So the new Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat comic is pretty damn fantastic. One thing to note, it is nothing like Jessica Jones where the character recently gained extra prominence. That was a dark drama full of the worst of humanity crushing the rest into its dregs. Violent, sexual, upsetting and everything that Patsy Walker is not. There is hardly any violence, little or no threat, and mostly embarrassment, attitude and optimism.
But that's not to say that Patsy Walker is not a comic for grown ups. It just happens to be an all ages comic for grown ups. And it's really fun.
It fits into the same kind of space as Damage Control did, skirting around the edges of the rest of the Marvel universe, trying to make it make some kind of sense. In this case, a role for those with powers that doesn't make them superheroes or super villains, just really useful and fighting prejudice against them.
It always struck me why more superpowered didn't work in construction, as courier services, as interrogators, as expert witnesses. This is the comic that has asked the same question and has Pasty trying to find the answer. It may also touch on the issue of how refugees are often denied the right to work while their cases are being considered by the country they have fled to, leading to them having to work illegally and being expelled as a result.
No, I wasn't expecting to start thinking about that issue while reading this comic book either.
Not that Patsy hasn't seen stuff. She has. This does't whitewash away the Damon Hellstrom days.
And then there's the comics about her teen love life her mother used to write, coming back to haunt her with a retro revival.
But this is a new way of dealing with things. Like deciding to talk to the supervillain rather than fight them, and fight another way of resolving matters. Using the technique of super deforming the characters to express a childish emotion of glee, rage or retribution.
And yes, Patsy having a gay roommate. This is Kate Leth writing after all and as she says, when you hire her, you know who she is. And I thought I did. I was expecting to enjoy this comic, as I have much of her other work.
I guess I just wasn't expecting to enjoy it quite this much.
I'm probably not the target market for this comic. But I don't really care…
Comics courtesy of Orbital Comics, London, currently showcasing the work of the artists involved with Avery Hill, a publishing company based in South London.