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Comic Book / Patsy Walker, a.k.a. Hellcat!

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Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! is a series by Marvel Comics, written by Kate Leth with art by Brittney L. Williams.

Patsy Walker has managed to escape her past, her enemies, and Hell itself (literally), but nothing compares to job hunting in New York City!

In her first ongoing series, Patsy has to make rent and dodge bullets, and she barely has time to deal with her mother’s exploitative romance comics about her childhood resurfacing, much less how they start to interfere with her work and dating life. As she goes from living a double life to a triple, what the Hell is Patsy Walker supposed to do?

It launched in December 2015 as a part of All-New, All-Different Marvel following the Secret Wars event, and finished in April 2017, with 17 issues.

Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Black Cat to Tom. When her brainwashing is undone, Tom explains to Ian how she kept hitting on him and wanted him to dress up as Spider-Man, saying he was aware of it all and is extremely freaked out by her creepy behavior.
  • Abusive Parents: Patsy doesn't like to talk about her mom for a variety of reasons. Like how she wrote all those comics and based them off Patsy's life despite how much Patsy genuinely hated them and thought they were embarrassing, like how she doted on Hedy because of how much sucking up Hedy did to get a role in those comics, and how on her deathbed she tried to trade Patsy's life to a demon in exchange for her's. Hedy even tells Patsy to her face that Dorothy Walker once said Hedy was "Like the daughter she never had," disgusting Jessica Jones and making Patsy look as if she's been punched in the stomach.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: An unusual example. The series reintroduces Tom Hale as gay when the original non-canon Patsy Walker teen humor book had him dating a girl called Nan Brown ... but because that book is officially fictional within the Marvel Universe, from his perspective he was written as being straight when he wasn't.
  • All Gays Love Theater: Ian quotes Wicked in his introduction, has Legally Blonde: The Musical as his ringtone, and asks Tom for Hamilton tickets. He's later Drowning His Sorrows by listening to the Hamilton soundtrack, with even the landlord recognizing where the depressing parts are.
  • Amoral Attorney: One of Hedy's lawyers in the fifth issue keeps a "record" of their meeting with She-Hulk, where he paints Jen as threatening, brutish, and "Too tall."
  • Animesque: The series has shades of this here and there but issue 6 stands out with Natasha Allegri as a guest artist.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: After Patsy tells Bailey she barely counts as a villain she responds
    Bailey: I've jaywalked, I've downloaded movies, I once lied about having the flu to get out of an exam...
  • Art Shift: Employed very often, with characters looking animesque, Super-Deformed, and other styles, frequently on the same page. One issue even has a dream sequence drawn like the old Patsy romance comics.
  • Atrocious Alias: Ian chooses the name "Telekinian" as his alias by just merging the word Telekinesis with his name ala "Telekin-Ian".
  • Author Avatar / Creator Cameo: During the book signing on issue 7, the first two to get Patsy's autograph are writer Kate Leth and artist Brittney Williams. They are also in the first issue's cover, and in a bar in issue 8.
  • Badass Decay: The two times Casiolena faced the Defenders have her with mystical powers which seemingly make her the equal of Doctor Strange and the Enchantress. Here she is nowhere as powerful.
  • Bag of Holding: The Girl with the Bag of Infinite Capacity's item and defining characteristic. Given it's her only power, she struggles to get a fitting superhero name, eventually settling on "Attaché".
  • Bee Afraid: Once the giant tiger becomes a giant bee, things get significantly worse.
  • Berserk Button: Casiolena loathes being compared to the Enchantress, and her last freak out got her banned from Asgard.
  • Big Bad: Casiolena, who's been recruiting Inhumans and Mutants through promises of power that she can't provide. And Hedy, affecting Patsy on a more personal level. Felicia Hardy has stepped up to become Patsy's next big threat.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Black Cat steals some magic claws that cause this.
  • Breakout Villain: Casiolena "was only in the original "Defenders" for a couple of issues -- panels, really." and becomes the villain of the first arc.
  • The Bus Came Back: This series is reintroducing all of Patsy's old friends from her original teen romance series, and updating them for a modern audience.
    • Casiolena, whose last appearance was in 1979. Squirrel Girl's confusion over who she is, is just lampshading how long she's been gone.
    • Belial, the demon who Daimon sends Hellcat to meet, only appeared twice before, the last time in 2009.
  • Campy Combat: Ian Soo is a bisexual young man with dyed blue hair and flashy taste in fashion whose latent Inhuman heritage gives him telekinetic powers that manifest as pink energy.
  • Cannot Keep a Secret: Patsy doesn't hesitate to show her secret identity to Ian much to She-Hulk's annoyance.
  • Caption Humor: Done often, from applying "AKA..." subtitles to people who don't have codenames to snarky asterisks ("Coney Island*! *-New York's premiernote  seaside carnival and amusement park! Don't eat the chili fries!").
  • Cardboard Box of Unemployment: After Patsy is laid off from Jen Walter's attorney office (and by extension, the storage closet she's been renting as a room), Patsy packs her items in a box and moves in with her new roommate Ian. He's surprised to see the box is so small, to which she admits there isn't much to pack since she's been off the grid for several years (due to being dragged to hell; it's a long story.)
  • Cat Smile: Patsy frequently has one on her face.
  • The Cavalry: She-Hulk, Ian, and Tom rescuing Hellcat & Co. from Casiolena.
  • Cerebus Rollercoaster: The book is generally very light, but it touches on some very dark themes in a very mature manner. In particular, the topic of abuse comes up, with both Patsy and Ian having been victims of it (Patsy from her mother, Ian from his ex-girlfriend), both of which are treated seriously and even serves as the motivation for Ian to stand up and finally become a superhero. As well as that, the Civil War II tie-in deals with She-Hulk's condition and everyone's attempts to deal with it in a very serious, heartbreaking manner, and Black Cat's Bad Boss tendencies are treated as horrifying by everyone who witnesses them. This doesn't stop it from having very frequent visual gags and jokes though.
  • Character Blog: Patsy's Twitter (don't mind the "unavailable content", it's just that Kate Leth autodeletes her tweets after 2 weeks).
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Patsy's two fangirls from issue 2, who reappear in the book signing in book 7, and are the villains of the last issue.
  • Christmas Creep: The February 2017 issue had 68 Jay Street celebrating "New Valentines Mas" for all the holidays they missed as danger sidetracked everyone.
  • Clark Kenting: Discussed, Jessica Jones says anyone could figure Patsy and Hellcat are the same in a week, but it took her only two days. And Hedy said that before she confirmed it by seeing Jessica's investigation, she was suspicious of that because Patsy "work[s] with an enormous green woman down the hall from a talking duck".
  • Cliffhanger: Every issue, complete with "To Be Continued".
  • Clue from Ed.: the series has it frequently given its reliance on Continuity Nods, especially to Hellcat's tenure in The Defenders in the 1970s. And given it's a comedic title, more often than not the thing mentioned is so weird that it warrants a "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer.
  • Continuity Nod: Many towards Hellcat's tenure with The Defenders, given that it brings Casiolena back and the fact Patsy once died is plot-relevant. And She-Hulk has to point out that despite Patsy not recognizing Jessica Jones, she went to her wedding and applied to babysit her daughter.
  • Converse with the Unconscious: Done once in a tie-in with Civil War II, as that had She-Hulk going comatose. And also with a variant given Belial does impersonate Jen at points.
  • Covers Always Lie:
    • The cover of issue 3 features Patsy working at a café with various villains and heroes as customers. The issue itself has Patsy exposes her Jerkass landlord as a thieving conman.
    • The cover of issue 4 shows Patsy fighting canine-themed thugs in a club. Besides a brief and offscreen Curb-Stomp Battle Patsy does very little fighting in this issue though she finally comes face to face with Casiolena.
    • The cover of issue 6 has Patsy and her friends along with Hercules in Atlantis-themed costumes and it seems like they're in a parade but in the story itself, Hercules doesn't even show up and most of the story is about fighting Arcade. Also, the book itself has a different artist. The writer admitted the cover is only to replicate the Coney Island parade, with the artist admitting that she just wanted to draw Herc despite being making it a lying cover.
    • The cover of issue 9 makes it seem like Patsy's two evil exes (Mad Dog and Son of Satan) are making a Villain Team-Up. While both are brought to go after Hellcat, it's a wholly separate deal for each.
    • The cover of issue 16 is most characters who appeared in the series in a pajama party. Three villains do return, though one in a flashback only.
  • Cranky Landlord: Mr. Ravina, the landlord of Ian and Patsy's apartment. To put it in perspective, most people move out in under a month because they either can't stand him or he kicks them out, he steals from his tenants when they aren't home, he holds on to security deposits, and he forces his son to use his powers to force some tenants out.
  • Creator Cameo: The cover of issue #1 has writer Kate Leth (tattoed blonde) and artist Brittney Williams (bespectacled black). In the comic itself, issue #7 has both getting autographs from the heroine, and the following one features them in a bar.
  • Curse Cut Short: Jessica reacting to Hedy with "What a—" cuts to She-Hulk saying "--glitch. A typo. Anything we can find to void this."
  • Cute Little Fangs: Patsy has it at times, possibly to invoke cat teeth along with the usual cuteness.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: When talking of her past exploits to Ian Patsy makes it a point that she needs to move forward from the past. justified given her ex-husband and being trapped in hell.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Lampshaded in the final issue after Patsy lets a pair of would-be teen supervillains off with a warning.
    Jubilee: How many bad guys have you actually sent to jail in the last year or so?
    Patsy: Not...many?
    Jubilee: You've got to quit befriending your villains.
  • Description Cut: The Previously on… narration on #2 goes "She'll be working retail (don't make that face, it'll be fine)". This is the opening panel that follows.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Daimon sending people to hellish dimensions.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: After finding out her mother's old comics of her are being republished Patsy's first response is to get a drink.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Patsy loses interest in the new landlord due to his bug-summoning powers.
  • Evil Counterpart: Patsy wants to help superpowered people by giving them jobs. Casiolena just wants to recruit them for her evil army.
  • Excited Episode Title!: Fitting well the comedic tone.
  • Fiery Redhead: Patsy can easily get fired up, excited, or enraged from time to time.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: The weird cold Patsy gets makes appear a monstrous version of her old plush tiger, Mr. Sniffles.
  • Funny Background Event: Any scenery detail, such as the books in Issue 1 ("Bear with Me", "Let's Be Brief") and the mall stores in Issue 2 ("Build a Moose", "Stuff with Cats In It"). Also, issue 1 has Tom and She-Hulk bonding at a table and then proceeding to arm wrestle, and issue seven has Luke Cage puzzled at what seems to be a Slash Fic featuring him ("Power x Fist") and Tom awkwardly taking the book from him.
  • Game Face: Sometimes played straight, other times subverted in that Patsy's anger leads to a Super-Deformed look instead.
  • Gangbangers: A lighter example comes from Felicia Hardy creating a criminal organization of her own called the Black Cats.
  • Gay Best Friend:
    • Ian is a bisexual version of this for Patsy.
    • Tom however is 100% gay.
  • Group Hug: Done during Issue 8 - thought Howard keeps out as "I'm not a hugger!".
  • Hurricane of Puns: So, so much given the comedic approach. Cat puns in particular, from "Don't let that cat out of the bag"note  to the collected editions being named "Hooked on a Feline", "Don't Stop Me-ow" and "Careless Whisker(s)".
  • I'm Not Afraid of You: When a demon claims to Patsy that he is to be feared, she lists off a bunch of other things that she fears more than him.
    Patsy Walker: You're... not. Not even close.
    Patsy: Are you serious? Death. Taxes. Cramps. The Babadook. Space aliens. Civil Wars. Climate change. Stalkers. Guys who call you ugly after you turn them down. Never being able to live up to what my best friend expected of me. Bed bugs. Hornets. Rent hikes. Dying alone. Not to mention LITERALLY EVERYTHING happening in politics right now! Have you seen the news?!
    Mr. Sniffles: ........................................ D:
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Mr. Ravina points out to Patsy she has no proof that he is responsible for the mysterious bedbugs in her apartment. She then goes to get help from Dr. Strange.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Discussed, as the Boss Subtitles for Arcade even question whether he's "Maybe too evil for our comic?"
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Homer Simpson shows up in the Beach Issue of Patsy Walker, a.k.a. Hellcat!, wearing his muumuu and "fat guy hat" from "King-Size Homer."
  • Love Redeems: Hedy and Belial become much better people after falling for each other.
  • Lighter and Softer: Patsy compared to her earlier adventures as Hellcat and the book itself is comedic and lighthearted. Leth even said that "Fun is the name of the game", and instead of "grim-dark, self-serious stuff" the series aims to combine real-life woes with Saturday Morning Cartoons.
  • Malfunction Malady: Being injured inside Bailey's Bag of Holding gives Patsy a weird cold where her sneeze becomes Reality Warping.
  • Mind over Matter: Ian's powers, which leads him to attempt the codename "Telekinian".
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Casiolena's manservant Poppo is the one who alerted She-Hulk and the others to Patsy's situation because he realized that Casiolena's plot was going to fold and he was generally sick of her abuse. He even reveals that he got banned from Asgard alongside her just because he's her servant, even though he hadn't even done anything.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: In the first arc Patsy is often alerted to illicit nearby uses of superpowers by her mystical senses. One issue has her visit Doctor Strange for a boost so she can pinpoint a particularly brief set of disturbances and he advises her on the possibility of honing these senses to their full potential.
  • Mythology Gag: The team-up of Patsy and Jessica Jones is due to them being best-friends\adopted sisters in the ''Jessica Jones'' Netflix series. In an amusing coincidence, Patsy's ringtone, Sleigh Bells' "Demons", is the same song Trish Walker listens to in the season finale.
  • Mundane Utility: Seeing Ian getting a job because his telekinesis will help carry books and boxes, Patsy's job agency is hoping to get more of those for powered people (i.e. Bailey's Bag of Holding is useful for movings).
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: The editor at times puts one when the dialogue references stuff such as "Aunt May once robbed Howard the Duck's office" and "Patsy's mom tried to save herself by selling her daughter to the Devil".
  • Old Shame: Invoked in-universe regarding the comics about Patsy's childhood.
  • Pest Controller: Federigo Ravina can psychically command and manipulate insects, using his ability to infest his father's tenants' homes with bedbugs.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: After Patsy beats Arcade's strength challenge we get this exchange.
    Arcade: You are so... tiny."
  • Psycho Ex-Husband: Hedy decides to bring Patsy's ones - Buzz Baxter aka Mad Dog and Daimon Hellstrom aka Son of Satan.
  • Put on a Bus: She-Hulk, due to the fact in Civil War II a battle with Thanos left her comatose and the fact she has gotten a new Darker and Edgier ongoing series out of it will likely make her scarce even after waking up.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Patsy and Hedy exchange blows in #7.
      • Patsy calls Hedy out for the shameless way she sucked up to Dorothy Walker when they were kids so Hedy could get a role in those comics. She describes how Dorothy tried to sell Patsy's soul to a demon to avoid dying and claims Hedy is well on her way to surpassing Dorothy as a spiteful crone.
      • Hedy, barely fazed, counters that she was there to comfort Dorothy every day of her illness and accuses Patsy of being responsible for Dorothy's desperation because she was running around being a superhero instead of helping her mom. Hedy caps it off by saying Dorothy described Hedy as "The daughter she never had." Patsy is left speechless and Jessica Jones is outraged on Patsy's behalf.
    • Ian gives one to his ex-girlfriend Zoe for what an abusive asshole she was, using him as a servant and treating him like garbage whenever he talked about his ex-boyfriends or wanting to dress more feminine or wanting to talk about his gender. He bluntly tells Zoe that after the case with Black Cat was finished he never wanted to see her again.
  • Retcon: Casiolena's Wild Hair went from fully blonde to skunk stripe.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: Casiolena gets plenty of this as a response.
  • Running Gag: She-Hulk getting her drinks spilled on her. Thankfully, the last time Ian catches the drink with his powers.
  • Shout-Out: When Ian questions Patsy sleeping in a closet, she replies "Um, so did the world's greatest wizard?".
  • Suspiciously Apropos Music / Stealth Pun: Patsy's ringtone for when Jubilee calls? "Firework".
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Casiolena's similarities to Enchantress are lampshaded to hell and back in issue 4.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Patsy's reaction to her retail job.
  • Twofer Token Minority: Ian who is Asian and bisexual.
  • Waxing Lyrical: In the first comic, Ian quotes Wicked and later does "Hey, I just met you and this is crazy...". In Issue 4, Tara Tam goes "Howard! What's the word, bird?"
  • We Used to Be Friends: Black Cat, who even co-starred with Hellcat in Marvel Divas, becomes a villain for a certain arc.
  • Witch with a Capital "B": She-Hulk arrives at Casiolena's hideout saying "Surprise, witch!"
  • Wolverine Publicity: Parodied in Issue #5, with a shameless plug of the one-page appearance that will build up to a Patsy Walker and Jessica Jones team-up.