Written by: Christopher Cantwell
Art by: Alex Lins
Colors by: K.J. Díaz
Letters by: VC’s Ariana Maher
Cover art by: Pere Pérez, Marte Gracia
Cover price: $4.99
Release date: March 15, 2023
Hellcat #1 catches up with Patsy Walker after being arrested for the brutal murder of her current boyfriend. Unfortunately, Patsy’s memories are a jumble, and the method of death is… unusual.
Is It Good?
Hellcat #1 isn’t a terrible comic by any stretch, which is a surprise given how poorly Christopher Cantwell handled her character in the recent Iron Man run. In fact, there’s a decent little mystery at the heart of this issue that has nothing to do with Iron Man, cosmic events, or Patsy’s previously insufferable, irascible personality under Cantwell. Hellcat #1 isn’t a perfect first issue, but it’s not terrible.
We first catch up with Patsy Walker, aka Hellcat, in the back of a police car. She’s been arrested for her boyfriend’s murder at the scene of the crime. Through a mixture of now moments and flashbacks, readers get a solid primer on Patsy’s history with her father, her high school friend Hedy, and how Patsy came to know the deceased.
As the issue progresses, Patsy (along with the readers) becomes convinced there’s something strange going on as her boyfriend, Spalding Grantham, died by unnatural violence, and a clue left at the murder scene points to the involvement of Rick Sheridan, aka Sleepwalker.
Cantwell’s dialog is solid, the cast of supporting characters is eclectic enough to be interesting, and the murder at the heart of the plot is curious enough to want to know more. In terms of writing, the basic boxes get checked.
Where this issue falters is in the pacing. It’s dishwater dull. The entire book is a narrated story told in Patsy’s voice as if she’s writing a letter to her dead boyfriend. Rather than let Lins and Diaz tell part of the story through the action, the result is an illustrated diary entry, which has interesting elements, but is not an engaging comic.
How’s the art? It’s fine. Lins’s stylistic approach relies on standard-looking figures with exaggerated anatomy in certain spots. For example, Hellcat looks like an average person in a costume with grotesquely oversized paws for hands. In addition, Lins is very adept at making characters, particularly Patsy, look worn out and saggy. Imagine a depressed cat after it gets doused with a bucket of water, and that’s Hellcat. In fairness, the art has its charm, but there’s a glum sadsack feel to the entire book.
About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.
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Hellcat #1 starts a new adventure for Patsy Walker when she’s arrested for the brutal murder of her boyfriend. The bits and pieces of Patsy’s life make for a good jumping-on point, and the murder mystery is set up well, but the pacing is dull, and the stylized art makes Patsy look like a glum sadsack.