Tony Stark and Patsy Walker’s Greatest Hits (So Far)
Relive a few of Iron Man and Hellcat's best moments before he proposes to her in 'Iron Man' #20 this June.
Tony Stark and Patsy Walker have been through quite the emotional rollercoaster over the course of their time together. From battles in outer space to their inner struggles, they’ve experienced a lot of ups and downs together – and it’s all leading to Tony’s upcoming proposal in IRON MAN #20, as well as the highly anticipated fallout of that in IRON MAN/HELLCAT ANNUAL #1. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of their most memorable moments together.
In 2020’s IRON MAN #1, Tony holds a party for a bunch of big-wig types, many of whom are important figures in the tech world looking for a potential source of funding for their projects. He secretly intends to disable all of their mobile devices with an EMP because, well, that would be pretty funny.
At this point, Tony is going through a particularly introspective period. He feels like he’s being criticized from all sides, but at the same time, he’s unsure of himself and his own decisions. So that makes this the perfect time for someone like Patsy, who has been in his life for years and knows him well, to run into him. She pokes fun at him right off the bat, which is exactly what Tony needs in that moment, and it’s this fortuitous crossing of paths that leads to a lovely romance.
Superheroes’ Night Out
Tony quickly tires of his party, so he pulls Patsy aside and reveals to her a vintage Iron Man suit. Patsy dons her Hellcat costume, and the two head out for a superheroes’ night on the town. It’s a great moment for readers, of course, because these kinds of throwbacks are always fun, but it’s also an important moment for Patsy and Tony.
Tony feels unseen, even misunderstood by the guests at his party – and by the public, in general. So his decision to leave the party and spend time with Patsy suggests he sees her as someone who understands him better than most. His relationship with her is already more genuine than his relationships with many of the other people currently in his orbit.
At the party, Fuller Tielhard, AKA Korvac, approaches Tony about his idea to capture lightning and use it as an energy source. He invites Tony and Patsy to his facility in Oklahoma. IRON MAN #3 sees the two of them on their way there, traveling coach, which is unusual for Tony, of course. Tony complains about the leg room and Patsy comes back with a snarky retort about how there won’t be any champagne flutes after takeoff, either.
Patsy isn’t afraid to call Tony out on his privilege or his occasional arrogance. Tony is a beloved hero, but it’s pretty hard to deny he has an ego, and being held accountable in that way is often just what he needs.
Making an Entrance
As expected, Tony and Patsy’s trip to Oklahoma didn’t exactly go smoothly. When Tony goes ahead to Korvac’s facility, Korvac reveals his plan to use the power from his lightning device to essentially make himself a god. He then tries to take Tony out before our hero can stop him by zapping Tony with a lightning bolt.
At just the right moment, Hellcat bursts onto the scene in a utility vehicle, knocking aside Korvac’s people and joining the fight alongside Tony. She gets hit with lightning herself and, although she eventually recovers from her burns, she suffers some pretty major injuries. However, if it hadn’t been for Patsy’s well-timed intervention, Tony could have faced much worse.
A Tender Moment
In the process of trying to stop Korvac, Tony’s neck gets broken, which means he could die if he takes off his helmet. That doesn’t stop Patsy from wanting to kiss him, given the emotional intensity of everything going on between them. In IRON MAN #7, the two of them share a kiss while Tony has his mask on. It’s a sweet, goofy moment, and it gives them a little breath of levity in the middle of a scary and stressful situation.
A Galaxy Far Away
In IRON MAN #7, Tony is unexpectedly spirited away to an unknown planet. As the fighting with Korvac continues for Patsy and the team, Tony finds himself stranded.
By IRON MAN #10, Patsy re-establishes her mental abilities and mentally projects herself to him. Tony reveals to Pasty that he wants to stay and help the people he’s found, who have built a seemingly idyllic community.
Patsy replies that he’s proving himself to be “the guy that I knew was underneath this entire time. The selfless one. A hero. And a friend.” It’s a touching moment, and it’s also just really sweet to know Patsy can find a way to connect with Tony even if she doesn’t know where he is in the universe.
Enter Doctor Doom
In trying to stop Korvac, Tony comes into contact with the power cosmic, essentially making himself a god – ironically, the very thing he was trying to stop Korvac from doing. In IRON MAN #17, Tony uses this to share his brain power with New York residents, meaning all New Yorkers gain his intelligence, but also his way of thinking about things.
In order to reign Tony in, Patsy needs a genius who doesn’t think just like Tony in order to outwit him. So she hits up Doctor Doom, and it ends up being the right call. After all, Patsy understands Tony’s ego is the result of his need to prove his worth, and she realizes he’s actually harming himself by remaining so powerful.
Stopping Tony Stark when he has godlike powers is no simple feat, but if anyone can do it, it’s Patsy. In IRON MAN #18, Tony kills several of his fellow team members. Patsy whisks him away to a shared mental landscape, where Tony admits he does destructive things because he’s constantly trying not to feel worthless, and that his father made him feel he had to be achieving big things to have value.
Patsy tells Tony about her own childhood and how her mother seemed to care more about the idealized version of Patsy in the comics she wrote than about her own daughter. It’s a very powerful moment for them, as they’re being incredibly vulnerable with one another. It’s a moment that helps to build the foundation of shared trust they’ll need if they get married.
He Knows Her Value
Shortly after that moment of vulnerability, Tony revives his slain team members and gives up the power cosmic. Of course, it’s a big moment for Tony because he demonstrates that, at the end of the day, he really is a hero. When he realizes that giving up the power is the right thing to do, he doesn’t hesitate to do it.
Tony might have some ego issues, but in his heart, he’s the “selfless” person Patsy loves, which shows how much he values Patsy as a confidant. Her ability to open up, and allow him to do the same, convinces him to let the power cosmic go.
Tony and Patsy have definitely been there for each other through a lot of challenging and scary experiences. To see what’s in store for these two as they move forward with their relationship, check out IRON MAN #20, in stores June 15, and IRON MAN/HELLCAT ANNUAL #1, hitting shelves June 29.
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