Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Character Obscura: Hellcat

Admittedly, Hellcat isn't that obscure. Hellcat was the costumed identity of Patsy Walker, a long running teen humor series that ran in the 1950s at Marvel. When Patsy grew up, she married her high school sweetheart, Buzz Baxter, who promptly joined the Air Force. Patsy followed her husband from assignment to assignment, until he was posted as a guard at a Brand Industries facility that also employed Henry McCoy, the X-Men’s Beast. McCoy was working undercover to find a cure for his then-new “furry Beast” condition, but Walker found him out. Bored with her life, and with her marriage on the rocks, she tried to blackmail McCoy into helping her become a superhero. Eventually, she found the Hellcat costume, and began her career by helping the Avengers with their search for the Serpent Crown. She later joined the Defenders and was a key member for years before leaving with Daimon Hellstrom, whom she married.

Really, no one should have to be told that it’s a bad idea to marry the Son of Satan, but Patsy did, and when he went all dark and gothy, she went all mad and suicide-y. Whoever thinks Hellcat and suicide are a good mix oughtta have their head examined! She was eventually rescued from Hell by the Avengers, and soon resumed her hero career. I’ve always liked Hellcat, and really didn’t like seeing her dragged around as she was for a few years there. I’m glad she’s back. She’s the rare Marvel heroine that has no ties to any male counterpart, having acquired the Cat costume that Greer Nelson abandoned when she became Tigra.

FUN FACT: Patsy’s husband, Buzz, went on to become her rabid archenemy, Mad Dog!


2 comments:

Darci said...

Brian,
You wrote: 'She’s the rare Marvel heroine that has no ties to any male counterpart, having acquired the Cat costume that Greer Nelson abandoned when she became Tigra."

The outfit Patsy, Captain America, and Iron Man found at Brand Industries on Long Island was similar to the Cat's, but not the same. For example, the Cat uniforms had a "cat's paw' emblem on the chest, whereas the Hellcat costume did not. We could conject that Brand heard the same rumors that Iron Man recalled ("The rumor in financial circles was a crackpot named Donalbain created the costume ... and its powers ... for his own purposes") and decided to try making their own. In that case, we can see why Brand's would be different.
Hope this helps,
Darci
darci386@yahoo.com

Brian Hughes said...

Now that you mention it, she did have an emblem, didn't she? Thanks for the information!