One of the things that surprised me about the new Netflix series, Marvel’s Jessica Jones, is how they managed to adapt a part of Patsy Walker’s (“Trish” Walker on the show, although the name Patsy plays a major role) comic book background pretty darn faithfully, namely how terrible her mother was in the comics. So, just in case anyone was bemoaning dealing with dysfunctional family members this Holiday weekend, I figured I’d show them that at least your mom isn’t Patsy Walker’s mom.
In the piece I did showing the comic book debuts of all of the members of the Jessica Jones cast, I noted that Patsy Walker debuted as a teen humor comic for Marvel during the 1940s and remained one of Marvel’s most popular titles all the way through the beginning of the “Marvel Age” of comics, with her solo title lasting until 1965 and the title she shared with her fremeny, Hedy Wolfe, lasting until 1967 (one of Denny O’Neil’s earliest assignments at Marvel Comics was writing for their teen humor comics, like Patsy and Hedy and Millie the Model, which debuted after Patsy, yet lasted a good deal longer, calling it quits in 1973!).
Patsy’s mom in her comic was named Mary, and she was just a typical teen humor comic mother…
However, years after Patsy had entered the Marvel Universe as a grown woman and become the superhero known as Hellcat, Marvel decided to try to tie in those old Patsy Walker comics in with the Marvel Universe, and they did so through Patsy’s REAL mother.
On the Jessica Jones TV series, Trish was a child star who starred in a TV show called It’s Patsy, pushed into it by her controlling, abusive mother. In Defenders #89 (by David A. Kraft, Ed Hannigan, Don Perlin and Pablo Marcos), we see the basis for that story, as here, her mother used her as the basis for a popular teen comic book heroine, transforming her daughter into the kind of daughter she always wanted to have…
That’s already messed up, and that’s the extent of how the TV show adapted the comics, but this is comics, after all, so trust me, it gets worse.
In Defenders #94 (with new writer, J.M. DeMatteis, and artists Don Perlin and Joe Sinnott), Patsy is possessed by a demon, becoming an actual “Hellcat”…
Things take a turn for the worse later in the issue, when we learn HOW this went down…
The next issue, Damion Hellstrom confirms it…
I like how DeMatteis highlights that she wouldn’t have had any regrets had her planned work. Daaaaang.
So, yeah, at least your mom didn’t try to sell your soul to the devil.
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