Home > Vertigo > Sandman Presents Thessaly: Witch For Hire #2

Sandman Presents Thessaly: Witch For Hire #2

February 28, 2004

Quick Rating: Good
Title: Ghostraker (or) The Importance of Well-Hidden Jars

Thessaly gets information about her situation from Fetch… the hard way.

Writer: Bill Willingham
Art: Shawn McManus
Colors: Pamela Rambo
Letters: Rob Leigh
Editor: Mariah Huehner
Cover Art: Tara McPherson
Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo

This issue is another solid installment of Thessaly’s tale by Bill Willingham, but it takes a darker turn this issue. It’s not quite as much fun as last issue was. Not to say I thought this comic book would be all rainbows and puppy dog tails, but the title takes a definite turn down a dark trail I didn’t see coming this issue, and that leaves the reader a little uncomfortable.

After disposing of the latest monster that Fetch has conscripted her to defeat, Thessaly takes the ghost to a secluded cabin somewhere so she can begin to rip information out of him a piece at a time. Thanks to him, Thessaly has spent the last two years of her life fighting monster after monster. Now that she knows he’s the cause, she wants to know what else he’s got up his sleeve.

Fetch makes an odd choice as narrator of this series – he’s got that roguish charm going for him, but considering what he’s put Thessaly through while claiming to be in love with her, he’s not an altogether sympathetic character. Of course, considering some of the things she has done in her long life, Thessaly isn’t all that sympathetic either. That just makes it all the more odd, really, how likeable and engaging both of these characters really are.

Shawn McManus, who first drew Thessaly back in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series, does a fine job in this issue. He’s never too realistic with his pencils, keeping something of a cartoonish edge that somehow suits the characters very well. This doesn’t stop him from drawing the nasty stuff when necessary though – he gives us hints of Thessaly-spawned violence at the beginning and a look of some of the horrors she’s really capable of towards the end of the book, and all of it fits in with the style used for Thessaly herself just fine. He doesn’t lose anything transitioning from one style to the other.

There have been several Sandman Presents specials and miniseries since the original book ended. Almost all of the best ones have come from the able keyboard of Bill Willingham. He’s one of the best assets DC Comics has right now, and it’s encouraging to see how much great work he’s getting to do these days.

Rating: 7/10

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