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Patsy Walker: Hellcat #5 (of 5)

Posted: Tuesday, February 10, 2009
By: Shawn Hill

Kathryn Immonen
David Lafuente, John Rauch (colors)
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: Patsy Walker: Hellcat #5 arrives in stores tomorrow, February 11.

"The Snowball Effect: Part Five"

Plot: Patsy has almost achieved her goal of returning the lost little foal to her many mothers, but only because the little angel has been knocked unconscious, and sadly, their only transportation is impaled on the side of a cliff.

Comments: This silly romp concludes making marginally more sense than when it began. In fact, this issue is almost too straightforward, given all the multiplying bunnies, angry lemmings, abominable yetis, and talking Aztec calendars that have festooned our journey along the way.

This time, Patsy, while insisting she has no magic of her own (but she does), exhorts the Yeti and the errant daughter to use their magic to save everyone, and in their own ways, they do. The family reunion, however, is as angst-filled as any involving a frustrated teenager. So Patsy brokers permission for the little rebel to attend art school for a few years, which isn't all she wants, but it's more than her out of touch and needy parents were willing to allow.

Patsy helpfully points out that a few years in the lives of exceptionally long-lived mystics isn't the worst thing ever, and she's also gotten the calendar to revert to its form as the father of the mistreated Ssangyong. Lucky for Patsy, he's also hot. I really thought back in issue #1 that we were in for a Northern Exposure type of Alaskan trip full of colorful eccentric locals, such as the supporting cast introduced in the little town where Patsy was initially stranded.

But, no, she's been out in the great wild world of spirits and totemic animals for the last three issues, and nary even a Sarah Palin joke in sight. She's too busy amusing herself to poke too much fun at others. She gets everyone to compromise, and seems from the letters page (which she answers personally) to be ready for her next starring role in a "romance," or perhaps in a model-icious comic. Which is sort of what this one was: a surreal mix of campy magic and near silly-animal heroics from start to finish. Somehow, Immonen kept it all frothy enough to stay afloat through all the whimsy, though a lot of the mystic hullabaloo was pretty hard to follow. Can Patsy settle down to a more conventional narrative and still be entertaining? Of course she can; even if she fails she won't stop trying. That's what heroes do.






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