The latest addition to “A.K.A. Jessica Jones” is Rachael Taylor, announced Thursday by Marvel Television to be joining the Netflix series in the role of Trish Walker. She’ll be Jessica Jones’ best friend on the show, but comics fans know “Patsy” Walker as a Golden Age character who in the 1970s became the Marvel superhero Hellcat.
Here’s the official description of Trish Walker: “After a tragic ending to her short-lived super hero stint, Jessica Jones is rebuilding her personal life and career as a detective who gets pulled into cases involving people with extraordinary abilities in New York City. Trish is a syndicated radio talk show host, former model and child TV star known to her adoring fans as “Patsy” Walker. As Jessica Jones’ closest friend, Trish helps her embark on the most dangerous case of Jessica’s career. The character of Patricia Walker has roots dating back to 1944 with her first appearance in ‘Miss America Magazine’ #2, and in the comics Walker donned the super hero identity of Hellcat in 1976.”
Taylor appeared in 2007’s “Transformers” and has multiple past TV roles, including one of the leads in the short-lived 2011 “Charlie’s Angels” revival, main cast parts in “666 Park Avenue” and “Crisis” and a guest stint on “Grey’s Anatomy.” This won’t be her first time in Marvel-based fare — she co-starred in the “Man-Thing” TV movie, which aired on Sci Fi Channel in 2005.
“Rachael’s ability to embody a character that must balance both the darker and lighter elements of our series will provide a perfect emotional anchor for Jessica Jones,” Marvel Head of Television Jeph Loeb said in the announcement. “Rachael blew us away with her grounded, humanizing take on Trish, adding yet another layer to the complex, emotional story we’re telling with this series.”
Patsy Walker was created by Ruth Atkinson and first appeared in 1944’s “Miss America Magazine” #2, published by Marvel predecessor Timely Comics — making her one of the longest-running Marvel characters still in circulation, though her original appearances were in the comedic romance genre. In 1976’s “Avengers” #144 by Steve Englehart and George Perez, she took on the superhero identity as Hellcat, and recently has been a part of the “She-Hulk” cast under writer Charles Soule.
The 13-episode “A.K.A. Jessica Jones” series is slated to debut on Netflix this year, the second Marvel series to premiere on the streaming service following “Daredevil,” which is scheduled to be available in full on April 10. Taylor joins a cast including Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones, Mike Colter as Luke Cage and David Tennant as Kilgrave, known to comic book fans as the Purple Man. Melissa Rosenberg developed the show, having worked on an adaptation of Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos‘ “Alias” — the comic series that introduced Jessica Jones — since 2010.