Current Reviews


Marvel Milestones: Millie the Model and Patsy Walker

Posted: Thursday, August 31, 2006
By: Michael Deeley

Reprinting material from:

Millie the Model #100
Stan Lee (writer)/Unknown artist

Defenders #65
David Kraft (writer)/Don Perlin and Bruce D. (artists)

Patsy Walker #119
Stan Lee (writer)/Sol Brodsky (artist)

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Thereís very little reason to buy this comic, except historical curiosity.

Iíd heard of Millie the Model, Marvelís longest-running humor comic at over 200 issues. I was surprised to find out the legendary Dan DeCarlo worked on Millie before moving to Archie comics. Thatís why Millie #100 looks like his style; the artist was trying to copy it after DeCarloís departure. The writing is also similar to Archieís humor. Millie is a gorgeous, kind-hearted, but somewhat clueless fashion model. Her rival, Chili Seven, is always putting her down, but Millie always comes back with an equally catty response. And thatís it really. Millie and Chili go back and forth for 23 pages with occasional one-liners from co-workers. Thereís none of the Archie-style hi-jinks, like pranks that go wrong, talent shows, or attempts to steal each otherís boyfriend. The writing is sharper than Archie comic, but soon grows tiresome.

Ironically, the Defenders comic steals the show. Issue #65 brought Millie into the Marvel Universe as the president of her own modeling agency. Here, sheís met by Patsy Walker, another former Archie-style humor character from Marvelís Atomic/Silver Age. Patsy has become the Hellcat. She just caught some supervillains with the Defenders, but her mental powers left everyone with headaches, and the fight caused thousands of dollars in property damage. Team members Iron Fist, Black Goliath, Hercules, and Havok all call it quits. Nighthawk takes the Valkyrie back to his farm for rest and recuperation. Meanwhile, former Defender Red Guardian teams up with a former enemy to fight a radioactive blob.

In other words, the team breaks up, the writer plays ďwhere are they now,Ē and all the fighting is done by an ex-team member. Man, his was a great comic! When people say the Defenders were a team that wasnít a team, they are right! Iíve got to get the next Essential Defenders collection immediately!

Finally, we get dress-up dolls of Patsy and her fiends. No Patsy story, just dolls and pin-ups. I know these comics were originally meant for girls, but the thought of grown men like Lee and Brodsky drawing these teenage girls in their underwear makes me uncomfortable.

Like nearly every Milestones issue, this one ties into a new trade paperback. Marvel Romance collects several romance stories from Silver Age Marvel comics, including Patsy Walker. Oddly enough, no Millie the Model stories in that book.

I canít imagine many people buying this comic unless they fall into one of three categories: (1) Archie fans who want to compare Archie with a popular imitator, (2) Defenders fans who need a new copy of issue #65, (3) People committed to buying every Marvel Milestone, no matter what it reprints.

Otherwise, you can let this one go.

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