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Patsy Walker: Hellcat #2 (of 5)

Posted: Tuesday, August 5, 2008
By: Shawn Hill

Kathryn Immonen
David LaFuente
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: Patsy Walker: Hellcat #2 arrives in stores tomorrow, August 6.

"The Snowball Effect: Part Two"

Plot: Patsy uses her magickal sensitivity (she doesn't wield the stuff, but she just knows it when she sees it) to apply for a job with a group of Alaskan witches. Or they might be fallen gods, or tricksters. It's sort of left up to the reader to sort out.

Comments: Immonen's stream of consciousness writing style moves into extreme overload in her second issue, with reality and illusion blurring into the dreamscape for our main character, who, considering all she's been through since her time with Defenders (including a death and resurrection), perhaps unsurprisingly takes all the weirdness in stride while making small talk and cracking wise as needed.

It's very surreal, but with fresh Northern Lights type imagery: demon bears, crazed krackens, Native American mythology. One minute Patsy's struggling with tentacles, the next Iron Man and various friends from the rest of America are chiding her for failing them (but is it all in her head?), and the next she's arguing with some cranky mystics who've lost their "daughter" and want to hire Patsy to find her.

LaFuente keeps admirable pace with Immonen's fluid imagery, creating a sort of virtual magickal hut/domicile/lodge setting that seems to solidify and then deconstruct itself as needed. The whole feeling is rather like the reality warping that Wanda Maximoff did so casually and completely in House of M, only here the witches are doing it all to confuse Patsy, and to test her. As she's not confused in the slightest (don't they know she was once married to Satan's Son?), she passes the test, and so they grudgingly hire her to locate their patron spirit who's gone astray.

Along the way she finds her missing luggage, and there's time for a fashion show (other heroes have fisticuffs every issue, Patsy has wardrobe malfunctions), and she ends up using a Land Rover as her means of return to those pesky anthropomorphic bears and deer. I can't see too many people having the patience all this whimsy requires, but if a sort of Buffy on overdrive tone works for you, there's plenty of fun to be had in this decidedly offbeat corner of the Marvel universe.







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