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Tower of Iron Will

All who enter the Tower regain 100 sanity points.

Currently reading

Machine of Death: A Collection of Stories About People Who Know How They Will Die
Randall Munroe, James Foreman, K. Sekelsky, Camron Miller, John Chernega, David Michael Wharton, K.M. Lawrence, Jeffrey C. Wells, Vera Brosgol, Kit Yona, J. Jack Unrau, Jeff Stautz, Aaron Diaz, Matthew Bennardo, Yahtzee Croshaw, Douglas J. Lane, Brian Quinlan, Kate Beaton

Triumph of the Cute

Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! Vol. 1: Hooked On A Feline - Kate Leth, Brittney Williams

Hellcat is the story of a plucky young woman who struggles to make a living and help her friends while overcoming minor problems such as unemployment, homelessness, having died and escaped from Hell, and having the story of her teenage years published without her permission in an embarrassing comic book.


Hellcat has one of the most confusing backstories of any Marvel character, and that is saying a lot. Back when Marvel published other types of comics than superheroes, they published a teenage romance comic called Patsy Walker; imagine Archie comics if Archie was a girl. In the 1970's Marvel made three attempts to introduce a Catwoman knock-off: Tigra, Hellcat, and Black Cat, in that order. In a bizarre plot twist it was revealed that Hellcat was actually Patsy Walker, whose mother had made a deal with the Devil to send her daughter to Hell in her place. Patsy fought her way out of Hell, emerged with superpowers, and became a C list superhero.


Kate Leth's story depicts Patsy as a never-give-up optimist who keeps working as hard as she can despite living in a storage closet in the building of the company that just fired her. Brittney L. Williams' art is manga influenced and very cute without going full chibi, although Natasha Allegri's fill-in issue is full-on chibi.


Hellcat is an example of a recent trend at Marvel of throwing everything at the wall in hopes that something sticks. Out of 20 or 25 relaunched comics a year there are always a couple that are really good. In the last round it was Hawkeye and Ms. Marvel. In this round it is Hellcat and Vision. The problem with these high quality but limited appeal boutique comics is that the creators quickly move on to other projects. I hope Hellcat can survive in this environment, but I am not as optimistic as Patsy Walker would be.