How Marvel turned an Avenger’s Childhood into a popular comic book

Today, you can see how Patsy Walker’s comic book past was retroactively incorporated into the Marvel universe.

In “Our Life Together” I focus on some of the more interesting examples of common comic book universes. You know, crossovers that are not Exactly crossovers.

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PATSY WALKER DEBUTS

By 1944, Archie Andrews had proved so popular that he had received his own ongoing title a few years earlier, and it was clear that Archie was a huge success …


Meanwhile, Marvel Comics had launched a female superhero by name Miss America earlier this year. After a single issue of her comic, Marvel (well, Timely Comics at the time) decided to reformat the comic as a magazine, with the name changed to Miss America Magazine. In the comic, Stuart Little (husband of Bea Little, the editor of the comic) and Ruth Atkinson (one of the greatest female artistic talents of the golden age) introduced Timely’s answer to Archie Andrews, a female version named Patsy Walker, of whom Timely Comics was a big fan seen following the trends that were popular in comics at the time.



Patsy had your typical teenage problems with her little brother …


But her biggest problem here is that she’s trying to win a date with a famous radio star, but her rival, Hedy Wolfe (spelled Wolf in this first appearance) wins the competition first …


Patsy is so upset that she even turns on her solid beauty, Buzz Baxter …


Luckily, her little brother has some information that he helps let Patsy get into, and suddenly Patsy has a completely different view of the radio star (he has a toupee on, and Patsy does so that the toupee falls off while dancing with Hedy). and Hedy is Embarrassed. Like Archie, Patsy was not always the cutest person).


Of all the different Archie Andrews rashes from different companies, Patsy Walker was by far the most successful. In fact, Patsy Walker remained one of Marvel’s most popular books of the next decade plus! Even when Marvel launched their superhero comic in the 1960s, they kept making room for new Patsy Walker comics. She was just too popular. Eventually, though, Patsy’s sales dropped a bit, and they tried one last ditch approach to keep it afloat by letting Patsy graduate from school and become a career woman. It did not work, and both of her ongoing titles ended in the late 1960s.


PATSY WALKER JOINS MARVEL UNIVERSE

In 1971, Marvel expanded their comics in a big way, and as a result, there were suddenly more features and comics out there than there were writers to write them (especially with Stan Lee cutting back on his comic book writing). and so a whole new generation of comic book writers joined Marvel.

Already new writers like Gerry Conway (not even 20 years old at the time) were quickly replaced by even NEWER writers when Conway was moved to larger books.

So after Conway launched Beast’s feature in Wonderful adventures # 11 …


The new author Steve Englehart got his first regular Marvel assignment in the following issue when he took over the Beast feature …



In the following issue, Englehart, a true student of comic book history, cleverly brought Marvel’s response to Archie Andrews, Patsy Walker, into the Marvel universe by letting the now adult Patsy become a supporting character with her husband, Buzz Baxter, now in the military and assigned the same operation in which the Beast worked at as Dr. Hank McCoy …


The series was not very popular, which is why Englehart kept thinking of ways to help the book sell more. That led to him entering Wonderful adventures # 15, comes with the direction for his artist, Tom Sutton, to simply “Draw Patsy Walker in a Negligee” …



It was worked into the story when Beast comes to Patsy for help and she learns his secret identity in the process (and blackmails him over it) …


At the end of the track, Patsy covers for Hank in front of Buzz (one has to love Buzz’s reaction to Warren’s good looks. “I would think THIS guy could get ladies. He’s GORGEOUS!”), And we learn that it’s because. the mysterious talk they had …

The problem is that the Beast feature ended after the next issue (technically it went to Amazing Adventures # 17, but it was mostly just a reprint), so Patsy and Hank’s deal just was not discussed again.

That is, until Beast joined the Avengers, and Patsy showed up and told him he had better pay the debt he owed her.

He agreed to let her go on a mission. Unfortunately, the mission ended with the Avengers being captured.

IN Avengers # 144 (by Steve Englehart, George Perez and Mike Esposito), when Patsy and the Avengers were in a corner and up against some tough villains, Captain America was forced to let Patsy use a super-suit to help them fight out of clutter. We learn that getting a super suit and becoming a superhero had been Patsy’s wish from Hank all along!

Hellcat later became a longtime member of the Defenders.

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PATSY’S WALLET PAST IS WORKED INTO MARVEL UNIVERSE

As we saw above, Patsy’s mother in her cartoon was named Mary, and she was just a typical teenage humor cartoon mom. But years after Patsy entered the Marvel universe as an adult woman and became the superhero known as Hellcat, Marvel decided to try to connect the old Patsy Walker comics with the Marvel universe, and they did so through Patsy’s REAL mother.

On it Jessica Jones The TV series, Trish, was a child star who starred in a TV show called It’s Patsy, pushed into it by her controlling, violent mother. IN Defenders # 89 (by David A. Kraft, Ed Hannigan, Don Perlin and Pablo Marcos), we see the basis of that story when her mother here used her as the basis for a popular teen comic book heroine who turned her daughter into the kind of daughter she always loved wanted…

Unfortunately, it was not even the worst thing Patsy’s mother did to her (she also sold her soul), but that’s a story for another day!

Okay, folks, if you have a suggestion for another interesting piece of shared continuity, please send me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

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