Warning! Spoilers for Iron Man/Hellcat Annual #1 by Marvel Comics
The battle for Marvel’s underworld has been revealed, as Patsy Walker finds herself in the throes of a power struggle between Daimon Hellstrom, and Mephisto and his son Blackheart. In Iron Man/Hellcat Annual #1 by Marvel Comics, Hellcat ends up in Hell, and when she breaks free, her former husband, the Son of Satan, reveals that a war has been brewing and that he needs her help in taking control.
Patsy Walker has unfortunate experience in Marvel’s underworld, as the hero’s marriage to Daimon Hellstrom had her try to save his soul. After being exposed to the madness of the realm and seeing her husband’s true face, Hellcat committed suicide. While she was later resurrected and split from the Son of Satan, Walker still has PTSD from the ordeal and struggles to commit romantically to anyone, as she fears what happened with Hellstrom could happen again. However, Walker is about to learn that the underworld is currently undergoing a fight for power, with Mephisto, Blackheart, and Hellstrom trying to use her to gain the upper hand.
In Iron Man/Hellcat Annual #1 by Christopher Cantwell, Ruairi Coleman, Triona Farrell, and VC’s Joe Caramagna, Patsy Walker reunites with her friend Hedy after rejecting Iron Man’s wedding proposal. The pair visit McConnell Manor, a creaky old house where Hellcat’s mother grew up. However, after finding her old stuffed animal, Buttons, who is Daimon Hellstrom in disguise, Patsy ends up in a reality where her grandparents and relatives are alive in the manor. However, the world is quickly revealed to be a mirage, as the hero ends up in Hell. Inside, Mephisto’s son Blackheart offers to free her relative’s souls in exchange for hers. The villain believes Hellcat has considerable power flowing through her and would be a valuable captain in Mephisto’s army. After Walker defeats Blackheart and wakes up, Hellstrom explains he needs her to join him.
Hellstrom lays out the power struggle happening in the underworld. He reveals that Mephisto and Blackheart are making a big play for the netherworld, stripping him of his powers and exiling him. Hellstrom also tells Hellcat that she’s much stronger in Hell, and they could work together once again. Walker rejects his offer, launching the stuffed animal with a kick. Understandably, she has no desire to return to the life that caused her many hardships.
In his quest to bring Hellcat back to the underworld, Daimon Hellstrom reveals that a fight for power is underway between him and Mephisto and Blackheart. Walker declines her ex-husband’s less-than-desirable offer to return to the netherworld for good as she doesn’t want to be involved in the battle for control of Hell. Mephisto and Blackheart might be making moves, but Hellcat is done being involved with Marvel’s underworld. She’s been through enough already.