I prepared for the 2016 comic book version of Hellcat by reading some of the old 2008 run (the only other exposure to Patsy Walker I’ve had before this was on the Jessica Jones Netflix series). In the old comics Patsy was enthusiastic if haphazard, bouncing around solving things using her mystic senses, some punching, and a lot of talking. The modern Hellcat of 2016 modernizes but builds on the old Patsy and the ground laid by Marvel’s She-Hulk, Squirrel Girl, and DC’s Gotham Academy.
The new Hellcat is written by Kate Leth (@kateleth), art is by Brittney L Williams (@AnotherBrittney), colors are by Megan Wilson, and letters by VC’s Joe Sabino & Clayton Cowles. Brittney Williams did the cover art for the first issue. Yes, the creative team are all women – YAY! The question you want answered most: is Hellcat any good?
I’m happy to say the answer is a resounding yes, Hellcat is really good, for so many reasons. Firstly the script: if you like the humor and the philosophy of Squirrel Girl then you’re going to love this. Not everything in comics is about punching or throwing cars at the moon. Hellcat solves issues through ideas, talking and, well, with just a little bit of punching; after all it is a super-book, but it’s far more down to earth than most.
I’ve read other reviews of Hellcat #1 that have said it’s ‘a clone ofSquirrel Girl, so what’s the point.’ This ignores the vast plethora of super books out there that are alike. Just how many Bat-titles are currently getting published? Fourteen I think just starring Batman, that doesn’t include the wider Bat-family or Bruce Wayne books.
So few books star a woman protagonist, even fewer are all ages appropriate, even fewer still are written and drawn by women. The one thing this book isn’t is a clone of anything else Marvel is currently publishing, it is similar to one other book on Marvel’s roster – Squirrel Girl. Dude-bro reviewers are writing off Hellcat as a Squirrel Girl clone while not calling out Batman’s current fourteen comics. Why? Because these books are women-centric and part of the new wave of women’s comics.