Hellcat. Artists: Herb Trimpe and Jack Abel.

HELLCAT

Medium: Comic books
Published by: Marvel Comics
First Appeared: 1976
Creators: Steve Englehart (writer) and George Pérez (artist)
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When Marvel Comics converted almost completely to superheroes, starting in the 1960s, they didn't mess around. In 1972, Patsy Walker, formerly of their teenage humor line and …

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… far removed from superheroes, became a supporting character to The Beast, formerly of The X-Men and very much a superhero. A few years later, she became even more thorougly ensconced in her new genre by becoming a superhero herself.

Shortly after The Beast joined The Avengers, Patsy (now divorced from the guy who'd been her love interest during her 23 years as a teenager, 1944-67) came by to remind him of an old promise to teach her how to be a superhero. While apprenticing in the 144th issue (February, 1976), she came across an abandoned superhero suit, formerly owned by The Cat (who by then was calling herself Tigra), that turned out to be just her size. That's when she started calling herself "Hellcat".

The outfit was equipped with some minor weaponry, but accounts differ as to whether or not its enhancement of her strength and agility was just her imagination. She was turned down for membership in the club, but a minor member, Moondragon, took her off to Saturn's moon, Titan (where Moondragon hailed from), for training. Hellcat came back fully skilled in the superhero arts, and with newly-added psionic powers.

All this was written by Steve Englehart (Batman, Master of Kung Fu) and drawn by George Pérez (Teen Titans, Wonder Woman). But like most minor denizens of the Marvel Universe, she's been handled by dozens of creators over the years.

Instead of joining The Avengers upon her return, she opted for a less structured outfit, The Defenders. There, she met, and later married, Daimon Hellstrom, the Son of Satan. Still later, as if there were any ties yet unsevered to her origins in high school hijinx, it turned out she had Satannic ancestry of her own. The Hellstroms gave up the superhero life and went into the occult investigating business.

Since then, she's had a mini-series or two, plus a lot of guest appearances, and has undergone the usual indignities of a superhero without a regular series. She dumped Daimon, died, went to Hell, was rescued by Hawkeye and his current team, The Thunderbolts, etc. etc. She's currently back in the superhero game, specializing in demons.

— DDM

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Text ©2005 Donald D. Markstein. Art © Marvel Comics.