Marvel’s print and cinematic universes often feature wildly different takes on the same characters, but each counterpart generally shares some core traits or features. In the case of the Marvel Comics’ Patsy Walker and the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Trish Walker, who made her debut in the “Jessica Jones” series on Netflix, the shared traits are a strong moral compass, and a fierce loyalty and devotion to their friends. Trish’s friendship with Jessica was one of the highlights of the TV series, and in the comics Patsy shows off those same traits each month in the pages of “Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat,” an all-ages series by writer Kate Leth and artist Brittney Williams, where she fights crime as a super hero and tries to find legitimate employment opportunities for super powered people.
This June, readers will see a fun new take on that relationship in “Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat” #7 when Leth and Williams kick off a new arc that brings the Marvel U versions of Patsy and Jessica together for the first time. The storyline was announced by Marvel today at their “Women of Marvel” panel at the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo and CBR News has the exclusive first interview with Leth about her take on Jessica Jones, the story Jess and Patsy become entangled in and the role characters like Patsy’s teenage frenemy Hedy Wolfe, her lawyer Jen Walters (AKA She-Hulk), and her friends Tom and Ian will play in the tale.
CBR News: It’s a pretty big deal that Jessica Jones will be meeting up with Patsy Walker in “A.K.A. Hellcat” #7. One of the most entertaining elements of the “Jessica Jones” TV show was the long history between those two characters, but in the comics I don’t believe they’ve ever crossed paths before, at least not in a major way. What was it like bringing Jessica into this series and bouncing these two super powered private investigators off each other?
Kate Leth: It’s true! In the comic, they haven’t really met in any significant way. Bringing Jessica in is definitely inspired by the friendship between her and Trish on the Netflix show, which I thought was the best part of the series. Obviously our comic is very different tonally from the show (as it’s all-ages) but you can expect a nod or two to the other universe. And yes, in the comic, Patsy was briefly an investigator while Jess is one professionally, so expect their interactions to be pretty intense… Especially as Jess has been assigned to track Patsy!
The other interesting element of this meeting between Jessica and Patsy is the Marvel Universe Jessica is in a much different place from what fans of the Netflix show might be used to considering she’s now a wife and mother. What’s your sense of Jessica?
I think she’s mellowed out a bit and has more responsibilities, but at her core she’s still a smart and sarcastic investigator, which is a great foil to Patsy’s endless positivity and enthusiasm. We’re pulling bits of her personality from different places to have her work in our book, like we’ve done with Patsy and She-Hulk, as well as other guest stars.
The title of this storyline is “Best Frenemies,” which suggests Hedy Wolfe has a fairly significant role to play. What can you share about what brings Patsy and Jess together and what they’ll be up against in the story?
Hedy Wolfe is fed up with her interactions with Patsy, and Patsy’s fed up trying to get the rights back to her likeness on the comics based off her childhood! Things finally come to head and get dealt with once and for all, and yes, Jessica’s involved.
It’s a Patsy vs. Hedy vs. Jess throwdown, with a bit of Jen [Walters] in the mix, and no shortage of espionage. With all the classic quips and burns of the Patsy and Hedy books from the ’60s and the superhero stakes of today, can they work it all out? Can Patsy finally get a little bit of control in her life? What does this mean for her temp agency plans? I dunno! I guess you’ll have to read the dang book!
Will we get a chance to see Jess interact with some of Patsy’s other supporting players like Tom and Ian?
I can never leave out Ian and Tom! I wish I had ten extra pages an issue just for them!
It also sounds like “Best Frenemies” will allow Britney Williams to have a lot of fun in terms of impartying tone and drawing facial expressions considering Jessica’s sarcastic nature. Can you talk at all about anything you’ve seen her draw or are looking forward to seeing come to life from your script?
I can’t wait to see it. She’s just getting started on it and I’m already thrilled. I love Patsy’s interactions with Jen for similar reasons — Jen loves Patsy to death, but doesn’t always have the energy to deal with her. Despite that, she understands Patsy — and Jess doesn’t, yet. I hope Brittney has a blast drawing them going head to head. Plus, Jessica’s outfits! You know Brittney’s going to knock those out of the park.
I’m probably getting a little ahead of myself here, but is Jessica a character we might see more of in future issues of “Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat?” Any chance of that comic book relationship continuing to mirror the one on TV?
I think it all depends on what else Jessica has to do in the Marvel Universe. I’m loving writing her right now — so we’ll see!
Jessica Jones guest-stars in “Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat” #7 this June at Marvel Comics.