Art by Stuart Immonen.
|First appearance||As Patsy Walker:
Miss America Magazine #2 (Nov. 1944)
The Avengers #144 (Feb. 1976)
|Created by||As Patsy Walker:
Otto Binder (writer)
Ruth Atkinson (artist)
Steve Englehart (writer)
George Pérez (artist)
|Alter ego||Patricia "Patsy" Walker|
Legion of the Unliving
|Abilities||Well-trained martial artist and gymnast
Force field generation
Wrist-mounted retractable claws and grappling hooks
Hellcat (Patricia "Patsy" Walker) is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. She premiered as the star of a teen romantic-comedy series and was later integrated into Marvel superhero franchises such as the Avengers and the Defenders.
Created by Otto Binder and Ruth Atkinson, Patsy Walker first appeared in Miss America Magazine #2 (Nov. 1944), published by Marvel precursor Timely Comics, and became Hellcat in The Avengers #144 (Feb. 1976).
Created by writer Otto Binder and artist Ruth Atkinson, Patsy Walker first appeared in Miss America Magazine #2 (cover-dated Nov. 1944), published by Marvel precursor Timely Comics. Redheaded Patsy Walker, her parents Stanley and Betty, her boyfriend Robert "Buzz" Baxter, and her raven-haired friendly rival Hedy Wolfe appeared from the 1940s through 1967 in issues of Miss America, Teen Comics, Girls' Life, and the namesake teen-humor series Patsy Walker and its spin-offs: Patsy and Hedy, Patsy and Her Pals, and the single-issue A Date with Patsy. Attesting to its quiet popularity, Patsy Walker (along with Millie the Model and Kid Colt, Outlaw) was among the very few titles published continuously by Marvel from the 1940s Golden Age of Comic Books, through Marvel's 1950s iteration as Atlas Comics, and into the 1960s Silver Age of Comic Books.
Future Mad Magazine cartoonist and "Fold-In" creator Al Jaffee wrote and drew most of the early issues, several of which included Mad founding editor Harvey Kurtzman's highly stylized "Hey Look!" one-page humor strips. Jaffee was succeeded by Al Hartley, who would go on to Archie Comics and produce many Christian comic books starring Archie characters and others. Morris Weiss drew Patsy and Her Pals. Millie (the Model) Collins made guest appearances in #92 and 98.
Following Patsy's high-school graduation, in issue #116 (Aug. 1964), the title switched from humor to become a young career-gal romantic adventure. Patsy Walker lasted through issue #124 (Dec. 1965), with Patsy and Hedy outlasting it to its own #110 (Feb. 1967).
Patsy and Hedy made a cameo appearance in Fantastic Four Annual #3 (1965), establishing them in the Marvel Universe. The superhero-team comic The Defenders #89 (Nov. 1980) further established that the earlier stories were fictional works published within the fictional Marvel Universe itself, and written by Patsy's mother Dorothy Walker though based upon Patsy's own life and friends. The Patsy Walker profile in Marvel Legacy: The 1960s Handbook #1 (2006) establishes that Walker indeed experienced many of the events from these stories.
struck my fan's eye by including her in the Marvel Universe. ...I thought it would be cool to bring her in as a real character, with things to do. Part of my 'training' as a Marvel writer was writing romance stories and Westerns, but Patsy [Walker] was defunct as a comic by the time I got there.... Still, as a fan, I had collected everything Marvel, including Patsy Walker and Patsy and Hedy ... so I knew them as characters....
Because the Beast feature was dropped from Amazing Adventures just three issues later, the storyline with Patsy Walker was temporarily abandoned. Walker was reintroduced in The Avengers #141 (Nov. 1975), having resumed her maiden name of Walker, and accompanied the Avengers on a couple of adventures. Shortly thereafter in The Avengers #144 (Feb. 1976), she adopted the name Hellcat, taking on superheroine Greer Grant Nelson's costume from her discontinued identity as The Cat. The name "Hellcat" itself had originally been proposed for Nelson. The suit's look was later adapted slightly.
Recalled Englehart in 2010,
I wasn't real interested in the Cat. I read the books and they seemed like pandering, frankly — not very good stories written to appeal to a demographic. Once [Patsy] entered the [Marvel Universe], met the Beast, confronted her husband — all that began to change the Patsy I had inherited to someone a little more savvy. By the time she became the Hellcat, she could stand back far enough to see the ironies in her taking over a feminist creation. But she was really more about jumping into the superhero pool than standing back.... She didn't muse on the irony; she wanted to be a heroine.
Hellcat joined the superhero team The Defenders in issue #44 (Feb. 1977). After many adventures with the group, she met the supernatural adventurer Daimon Hellstrom, the Son of Satan, in The Defenders #92 (Feb. 1981). They marry in The Defenders #125 and become husband-and-wife occult investigators, but Hellstrom's demonic nature asserts itself, and Walker is driven first mad and then, in Hellstorm: Prince of Lies #14 (May 1994), to suicide. Through Hellstrom's manipulation of the superhero Hawkeye, she was resurrected, in Thunderbolts 2000, a summer Annual of the superhero-team comic Thunderbolts, and returned to Earth with new abilities acquired while in Hell. (The story which began in Thunderbolts 2000 concluded in Avengers 2000.) A three-issue Hellcat (Sept. – Nov. 2000) series takes place immediately following the events in the Thunderbolts and Avengers 2000 Annuals. Briefly adopting a new costume and then returning to her traditional yellow outfit, she rejoined the Defenders in a short-lived revival series, The Defenders vol. 2, #1–12 (March 2001 – Feb. 2002).
After appearing in occasional guest roles, Hellcat had starring roles between 2007 and 2009 thanks to artist Stuart Immonen and his writer wife Kathryn. With the impending relaunch of Marvel Comics Presents, Stuart was asked by editor Nick Lowe if he wanted to do a Hellcat story, which was spread across the title's first four issues (Sept. – Dec. 2007). Marvel remained open for Hellcat miniseries, and out of what Kathryn first conceived as a "Hellcat Christmas Special", inspired by endurance car races in Mongolia and research on the Inuit, came the five part series Patsy Walker: Hellcat (Sept. 2008 – Feb. 2009), drawn by David Lafuente with covers by Stuart. A tie-in to the Avengers 50 State Initiative, it features Hellcat being assigned to watch over Alaska. Following this, she was an ensemble star and narrator, alongside the superheroines Firestar, Black Cat, and Photon, in the miniseries Marvel Divas #1–4 (Sept.-Dec. 2009), which writers Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Tonci Zonjic had pitched it to Marvel editors as "Sex and the City in the Marvel Universe".
Walker became part of All-New Marvel NOW! in She-Hulk #1, when Jennifer Walters starts her own law firm. Walters hires Patsy as her private investigator, who uses her Hellcat alias on assignments.
The All-New, All-Different Marvel line in 2015 led to a new ongoing Patsy Walker title, Patsy Walker A.K.A. Hellcat!. Written by Kate Leth and drawn by Brittney Williams, it attempts to combine the romance and superhero comics with a more comedic approach, which Leth compared to a Saturday-morning cartoon. In it, Walker tries to establish a job agency for superpowered people following her dismissal by She-Hulk, and also recover the rights to old Patsy Walker comics which have been republished by Hedy. In February 2017, Leth announced that the series would be ending that April with its 17th issue. She praised Marvel for "giv[ing] us space to wrap up the story exactly how we wanted in 3 volumes."
Fictional character biography
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After growing up in suburban Centerville, graduating high school and marrying high-school sweetheart Robert "Buzz" Baxter, Patsy Walker becomes an assistant to scientist Hank McCoy, the mutant superhero the Beast, who at that time was on hiatus from the X-Men. Estranged from her husband, now a U.S. Air Force colonel, Walker befriends McCoy, and, desiring to become a superhero, accompanied McCoy on an adventure with the superhero team the Avengers. She adopts an ability-enhancing costume that formerly belonged to Greer Grant Nelson, the former masked adventuress the Cat, and Walker takes on the name Hellcat.
After having used her natural athletic abilities and good instincts to rescue the Avengers, Walker is offered membership in the team. The cosmic adventurer Moondragon persuades her to decline and instead accompany Moondragon to Saturn's moon Titan for training in psychic ability and advanced martial arts. Walker's training is abbreviated when she returns to Earth to assist the supernatural hero Doctor Strange, and then join the superhero team the Defenders. Moondragon revokes her psychic abilities, citing Walker's ineffective use of them as the cause.[volume & issue needed]
She meets her future husband Daimon Hellstrom, the Son of Satan, during the course of her Defenders adventuring. After learning that her mother had promised her soul to Satan, and briefly being lied to by the Devil that he was her father, Walker reunites with her real father and marries Hellstrom. The two then retire from superheroics. Ultimately, Hellstrom's demonic inheritance took possession of him and drove Walker insane. Institutionalized, she was driven to suicide by the otherworldly being Deathurge.
Trapped in Hell, Walker's spirit is used in a series of gladiatorial-like combat scenarios. There, she learns to develop and use her psychic powers. Hellstrom tricks the archer superhero Hawkeye into returning her spirit to Earth; Hawkeye believes he is retrieving his presumed-dead wife, Mockingbird, from the demonic lord Mephisto's realm. Resurrected and back on Earth, Walker retains the powers she developed in Hell. Now able to manifest a costume at will, Walker adopts a reversed version of the Cat costume, with a blue cat-suit and cowl with yellow gloves and boots.[volume & issue needed] In this new guise, and once again a member of the Defenders, Hellcat focuses on combating occult evils, notably Nicholas Scratch, who had based himself in her hometown of Centerville,[volume & issue needed] and the otherdimensional ruler Dormammu.[volume & issue needed]
During the Civil War storyline, Hellcat willingly registers. She serves as one of the young superheroes' instructors at Camp Hammond. She was then assigned as the Avengers 50 State Initiative official superhero for Alaska, but eventually returned to New York City. Hellcat develops and maintains a deep friendship with the superheroes Firestar, Black Cat and Monica Rambeau. Part of this is their support of Firestar, who develops and then survives breast cancer.
Hellcat is later seen with She-Hulk and facing personal problems. After a night of heavy drinking and partying, Hellcat and She-Hulk invade a warehouse that A.I.M. was using as a hideout and defeat two agents wearing high tech suits. She-Hulk then hires Hellcat as her private investigator to help with her economical situation. She then helps She-Hulk in protecting Kristoff Vernard, the son of Doctor Doom, who was trying to defect to the US. She's later seen talking with Tigra about a case involving a lawsuit but ends up fighting her when she mentions the plaintiff's name, George Saywitz. After recovering in a hospital, she helps She-Hulk and Hank Pym in a recovery mission to save Reza, the partner of inventor Rufus Randall, to settle an argument between them over a device known as the Shrinko, which they were planning to sell to Pym. They later wind up helping Steve Rogers, the original Captain America, with a lawsuit involving a murder that happened in 1940.
As part of the All-New, All-Different Marvel, She-Hulk eventually gets unable to afford Hellcat as an investigator and fires her friend, which also forces Walker to move out of Walters' office building (the same place where Howard the Duck works). Walker moves to the Brooklyn apartment of Ian, an Inhuman who she met when he used his powers to steal from an armored truck. Ian gets a job with Walker's old friend Tom Hale (known as "Tubs" in the romance comics) and inspires her to open a work agency for other superpowered people. Walker also learns that old rival Hedy Wolfe has republished the Patsy Walker comics (she got the rights from Walker's late mother Dorothy), to her chagrin, particularly given nostalgia made them successful. With the help of She-Hulk and Jessica Jones, Walker gets the rights back by proving Dorothy was sedated and thus not in full mental capacities when she signed the comics off to Hedy, making it a void contract.
During the Civil War II storyline, Patsy Walker hears about what happened to She-Hulk. Miss America does allow Patsy Walker to visit She-Hulk who is in a coma at the Triskelion. After the visit, Patsy Walker tells Howard the Duck and the other tenants about She-Hulk's current condition, and moves her offices to where Jennifer operated as a lawyer.
Afterwards, Hedy dupes Patsy's ex-husbands Mad-Dog and Daimon Hellstrom into fighting her. Daimon sends Patsy to a dimension ruled by the demon Belial, who tries to bring Hellcat to his side. Patsy then confronts her former friend Black Cat, now leading a gang of criminals. Patsy suddenly catches a cold that causes her to alter reality when she sneezes. After several disasters, Patsy accidentally makes a building disappear. Hedy then calls Patsy and reveals that she's dating the demon Belial, who helps Patsy overcome her grief over She-Hulk and cures her of the cold. Patsy then receives a check for a big amount of money from She-Hulk and takes Ian, Tom and Jubilee to the mall. While shopping, they encounter two teenage girls, pretending to be supervillains, who are revealed to be Patsy's biggest fans. Ian then figures out that the girls like each other and resolves their dispute. After that, Patsy expresses joy of how her life has changed.
Powers and abilities
Hellcat can sense mystical phenomena or those items or persons touched by mystical energy. She can use a force field that deflects mystical attacks and is able to summon her costume at will. She also possesses retractable claws and grappling hooks on her wrists. Patsy is also a well-trained martial artist and gymnast, having been taught by Captain America, Beast and Moondragon.
Patsy Walker has appeared in Marvel Comics' Multiverse Ultimate Marvel imprint. In Ultimate Spider-Man, she first appears as a spokeswoman for a security firm (#11), then as a swimsuit model for Maxim magazine (#14), a talk show hostess, presenting a biography on Doctor Strange (#70), and finally interviewing Norman Osborn (#113). In addition she appeared in Ultimate Marvel Team-up, hosting an instructional video for the Baxter Building, although this issue is not necessarily canonical.[volume & issue needed] Patsy assumes her Hellcat identity in Ultimates and was a founding member of the ill-fated Defenders. Additionally, Kitty Pryde has (within the pages of Ultimate Spider-Man) constructed a costume visually similar to the 616 Hellcat's, differing in color and mask design only. Walker later shows up in Ultimate Comics: New Ultimates, apparently powered up from a mysterious source.
In the Heroes Reborn universe, Hellcat appears as a member of the Avengers. This version of the character sports a more bestial, "werecat" appearance, similar to Tigra. Envious of Scarlet Witch's beauty, she is manipulated by Loki into siding with Hawkeye against the rest of the team. Patsy takes possession of Scarlet Witch's body, but is killed after Agatha Harkness forcibly expels her essence.
In other media
- Patricia "Trish" Walker is a character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Netflix shows, portrayed by Rachael Taylor as an adult and by Catherine Blades as a teenager. She is the former child star of the television series It's Patsy and is the adoptive sister and best friend of Jessica Jones. Trish's mother Dorothy abused and exploited her, and Trish struggled with addictions and eating disorders as a teenager. Jessica was adopted by Dorothy to improve Trish's image after Jessica's family died, and while Jessica and Trish were initially wary of one another they quickly became each other's support system. Trish became emancipated from her mother while still a minor and started her own radio talk show Trish Talk. She also convinces Jessica to use her powers for heroism.
- Trish is the secondary lead of Jessica Jones. When Kilgrave shows up in Jessica's life again, Trish offers Jessica support, but Jessica is reluctant to see Trish get hurt. It is shown that Trish has been privately training in Krav Maga and has a state-of-the-art security system installed in her apartment. When Trish insults Kilgrave on her show, Kilgrave retaliates by sending Will Simpson to her apartment to kill her, but Jessica is able to fight him off. Out of guilt, Simpson later apologizes to Trish and offers her an unregistered gun for protection, and the two quickly become lovers, much to Jessica's dismay. Jessica, Trish, and Simpson later work out a plan to capture Kilgrave and transport him to a hermetically sealed room, but the plan fails as they are attacked by a hired security firm that snatch Kilgrave back from them. After Kilgrave kills Jessica's neighbor Ruben by making him cut his throat in Jessica's bed, Malcolm and Trish are tasked with covering up the crime. Jessica, Trish and Simpson later manage to capture Kilgrave after Jessica spends a day with him in her childhood house to get him to lower his guard, but he escapes after killing his mother, in the process ordering Trish to shoot herself in the head. Trish tries to shoot herself with the gun Simpson gave her, but she is out of bullets and Jessica is only able to break Kilgrave's control by putting a shell casing in her mouth. Trish is horrified by what she did and later is tasked with guarding Kilgrave's father. She also has a falling out with Simpson after he is injured in an explosion and begins taking combat enhancers that make him mentally unstable. Trish and Jessica later fight Simpson and defeat him after he kills two men in Trish's apartment and then tries to kill Jessica in her apartment, and later work together to defeat Kilgrave at the ferry terminal and kill him.
- Trish makes a voiceover cameo in season 1 of Luke Cage during the episode "Suckas Need Bodyguards.", fielding calls from her viewers on their opinions on Luke Cage's vigilante activities in Harlem while expressing her support for Luke's actions.
- Trish is a recurring character in The Defenders. She is first introduced with Jessica stopping her car from getting towed, and expresses concern about how Jessica is not treating Kilgrave's death as a major triumph. After an artificial earthquake triggered by the Hand rocks the city, Trish tries to report on what happened only to be silenced by her bosses, who the Hand are paying to cover things up. She also expresses a desire to shift Trish Talk to become more about investigative reporting. When the Hand begin going after the heroes and their loved ones, Murakami tries to kill Trish, but Jessica and Matt Murdock manage to drive him off. While sheltering with Malcolm in Misty Knight's precinct, Trish forms a bond with Karen Page as they reminisce over their careers as journalists and their complicated relationships with Jessica and Matt.
- Hellcat is featured in several cards in the mobile game, Marvel: War of Heroes.
- Hellcat appears in Lego Marvel's Avengers.
- Hellcat is the reward hero of PVP season 28 in the Facebook game Marvel: Avengers Alliance.
- Hellcat became available to recruit during the Hell's Kitchen event in the Android and iOS game Marvel Avengers Academy, voiced by Charlotte Ann.
- Hellcat is a playable character in the mobile game Marvel: Future Fight.
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- DeAngelo, Daniel (July 2013). "The Not-Ready-For-Super-Team Players: A History of the Defenders". Back Issue!. TwoMorrows Publishing (65): 9.
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- Amazing Adventures, Vol 2. #13–15 (1972)
- The Avengers #141 (Nov. 1975)
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- The Avengers #150 (Aug. 1976)
- The Avengers #151 (Sep. 1976)
- The Defenders #44–46 (1977)
- The Defenders #92 (May 1981)
- The Defenders #95 (August 1981)
- The Defenders #111 (September 1982)
- The Defenders #125 (November 1983)
- Hellstorm: Prince of Lies #1–14 (1993)
- Thunderbolts Annual 2000 (May 2000)
- She-Hulk Vol 2 #10
- Avengers: The Initiative #10
- Patsy Walker: Hellcat #1–5
- Marvel Divas #1–4
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- Patsy Walker A.K.A. Hellcat! #11–14
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- Petrarca, David (director); Hilly Hicks Jr. (writer) (November 20, 2015). "AKA 99 Friends". Marvel's Jessica Jones. Season 1. Episode 4. Netflix.
- Surjik, Stephen (director); Dana Baratta (writer) (November 20, 2015). "AKA The Sandwich Saved Me". Marvel's Jessica Jones. Season 1. Episode 5. Netflix.
- Jones, Simon Cellan (director); Scott Reynolds (writer) (November 20, 2015). "AKA WWJD?". Marvel's Jessica Jones. Season 1. Episode 8. Netflix.
- Dahl, John (director); Jamie King & Dana Baratta (writer) (November 20, 2015). "AKA Sin Bin". Marvel's Jessica Jones. Season 1. Episode 9. Netflix.
- Rodriguez, Rosemary (director); Dana Baratta & Micah Schraft (writer) (November 20, 2015). "AKA 1,000 Cuts". Marvel's Jessica Jones. Season 1. Episode 10. Netflix.
- Rymer, Michael (director); Scott Reynolds & Melissa Rosenberg (story); Jamie King & Scott Reynolds (writer) (November 20, 2015). "AKA Smile". Marvel's Jessica Jones. Season 1. Episode 13. Netflix.
- Miller, Sam (director); Nathan Louis Jackson (writer) (September 30, 2016). "Suckas Need Bodyguards". Marvel's Luke Cage. Season 1. Episode 6. Netflix.
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- Briesewitz, Uta (director); Lauren Schmidt Hissrich & Douglas Petrie & Marco Ramirez (writer) (August 18, 2017). "Take Shelter". Marvel's The Defenders. Season 1. Episode 5. Netflix.
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