before you begin the issue — it will help you understand what the creators are trying to do, and why artist Brittney L. Williams sometimes draws Patsy to look like a twelve-year-old girl. (It’s called “chibi” style — who knew?)
Approachability For New Readers
Very good. The tongue-in-cheek flashback summary of the character on page two was a treat.
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