6 Times Marvel's 'Jessica Jones' Foreshadowed Its Newest Superhero: Hellcat

'Jessica Jones' has been the origin story of Trish Walker all along.

The name of the series may be Jessica Jones, but the Marvel/Netflix television series has spent two years building up the origin story of Trish Walker, also known as the superhero vigilante Hellcat. Ahead of the show’s final season, here are six moments that foreshadowed the arrival of a bonafide superhero in Marvel’s Jessica Jones Season 3.

On June 14, the end of Jessica Jones and the Marvel/Netflix universe begins streaming on Netflix. While details of the story are still unknown, we do know it will involve Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) teaming up with her estranged sister, Trish Walker (Rachael Taylor) to take down a yet-unidentified villain, played by Jeremy Bobb (Russian Doll).

While most of the Marvel/Netflix shows have eschewed the trappings and tropes of “superhero” television, most especially Jessica Jones, the series has spent two seasons teasing Trish’s transformation into Hellcat. In the universe of Marvel Comics, Trish has a feline alter-ego in yellow spandex who has spent time as an Avenger, a Defender, and a Lady Liberator.

Originating from her own series of teen romance comics in 1944 by Marvel’s publishing predecessor Timely comics, Patsy Walker emerged as the superhero Hellcat in The Avengers #144 in 1976.

Patsy Walker (Hellcat)
Cover of 2008's 'Patsy Walker: Hellcat,' a five-issue series written by Kathryn and Stuart Immonen.

Not unlike Catwoman or Spider-Man’s nemesis Black Cat, Hellcat is a nimble superhero with cat-like reflexes and retractable claws. Unlike those other cat burglars, Hellcat is purely a superhero with a very fun background as a former teen star.

Here are six moments from Jessica Jones Season 1 and Season 2 that have led to Trish’s potential feline metamorphosis.

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Trish's first bout of training, in Marvel's 'Jessica Jones' Season 1.

6. “Let’s Do It Again” (Season 1, Episode 2, “AKA Crush Syndrome”)

In the second episode of Season 1, Trish is seen taking self-defense lessons, with an exhausted trainer who thinks Trish has it down pat. But she insists on doing it over and over. She’s not ready until she thinks she’s ready.

Although Trish’s reasons for learning self-defense are rooted more in her insecurities than a desire to actually be a superhero, this preparation to kick ass will surely come in handy when she’s got a mask and tights on.

Netflix Jessica Jones Patsy Walker
It's Patsy Walker, y'all!

5. It’s Patsy! (Various)

A number of Jessica Jones episodes reference Trish’s past as the star of a fictional ‘90s sitcom It’s Patsy. The first episode of Season 2 even has Trish embarrassing herself, performing the Patsy theme song on a karaoke machine in costume in order to obtain information from a nostalgic fan.

Although tweaked to fit the MCU, It’s Patsy is a reference to Hellcat/Patsy Walker in the comics. Back in the ‘60s, to compete with the wildly popular Archie, many comic book publishers including Marvel (then named Timely) sought the lucrative audience of teen-romance readers.

Marvel/Timely’s answer to Archie was Patsy Walker, also starring a teenaged redhead who got up into all kinds of wacky hijinks. Later, when Timely became Marvel, Patsy was brought into canon and became a superhero, named Hellcat by The Avengers writer Steve Englehart.

Here’s where it gets fun: Those Patsy Walker comics by Timely were included in the Marvel Universe as actual comics “written” and “published” by Patsy’s overbearing and overambitious mother, Dorothy Walker. For Jessica Jones and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this whole “origin” was reimagined as Trish having starred in a cheesy TV show.

Jessica Jones
Trish claws a guy in 'Jessica Jones' Season 2, further cementing her transformation into Hellcat.

4. Cat Claw (Season 2, Episode 8, “AKA We Ain’t Got No Fun”)

Most of Season 2 involved the mystery of IGH and a drug that gave users powerful abilities. Part of Trish’s story in Season 2 was getting hooked on this drug, which came to a head in Episode 8 when she beats up attackers to a pulp. In one moment, she even claws a guy’s face to draw blood. It’s a vicious maneuver that could make even Catwoman envious.

Jessica Jones Hellcat Netflix
Jessica Jones Netflix Patsy Walker Hellcat

3. “She’ll Look Better Than You in Tights” (Season 2, Episode 11, “AKA Three Lives and Counting”)

A minor throwaway line by David Tennant’s Kilgrave, who made a single episode appearance in Season 2 as Jessica’s hallucination, references the fact that Trish wore a costume: “She’ll look better than you in tights.”

Jessica Jones also wore a costume when she was the superhero Jewel. That career was short-lived, when it led her to meeting Kilgrave. She then became a private investigator, a job she’s had in most of the Marvel multiverse since.

Jessica Jones Netflix Feline Vaccine

2. Feline Vaccine (Season 2, Episode 11, “AKA Three Lives and Counting”)

Karl’s formula that rewrites one’s DNA code to give them superpowers, which Trish undergoes until Jessica intervenes, is chiefly made using FVRCP, a real immunization used for cats.

For that reason, it’s also called the “feline distemper vaccine.” While the science of that is about as accurate as Stan Lee farting out “gamma radiation” for the Hulk, it’s the most glaring connective tissue to Trish becoming Hellcat.

Jessica Jones Trish Walker Hellcat
Well that's... curious.

1. Nice Catch (Season 2, Episode 13, “AKA Playland”)

After Trish and Jessica’s relationship fractured, Trish leaves Jessica’s apartment building when she notices some unexpected side effects to her brief operation: She saves her phone from breaking using just her foot, which perfectly balances on it like Thanos’ dagger. It seems Dr. Karl’s process actually worked, and left Trish with some superhuman reflexes. Maybe it’s only a matter of time until she grows some whiskers.


Marvel’s Jessica Jones Season 3 will premiere June 14 on Netflix.

Media via Wikimedia / Melesse, Netflix