Patsy Walker – To Hell and Back (and Back and Back…)

With a name like Hellcat, one would think that Patsy Walker is just tempting fate given that she resides in the Marvel Universe and there are a lot of devils established there who like to play games with people’s lives.  That being said, compared to most other heroes in her little corner of the world, Patsy has actually been to Hell quite a bit, far too much in fact most would say and it is a wonder that it has not messed her up more than it has. It speaks to her strength of character and it makes her not only one of the best heroes in the Marvel U but one that has to be admired. Who else can claim to have gone to that infernal realm time and again and be able to return and stay standing, aside from perhaps Ghost Rider or Dr. Strange?  Here is a look at those various trips Patsy has made to the lands down under (meaning Hell and not Australia).

In the beginning, just to give a little background on everyone’s favourite Hellcat, Patsy would lead a fairly normal life, at least until she became a teenage model. Later on, she would meet and fall in love with her childhood sweetheart, one Buzz Baxter, a relatively pedestrian man like her who would join the air force, leaving not only Patsy behind but a broken heart as well. Life would get a little better as she would join the Avengers and after that the Defenders and it is there where she would meet her second husband.

Daimon Hellstrom was the Son of Satan and at first, he was not too keen to be as such but things change with time and lucky for him, he would find himself losing his powers. Unlucky for Patsy, the worst would happen and no longer would she be that happy-go-lucky teenager, that Avenger, that Defender, that free-thinking, free-wheeling, independent young woman. Soon enough she would no longer count herself among the living and find herself trapped in Hell after trying to help Daimon reclaim his Darksoul so that he might be the man she once loved, going sort of mad and being released from mortal life from the villain called Deathurge.

This would be Patsy’s first stay in Hell thanks to Warren Ellis and Peter Gross. It would end up being as bad as most say though she would have company in the form of her friend Mockingbird as the two would battle it out against all manner of foe for the pleasure of Mephisto. Eventually, she would find herself rescued from that infernal domain by the Thunderbolts courtesy of Kurt Busiek, Fabian Nicieza and Norm Breyfogle and led by Hawkeye who thought he would be rescuing his wife, Mockingbird. Patsy and Bobbi would find themselves brought back for a hot minute thanks to the Grim Reaper before this but at this time, at least for Patsy, it was for keeps, much to the joy of the heroine. As time would pass, Patsy would become the hero she used to be, living her life to the fullest – at least so far as she was able.

Hell or the various Hells would come calling once again and this time she would team up with Mephisto of all people to stop Dormammu from his goal of ruling all of the various Hell dimensions. Luckily enough, he would let her go, after a fashion that is and not that he had any say in the matter. This would be an interesting trip thanks to Steve Englehart and Norm Breyfogle, one that would see Patsy not as a victim but more as the hero that everyone loves, using her quick wit just as much as her powers and gaining a new costume in the process.

Life would continue on and Patsy would go on to save many lives, defeat innumerable villains and take it all one day at a time. Just as life was headed on an upswing, Daimon would return and while she wanted nothing to do with him at this point, he offered to help a friend of hers in return for one more night as his wife. This, of course, would lead her straight to Hell again as chronicled by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Tonci Zonjic where she would find herself spending all of eternity with Hellstrom. Thankfully with a little help, she would end up back on Earth, still alive and free of her ex-husband but only with a caveat that would paint Daimon in a better light.

Patsy, seeing another soul in need of solace, would join up with Tony Stark, better known as Iron Man. Together, the two would go on many an adventure where he would be tested in a variety of ways and yet, she would stand by his side through all of it. Soon they would part, the romantic side of things getting to be a little much for Patsy but as fate would have it, Blackheart would enter the picture prompting the two to reunite – in Hell thanks to Christopher Cantwell and Ruairí Coleman. Teaming together, the two heroes would defeat the devil, though it would be Patsy who would do the heavy lifting.

At this point in the life of Patsy Walker, readers have to wonder a number of things like what is next for the hero and how many more times will she find herself in the realm infernal before she makes it a permanent stay. It is only a matter of time before she is unable or perhaps even unwilling to come back. Experiences change people as most can attest and with Patsy having been to Hell so many times, seeing the horrors contained within, trafficking with devils and the like, one has to assume that she is not the same Patsy she used to be so long ago, that teenage girl without a worry in the world. Many have stamped and made their mark upon the heroine and while she has never been as prominent a player as she was sixty years ago in the Marvel Universe, one cannot doubt that whenever she makes the page, she brings a presence that one cannot ignore. It is hopeful that she avoids what seems like a fate of fire and brimstone and if those that join her in the future to chronicle her exploits are kind, she will do just that.

For more Hellish posts click the links below:

Between The Pages Blog – Hostess Comic Book Ads Were Hot Stuff

Magazines and Monsters: Bonus Episode! – Marvel Spotlight 12 & 13 with Charlton Hero!

Source Material Comics Podcast – Batman/Punisher “Lake of Fire” – Evan Bevins and Jesse Starcher

Mark Radulich – Alternative Commentary on Hell Comes to Frogtown

Dave’s Comics Blog – Superman: The Blaze/ Satanus War

In My Not So Humble Opinion – Savage Dragon Goes To Hell

Asterisk 51 Blog – Sunday school with… Hellboy?!?!?

Comics Comics Comics Blog – The Son of Satan and the Preacher’s Kids – Will looks at Son of Satan and the Defenders.

Superhero Satellite – Spider-Ham in the World of Licensing Hell!

Relatively Geeky Presents #43: Afterlife with Archie Issues 1-6

News Print Commando – Rex Zombie Killer

6 replies »

  1. I had no idea this character was so messed up! Wow. I have missed put on waaaaayyyyyy too much!
    Great read Geoff!! A real eye opener for me!!
    I never associated Norm Breyfogle with Patsy and the gang.

    Good stuff man!

    Liked by 1 person

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