It’s with mixed emotions that I approach Marvel’s new Hellcat series. On one hand, it’s great to see Patsy Walker riding high on her recent live-action debut and being given a bigger spotlight. On the other hand, the pain of the premature cancellation of Charles Soule and Javier Pulido’s She-Hulk still smarts. If She-Hulk can’t support an ongoing series, what hope does Hellcat have? That’s very much a question a pertinent question after reading Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat! #1. This issue is entertaining, for sure, but it doesn’t do much to establish a compelling new status quo or distinguish itself alongside a growing lineup of comedic superhero books from Marvel.
Those hoping for another series in the vein of Howard the Duck and The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl will be pleased with what this first issue has. The series may be banking on the character’s increased exposure from the Jessica Jones Netflix series, but thankfully it doesn’t take any storytelling cues from that show. The emphasis here is on Patsy trying to rebuild her life after losing her job, making some new friends and discovering a startling revelation about her past. As it should be, Leth pays as much attention to Patsy’s supermodel “career” as she does her superhero one. This issue also devotes a great deal of energy to fleshing out the supporting cast, which combines familiar faces and newcomers into one solid mix.