Patsy Walker A.K.A. Hellcat! #2 Review

Written by: Kate Leth

Art by: Brittney L. Williams

Publisher: Marvel

Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! is the type of book that I really enjoy – in moderation. By moderation, I don’t just mean reading only one or two books in this particular style, but the ability of the author to reign in the quirkiness. I do enjoy the off the wall, goofy, occasionally childish sense of humor and fun that Kate Leth employs here, and fortunately, she doesn’t go overboard with it. Hellcat certainly walks the line, and there are lines of dialogue that I found a bit grating. For the most part, Leth knows when to reign it in, and there are brief moments of respite where the book does get serious. A bit more would be nice, since sometimes it does feel like the book is just quirky for the sake of it. However, most of the time everything feels like it’s being done for a reason.

One of my worries going into this series was that Patsy wouldn’t be able to carry her own book. I know, I know – that sounds profoundly silly considering that Howard the Duck has been able to headline a series for a significant period of time. But hey, I said the same about that series. Eventually I’ll get used to it. Anyways, the debut issue started to assuage my fears, and while they aren’t entirely gone, this issue pretty much cements that there’s enough depth to the character to maintain the series. We haven’t necessarily seen it all yet – there’s a lot going on under the quirky exterior – but there are hints at it, for sure. Plus, the supporting cast act as solid foils for her, and their interactions seem to drive the book. This is true both of characters that are going to be recurring, as well as characters we’ll probably only ever meet in this issue.

To move away from the writing for a bit, Brittney L. Williams’ art is solid. It’s definitely a style that’s been popularized, so it does feel a bit uniform. However, it looks good so there’s no real reason to complain about it. Plus, it fits the tone of the book well, and is reminiscent of cartooning more than anything else. I do like the style, and Williams does a great job with motion here. The result is that the book feels fairly visceral. Furthermore, there are a lot of visual cues here – how Patsy is drawn changes based on context. I’m not sure if this was a directive from Leth, or if Williams got there on her own, but either way, it’s pretty great.

For the time being, I’m enjoying Hellcat. It’s fun and quirky, sometimes to its detriment, but never quite enough to make it not worth reading. The character is far more interesting than I ever would have suspected, and the supporting cast adds a cool dynamic to the book. That being said, it’s not exactly groundbreaking – it feels very, very familiar. While this isn’t a problem, as it’s not impacting my enjoyment of the book right now, I do fear that it could start to feel old.