Thessaly, Witch for Hire

Thessaly, Witch for Hire
Thessaly Witch for Hire review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: Vertigo - 1-4012-0497-X
  • Volume No.: 2
  • Release date: 2005
  • UPC: 9781401204976
  • Contains adult content?: yes
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: yes
  • Positive minority portrayal?: yes
  • CATEGORIES: Fantasy

Bill Willingham seems able to turn his hand to almost anything from adults-only sex romps to stellar superhero sagas, but any lasting fame will certainly accrue thanks to his wittily mature fantasy material. This is not just Fables and its many offshoots but wry and scary little yarns like this one. It’s a pity he can’t draw as well.

No, wait, he can do that really well too, but doesn’t need to here because Shawn McManus adds his deviously impish light illustrative touch to the mix.

Thessaly, is the last of the immortal – and extremely deadly – Thessalian Witches. She first appeared in A Game of You from Neil Gaiman’s groundbreaking Sandman, before eventually spinning off into her own miniseries The Thessaliad. This was also written by Willingham and collected as part of the Taller Tales collection.

This, her second solo outing, finds the primly lethal and so very proper arch-survivor reunited with Fetch, a ghostly agglomeration of the immeasurably vast horde of people, demons, gods and monsters Thessaly has killed over the millennia of her existence.

What she doesn’t know – yet – is that the eldritch coalition comprising Fetch is stalking her in a perpetual and inexplicable quest to bed their murderer and has arranged a succession of supernal threats to keep them together whatever befalls. If that didn’t set alarm bells ringing, it becomes terribly serious when he inadvertently unleashes the one thing in the universe she cannot kill and sets it on a path to her destruction.

How they thwart this inevitable doom provides a light, fluffy blend of rom-com, road trip and high-class horror hunt. It’s a splendidly wry read for fantasy fans and devotees of really clever, grown-up comics.

Both this volume and its predecessor can be found in the hardback collection of Willingham’s non-Fables Vertigo work Bad Doings and Big Ideas.