Patsy Walker: Needless Character Analysis
We’re still in the middle of watching Jessica Jones on Netflix. Some of you may have finished already, but day jobs and family obligations mean that we’re only half-way through. In the meantime, we’re going to share a little comic book background about one of the series’ supporting characters, Patsy Walker. For those of you interested in it, the villain of Jessica Jones, the Purple Man, has also had a Needless Character Analysis.
Patsy was created in 1944 by comics pioneer Ruth Atkinson, who also created Millie the Model. Drawn mostly by Al Jaffe and Al Hartley, she was continuously published until Marvel Comics’ Silver Age. Her comics were initially humorous teenager-themed stories, similar in tone to Archie. Her supporting cast consisted of her boyfriend Buzz Baxter and her friend and rival Hedy Wolfe. Later the stories moved to career-gal romance comics before ceasing publication.
When she finally introduced fully into the mainstream Marvel Universe, writer Steve Engleheart put her into an Avengers storyline where she evolved into a super-heroine. She met the Beast, divorced her husband Buzz Baxter, and eventually donned Tigra’s old costume from her time as the Cat, and took the name Hellcat. She did not join the Avengers, instead training for a short time with Moondragon before joining the Defenders.
Through the Defenders, she met and married Daimon Hellstrom, but his demonic influence began to drive her insane before driving her to kill herself. Hellstrom worked to ressurect her, but their marriage could not be saved, and she went on to resume her solo career. She briefly joined a reunited Defenders and worked in Alaska as part of Iron Man’s 50 State Avengers Initiative. Most recently, she has worked as a private investigator for Jennifer Walters, aka She-Hulk.
Aside from her skilled agility and martial arts training under Moondragon and Captain America, Patsy Walker has an ability to sense mystical energy and those that have been affected by it. Her costume contains retractable claws and grappling hooks.
In addition to the Beast and She-Hulk, Patsy has close relationships with Firestar, Black Cat and Monica Rambeau. While most of her pre-Silver Age stories are officially considered fiction written by her mother, most of them actually did happen to Patsy.
She has a new series debuting the Wednesday before Christmas, titled Patsy Walker, aka Hellcat. It’s written by Kate Leth and drawn by Brittany Williams. Expect more on that closer to when it comes out.