Friday, January 9, 2009

The Best Books You Aren't Reading - Patsy Walker: Hellcat

Patsy Walker: Hellcat is, from what I know, the first book from writer Kathryn Immonen, and it teams her up with artist David Lafuente Garcia. A relative no-name writer on a relative no-name character on a miniseries that doesn't even touch Marvel continuity beyond the premise for the mini... yes, this was a book that was destined from #1 to be a Book You Aren't Reading. What I didn't know was that it would be one of the Best Books you weren't reading. I'll admit it, I picked it up because the premise for the first issue made me smile and the cover for #1 was absolutely gorgeous.


Patsy Walker, S.H.I.E.L.D. wants YOU to join the Initiative…and protect the frozen north. You heard me right, sister. The Klondike. Seward’s Folly. Alaska. So pack some long johns and prepare for trouble. GUEST-STARRING: IRON MAN!

Patsy Walker is, at the behest of Iron Man, sent to Alaska as part of the 50 States Initiative. Unfortunately, she's the only member of the Alaska team, because... who the Hell wants to attack Alaska? Still, ever loyal, she heads off to Alaska and finds herself embroiled in some bizarre, mystic quest.

I'll be honest, I sneer at people who are confused by most Morrison comics, but off the top of my head, I couldn't describe to you the plot of Patsy Walker: Hellcat, thus far. Despite that, though, the book has had a sense of cleverness and of FUN that many modern comics forget to include somewhere between all the death, rape and angst that gets tossed around.

Combine the offbeat sense of humor with absolutely gorgeous art from Lafuente, and you've got a winner. While the much-delayed mini seems to come out once in a blue moon, when it does, it's a breath of fresh air amongst the largely stagnant comics it sits between. It isn't a powerful narrative, it isn't comics-as-art-as-literature, and it isn't anything you haven't seen before... but, well, imagine Holly Golightly with superpowerrs written by someone on shrooms with an affinity for wordplay, and ask yourself: is this something I can really afford not to try out?

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