Patsy Walker might not have the name recognition of Spider-Man or Wolverine, but she’s one of the most important characters in the Marvel Universe. Modern readers know her as Hellcat, the fierce superheroine that has fought alongside the Defenders and Avengers, but Patsy’s roots go deeper. Some might consider Hellcat a c-list Marvel character, but there was a time when Patsy headlined six titles at once. In fact, Patsy still holds the second-place record for longest running female led Marvel title, right behind Millie the Model. Contemporary Marvel heroines like She-Hulk and Captain Marvel would need to go at least a decade without rebooting before they would hope to surpass her. If you haven’t considered the historical importance Patsy Walker holds in the Marvel Universe, I guarantee you this article will change your perspective forever.
Patsy Walker made her debut in 1944’s Miss America Magazine #2. Most of the development process has been lost to time, but the general consensus is that Patsy was created by cartoonist Ruth Atkinson. According to Marvel editor Tom Brevoort, legend goes that Timely Comics (which eventually became Marvel) saw the success of the Archie family of comics, and sought to create a teen comedy character of their own. Patsy’s debut story was written by Stuart Little, drawn by Ruth Atkinson, and described her as “a real typical teen-ager” in the opening narration.
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