Marvel Divas # 1

Issue Date: 
September 2009
Story Title: 
Bad News on a Good Day

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (writer), Tonci Zonjic (artist), Jelena Kevic Djurdjevic (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy’s Cory Petit & Chris Eliopoulos (letterers), Alejandro Arbona & Jen Grunewald (assistant editors),Warren Simons (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Patsy Walker has just completed her third book, and her pushy agent organises a large launch, which Patsy and two of her close friends, Monica Rambeau and Felicia Hardy attend. They are put off when several big name female super heroines arrive, and they decide to go for a drink, with Patsy trying to get in touch with their other friend, Angelica Jones, so she can join them, too. Patsy recalls how the four became friends - meeting at a speed dating event for single super heroines. The four had missed working with their respective teams, and start spending a lot of time together, even working together during the Secret Invasion against the Skrulls. Patsy, Monica and Felicia arrive at their regular bar, where Monica reveals her relationship with Brother Voodoo, which began after Hurricane Katrina and the vampire invasion of New Orleans, but how she got freaked when he wanted her to stay with her - and now she keeps getting creepy gifts from him as he has move to New York. Felicia informs the girls how her boyfriend, Thomas Fireheart, wanted to give her money to re-start Cat’s Eye Investigations, but she wants to do it on her own, without relying on a man. Patsy and Monica console Felicia and afterwards, Patsy reveals that she had a run in with her ex Daimon Hellstrom, but before she can go into detail, Angelica arrives, clearly upset. She reveals to her friends that she has cancer.

Full Summary: 

Patsy Walker’s apartment in New York City - the center of the Universe in the dead of night: ‘Finally! After three years of serious procrastination, I finished my new book!’ Patsy thinks to herself as she exclaims ‘T-H-E-E-N-D. The six most beautiful letters in the English language’. And not a moment too soon, as her editor at Scribner’s was seconds away from taking back her advance.

Days later at a café, Patsy sits across from her agent, Lola, who made sure the book was fast-tracked. Patsy tells herself that the poor public relations girl at Scribner’s never knew what hit her. Lola waves her hands about and declares that this is event publishing at its best - the new tell-all by the author of “Gidget Goes to Hell”. ‘Excuse me, hel-lo - that’s an event! So no skimping on the release party!’ Lola exclaims. She declares that they want chocolate fountains, hot, gay cater-waiters, celebrities, super-powered and non-super powered. Patsy smiles and replies that she has invited Angelica, Monica and Felicia, as they all have super-powers. ‘Well, I’m not sure if Felicia does…’ Patsy admits. Lola frowns and tells Patsy ‘And they’re sweet girls, but can any one of them support their own ongoing?’

Patsy groans when she sees a “stalkerazzi” approaching fast, and thinks to herself it is as if Lola plans this stuff. ‘Ms Walker? Do you have a minute?’ the paparazzi asks. ’I don’t know - Lola, do I?’ Patsy asks. ’For People Magazine? One minute. And no questions about ex-boyfriends, Nance, or I’ll gut you like a fish!’ Lola shouts at the reporter. Nance starts taking notes and announces that she glimpsed a preview chapter from Patsy’s book. ‘Are you really alleging that Tony Stark sexiled you to Alaska after your secret affair soured?’ she asks. ‘We - that is, he -’ Patsy begins, wide-eyed, but Lola tells Nance to just buy the book. ‘And thanks for playing!’ she adds.

A few days later still, at the most famous rooftop garden in New York City, a red carpet lines part of the rooftop which is filled with marquees and tables piled with Patsy’s latest book: “Like a Cat out of Hell”. Patsy knows that the launch is being held here, at the Baxter Building, will guarantee that at least four celebrities will show up. While cameras flash and waiters bring drinks around, Lola is angrily waving her hands at the public relations girl, and exclaims ‘I asked for Thor, I would’ve settled for a clone, hell, I would’ve settled for what’s-his-name, with the horse face?’ ‘Beta Ray Bill?’ the PR girl replies. ‘Beta Ray Bill, exactly. But you give me Howard the Duck? Hel-lo, it’s the farmer in the dell calling, he wants his livestock back!’ Lola exclaims. The PR girl tries to talk to her, but Lola suddenly looks around and asks where Patsy is. ‘More importantly, where’s my pomegranate martini?’ she demands.

Nearby, Patsy is speaking with a reporter, explaining that the book is about a woman navigating the slippery slope of super hero singledom. ‘It’s about asking the hard questions. If you’re not an Emma Frost, or a Carol Danvers, or an Ororo Munroe, how do you cope? How do you find a balance? Work, relationships, personal time?’ Patsy explains.

Elsewhere at the party, Monica Rambeau and Felicia Hardy a.k.a. the Black Cat are getting themselves some drinks. ‘The guy in the red by the chocolate fountain?’ Felicia asks, pointing at the man. ‘Without a doubt’ Monica smiles, before motioning to another man, ‘The guy with the sprayed-on jeans by the scary topiary?’ she asks. ‘Absolutely I would. In fact, I believe I already have’ Felicia smiles. ‘Hey, ladies… cruising my book release party?’ Patsy calls out as she approaches her friends.

‘Yeah, and pickings are slim. How late do we have to stay?’ Felicia replies, while Monica sips her drink and remarks that as long as it is open bar, she is happy. Patsy asks her friends if either of them have seen Angelica. ‘I can’t believe she bailed’ Patsy remarks. Felicia suggests that Angelica might be cramming for finals or something, revealing that she blew off their coffee date yesterday. ‘Oh, Lordy… who invited the A-listers?’ Monica groans as all of the photographers suddenly turn to the red carpet, cameras flash, as four costumed women arrive: Susan Storm - the Invisible Woman! Emma Frost - White Queen and ice queen! Ororo Munroe - Queen of Wakanda! Jennifer Walters - the Sensational She-Hulk! Patsy tells Felicia and Monica that her agent invited them, as apparently Sue Richards couldn’t put her last book down - ditto the other Glamazons.

‘All right, now we’re cooking!’ Lola whispers, while shouting ‘Somebody, anybody! Pictures of them! In front of a book display! Yesterday!’ The Invisible Woman smiles for the cameras and speaks to a reporter: ‘So sorry we weren’t here earlier, we just got back from a diplomatic mission in the Middle Easy…’.

Monica frowns again, ‘Ugh. Buzzkill’ she mutters, while Felicia replies ‘Yeah, I just vomited in my mouth’. Patsy doesn’t look happy either and asks how tacky it is to ditch one’s own party? ‘Not at all’ Felicia assures her. Patsy gets her cellphone out and starts texting Angelica to meet them for a drink. ‘Monica?’ she asks. ‘Yeah, yeah… it’s like we’re in high school and I’m the only one with a driver’s license’ Monica replies as she holds onto her friends and takes flight off the Baxter Building. As they go, Patsy tells herself how much she loves her gal pals Felicia, Monica and Angelica - wherever she is. Patsy then starts to recall how they met - at a speed-dating event for single super heroines a while back - the kind where you sit opposite some guy and give him your vital stats in ten seconds or less.

‘Hi, my name’s Patsy. I dated the Son of Satan once. Now, I’m looking for someone a little nicer’. An overweight, awkward man wearing a Fantastic Four t-shirt sits opposite Patsy and laughs, introducing himself as Melvin. He remarks that spandex rocks.

Nearby, Angelica Jones introduces herself as the mutant formerly known as Firestar. ‘Hopefully you don’t burn easily?’ she asks. ‘Troy. Just…Troy’ the man opposite her responds, smiling.

At another table, Monica Rambeau frowns and snaps ‘Impress me’, while opposite her, a smelly, dishevelled old man tells her ‘Face it, tigress - you just hit the jackpot’.

Finally, Felicia introduces herself and smiles, adding that she is unlucky in love - now and forever. An attractive man opposite her gazes at Felicia and replies ‘Roger, and can I just say? I think you’re fabulous’.

Needless to say, no love-connections were made that night, but an unlikely friendship was born. ‘You know, I’ve missed this now that I’m retired and not part of the New Warriors, I’ve missed hanging out’ Angelica tells the others as they leave the singles-speed dating and walk down the street together. ‘The gossiping, you mean’ Monica remarks. Felicia adds that she has felt the same since the Heroes for Hire fell apart. ‘Our line of work can be… isolating’ she points out. ‘Please. You want to talk isolation? Try being a black woman in this business. Why do you think I agreed to the Nextwave experiment? Health insurance?’ Monica declares.

And just like that, they were off -and it wasn’t anything official, but it was a great way to blow off steam, like pool days at Chelsea Piers. ‘Is that Wonder Man?’ Patsy asks, pointing at someone. ‘If it is, I wonder if he stuffs’ Monica replies. ‘Monica!’ Angelica exclaims, while Felicia tells her friends ‘Come on, ladies, enough with the objectification’. And movies nights at the Paris. ‘I don’t care what the movie’s about, so long as it’s in French’ Patsy exclaims while eating some popcorn. ‘My problem is, I don’t go to the movies to read’ Felicia mutters as she slumps over in the chair next to Patsy. ‘Shhh’ Monica scowls, while Angelica sighs, and recalls that her honeymoon to Vance was going to be in Paris.

The quartet also enjoyed mani-pedis at the Butterfly Spa. Having four chairs together they relaxed while getting their nails done. ‘Is there anything better than having someone be kind to your feet? It’s better than sex, even’ Patsy smiles. ‘Uh-uh. The best is getting a foot rub from your lover after sex’ Monica declares. ‘I once dated this guy -’ Angelica begins, but is interrupted when Felicia snaps ‘Enough about Vance!’

They also attended exhibits at the Whitney. Patsy, Felicia and Angelica stare at some modern artwork and Felicia decides that she should have more art in her life. ‘Men come and go, but art is… eternal’ she remarks. ‘You’re in grad school, Angie, what do you think?’ Patsy asks, but Angelica explains that this is contemporary art, and she is focusing on the Byzantine and Medieval periods. ‘Roy Lichtenstein rocks my world’ Monica thinks to herself as she looks at some other art.

Every now and then, they would suit up to help out with the odd alien invasion, secret war, company-wide crossover, etc, with the four proving effective against a slew of Skrulls.

Patsy, Monica and Felicia enter the Shiva Bar, and the patrons all look up as they make a dramatic entrance. ‘Waiter! Waitress! A round of lemon drop martinis, s’il vous plait?’ Patsy calls out. ‘And a vodka tonic’ Felicia adds. ‘And a mojito’ Monica exclaims. ‘Oh, God, not them again’ a waiter mutters, putting his head into his hand. Five minutes later, the trio have a booth, their round of drinks and are sitting back relaxing. Patsy remarks that she is totally out of the loop because of her book. ‘So - loop me, somebody!’ she asks. Felicia looks at Monica and says that before they got sidetracked at Patsy’s party, she was telling her about her latest romantic train-wreck. ‘Witch’ Monica smiles. ‘Floor’s yours, Rambeau. And then I have a tale of woe’ Patsy smiles. ‘Okay, it’s common knowledge I’m from New Orleans, right?’ Monica remarks, revealing that she spent a lot of time there post Hurricane Katrina, cleaning up the mess that the white people left behind.

New Orleans, where Monica hovers in the air, releasing energy from her body to the rubble below. ‘Anything, Monica?’ the Black Panther calls out as he lifts some rubble up. ‘No energy signatures, yet, T’Challa. But give a girl a minute… if there are any survivors under this rubble I’ll find them’ Monica calls back. After the flood came the vampires, ‘Let me tell you about sunlight. Sunlight’s a kind of energy - and I specialise in the generation of discharge and energy. Fry, Blacula!’ Monica declares, releasing a powerful surge of energy at a vampire who has confronted her. The Black Panther had assembled a team of “brothers and sisters” as Monica puts it - the two of them, Luke Cage, Blade and Brother Voodoo. Brother Voodoo approaches Monica and tells her that it is nice to have her back in the Big Easy. ‘We just vanquished an army of the undead, Jericho. If you want to ask me out for some jambalaya, just do it’ Monica smiles. ‘Marie Christie’s? Midnight?’ Brother Voodoo smiles in response.

‘Mmmm, j’adore Cajun food’ Patsy smiles as she listens intently. ‘I smell foreplay’ Felicia remarks. ‘Girls, please. We had dinner. And then, after dinner…. all right, what can I say. We were still pumped from the vampires, I guess. And then after-after dinner…’ Monica continues..

Flashback continued:
Monica and Jericho make love in a room illuminated with dozens of candles, and afterwards, with a sheet wrapped around her, Monica stands out on a balcony. Jericho has a sheet wrapped around his waist and he leans against the door, telling Monica that she could stay a while. ‘Be nice not to wake up alone for a change’ he smiles. ‘Uhhh… me? Stay?’ Monica replies. And, faster than a ray of light, she drops her sheet and flies away wearing only her underwear.

Monica tells her friends that she knows what she wants. ‘And what I want is to move at my pace… not at some man’s pace’. ‘So your commitment issues rear their ugly heads. So he’s in New Orleans, you’re in New York. So what’s the trauma?’ Felicia replies. ‘Brother Voodoo is here in New York’ Monica announces. Patsy leans across the table between them and puts a hand on Monica’s shoulder, asking her if he has called or texted her. ‘I wish… but no, I found this propped up against my apartment’s front door!’ Monica reveals, pulling out of her coat pocket a voodoo doll with a piece of paper tacked to it, with XOXOXO written on it.

‘It’s obvious he’s wooing you’ Patsy smiles as she looks at the doll. ‘More accurately, he’s stalking you’ Felicia points out. Monica asks the others what she is supposed to do, as she doesn’t want Brother Voodoo simplifying her just because she is not into cuddling. ‘Men… why do they always ruin things by talking? Have I told you the latest with Thomas?’ Felicia asks. ‘Not yet, but I have a feeling you’re about to’ Patsy replies.

‘Okay, as chronicled on page six, Thomas Fireheart and I have been seeing each other, off and on, for a few months now…’ Felicia begins, and reveals that she mentioned to him, very casually, that she had finished her business plan and that she was in the process of looking for office space. ‘And he said:’

‘Fun. I’ll come with’ Thomas Fireheart smiles, so they start looking at storefront’s together, trying to find the “purrrfect” place to re-open Cat’s Eye Investigations. As Felicia and Thomas look around the office space a realtor has taken them too, the realtor remarks that she knows they were talking about something a bit more centrally located, but that given Felicia’s budget, this is as central as they’re going to get. ‘Actually…’ Felicia begins, before Thomas asks ‘Who are the neighbors?’ The realtor informs him that there is a Pilates studio on the right and a comic book shop on the left. ‘A Pilates studio, that’s -’ Felicia begins, but Thomas interrupts once more, enquiring as to what the foot traffic is like. ‘Decent, for the area, which is up and coming’ the realtor assures him. ‘And the figure you quoted us. How much wiggle room do we have there?’ Thomas asks. Felicia doesn’t look to happy at this, and as the realtor announces that she would have to discuss it with the owner. ‘But last we talked, he was quite adamant -’ she begins, before Thomas asks if he can contact the owner directly?

Felicia addresses the realtor as Mrs Brooks and asks if she would excuse them for a minute’. Thomas looks at Felicia and tells her that he can tell she is mad. ‘Shouldn’t I be? This is exactly why I didn’t want you tagging along’ Felicia replies, arms folded. ‘I’m only trying to help, baby’ Thomas points out. ‘Don’t call me “baby”. I’m not your baby. I’m not anyone’s baby’ Felicia snaps, angrily, adding that, for the record, every question he has asked, she already knew the answer, all the places they have visited - she has researched them all backwards and forwards. Thomas smiles and tells Felicia that he would have been shocked if she hadn’t. ‘But you’ll agree that I’ve had a wee bit more experience than you in this particular area?’ he asks. Felicia is not impressed, and replies ‘Maybe so, but this is the place I want for Cat’s Eye. And I don’t want you trying to talk me out of it!’ ‘Honey… Cat…of all the places we’ve seen, this one’s my favorite, too’ Thomas smiles.

‘It is?’ Felicia replies. ‘Without a doubt’ Thomas tells her, pointing out that it is near the subway, a post office and a police station, and while the neighborhood’s not quite right, it’s on the rise, but not quite there. ‘Speaking as your lover and as a business tycoon, I truly, sincerely believe a detective agency could thrive here’ Thomas announces. ‘You… you really think so?’ Felicia asks. ‘Absolutely’ Thomas tells her, suggesting they go find Mrs Brooks, and then he can write her a check for Felicia’s down payment, and they will get everything squared away. Felicia goes wide-eyed and her jaw drops.

‘Oh-no-he-did-not’ Monica exclaims. ‘Felicia, my God, what did you say?’ Patsy asks. ‘What could I say?’ Felicia replies.

Flashback continued:
‘How dare you? How dare you, Thomas Fireheart?!’ Felicia exclaims, lunging at Thomas, releasing her claws. ‘Felicia! Cat! Retract! Retract!’ Thomas exclaims as he grabs her by her wrists to keep her claws at bay. Felicia turns away from Thomas and tells him that she isn’t a charity case, that she doesn’t want or need his money. ‘You do, actually’ Thomas replies. ‘You asked me to straighten out your bank accounts, remember? And your finances are nowhere near what they need to be to launch a business - and that’s fine. That’s okay. Because I have plenty of money and I believe in you’ Thomas smiles. He tells Felicia that he can do this for her and it would make him happy to do so, as it is what people in love do for each other. ‘All you have to do is let me help you. Say “yes” and I’ll write you the check’ Thomas smiles, looking sincerely at Felicia.

‘You didn’t take it, did you?’ Monica asks. ‘I… couldn’t’ Felicia replies, while admitting that Thomas is completely right - she has some savings, but she lost most of it when the market crashed - and the start-up costs for a business are daunting, to say the least. Felicia looks slightly dejected, and Patsy remarks that she doesn’t understand. ‘Why don’t you take the check, then, if he wants to lend you the money -’ she begins, but Monica explains that Thomas doesn’t want to lend Felicia the money, he just wants to give her the money, which is the problem. ‘Felicia’s like me… we don’t do “damsel in distress” Monica remarks.

Felicia tells her friends that she wants this business to be hers, something to do for herself, by herself - and Thomas, for whatever reason, just cant see that. ‘He wants to be your knight in shining armor, that’s all’ Monica points out.

‘But, Felicia, if you don’t have the money and you’re not taking it from Thomas, what does that mean? No Cat’s eye Investigations? I’d lend you the money if I had it…’ Patsy begins. Felicia tells Patsy that she wouldn’t ask her to do that, and just because she doesn’t have the money now, doesn’t mean she can’t get it on her own. And that just hangs there, over the three women. They are all thinking that Felicia is not talking about a bank loan. Patsy knows that the truth is, Felicia has been a cat burglar and a thief longer than she has been one of the good guys.

So, partly to cut the gloom-n-doom, and partly because she can’t shut her mouth about anything, Patsy knocks back some more drink and informs the others that she had a run-in with Daimon. ‘Diamon…’ Felicia begins. ‘Hellstrom…?’ Monica concludes. ‘All we did was talk’ Patsy assures them. ‘Girl, are you crazy?’ Monica asks. ‘Patsy, he’s the Son of Satan’ Felicia reminds her. ‘I know, but he’s so dreamy…’ Patsy utters. ‘I’ll give you that. The occult types are hot’ Monica smiles. ‘What exactly happened?’ Felicia enquires nervously.

Patsy is in the Barnes and Noble at Licoln Center, checking out her book’s competition, when suddenly, she smells something very familiar - brimstone. She turns and sees Daimon Hellstrom leaning up against a book case. ‘Same old Patsy. Always with her nose in a book’ he remarks.

Patsy tells her friends that she doesn’t know how he does it, ‘But I…’ she begins, when suddenly, she sees Angelica “Firestar” Jones approaching their table, so she can change the subject: ‘Well, well, well, look what the cat dragged in. Angelica Jones where the hell have you -’ Patsy stops herself when she sees that Angelica has been crying. Angelica looks distraught, so Patsy, Monica and Felicia look concerned. ‘Are you okay?’ Patsy asks. ‘Sorry I missed your party, Patsy’ Angelica replies, wiping away her tears. ‘I… I was finishing up with my oncologist, and…’ her voice trails off. She turns away from the others, who get up from their booth and Monica pulls a chair over for her. ‘Here, girl, sit down - Monica begins, while Felicia waves the waiter over for some water. Angelica is Patsy’s friend, so she has to ask her: ‘Honey…what were you doing at an oncologist’s?’ she enquires. Angelica hesitates, while Patsy, Monica and Felicia look at her worried. Angelica then drops a bombshell, announcing that she has cancer….

Characters Involved: 

Black Cat
Monica Rambeau

Emma Frost, Invisible Woman, She-Hulk, Storm

Lola, Hellcat’s agent
The public relations girl
Nance, a reporter
Patrons and waiter at the Shiva Bar

In flashbacks:
Monica Rambeau
Black Cat

Single men

Black Panther, Blade, Brother Voodoo, Luke Cage


Thomas Fireheart

Mrs Brooks, the realtor

Daimon Hellstrom

Story Notes: 

Prior to the Marvel Divas mini series, Hellcat most recently appeared in several issues of Avengers: The Initiative, and the Patsy Walker: Hellcat mini series. Firestar last appeared in She-Hulk (2nd series) #8, Monica was a main character in Nextwave: Agents of HATE and Black Cat in Heroes for Hire (2nd series) and Astonishing Spider-Man #48-50.

Hellcat previously wrote a book called the “Hellcat Chronicles” which was published in the touching Solo Avengers #9. Its follow up, “Gidget Goes to Hell” was released in Avengers Annual 2000, shortly after Hellcat was resurrected.

As part of the Fifty State Initiative, Hellcat was sent to Alaska as a one-woman team in Patsy Walker: Hellcat #1-5.

A narrative box introducing Black Cat and Monica Rambeau incorrectly calls Monica “Captain Marvel” a name she hadn’t used in a long time. At this point in her career she was not using any codename.

Hellcat mentions the “Glamazons”. This might be a reference to the name of the cheerleading team from the WB television show of 1999 - 2001 “Popular”, where the popular girls at Jacqueline Kennedy High School were all members of the Glamazons.

Hellcat says that she dated the Son of Satan (Daimon Hellstrom) once. They more than dated. They first formed a friendship in Defenders (1st series) #98 and married in New Defenders #125. When Hellcat saw her husband’s true face in Hellstorm (1st series) #3, it slowly sent her into madness, and she committed suicide in #14, ending their marriage. They were reunited briefly in Hellcat #3, shortly after Hellcat’s resurrection, where Daimon tried to kill her. He tried to make up with her in Last Defenders #4 but Hellcat turned him down.

Firestar refers to Vance - being Vance Astrovik a.k.a. Justice her long-time New Warriors and Avengers teammate and fiancé. Their relationship ended in the I Heart Marvel: Masked Intentions one-shot.

Monica calls a vampire “Blacula”, referring to the 1972 “blaxploitation” film directed by William Crane and is about an African prince in the 18th century who is turned into a vampire.

Felicia’s boyfriend, Thomas Fireheart, although not referenced this issue is the Spider-Man villain called Puma. They have been dating since Sensational Spider-Man (2nd series) #34.

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