Thessaly: Witch For Hire is a four-part Vertigo Comics mini-series by Bill Willingham and Shawn McManus. A sequel to The Thessaliad, and a Spin-Off from The Sandman (1989), it features Thessaly, the murderous witch (and former lover of Dream) forced by the dimwitted ghost Fetch to take on a series of monster-killing contracts, including a contract on a Tharmic Null, a beast that is seemingly completely imaginary but is not only real, it's impossible to kill.
This series contains examples of:
- Blue-Collar Warlock: Thanks to Fetch's machinations, Thessaly is forced to kill various supernatural monsters for money.
- Boxed Crook: Fetch tries to turn Thessaly into one of these by forcing her to kill monsters that are preying on innocents. She's less than thrilled when she finds out.
- Cry Laughing: After Thessaly finds out that Fetch has managed to get her contracted to kill a Tharmic Null - a beast that nothing and nobody can kill - she starts laughing and crying simultaneously, because he's finally given her a death sentence from which she can't escape.
- Excrement Statement: One of the ghosts who composes Fetch belonged to a drunkard who earned Thessaly's ire by pissing on the wall of her chapter house and was killed for it.
- The Fake Cutie: Thessaly is a borderline sociopath who has successfully disguised herself as a mousy co-ed for decades.
- Forgot to Feed the Monster: Thessaly has imprisoned and enslaved a number of monsters over the centuries. As she runs out of time for dealing with the Tharmic Null, she elects to release most of her captives, because she can no longer ensure their maintenance, and believes it would be wrong for them to starve to death if she were unable to return.
- Karma Houdini: Thessaly is a master at escaping richly-deserved deaths.
- Killer Rabbit:
- Thessaly looks like a cute college student with glasses, but she's really a mass-murdering witch, the last of the dreaded Thessalian witches.
- At one point, Thessaly seeks help from Fat Joe, an enormous, mangy housecat who boasts that he's killed at least one of every species that's ever existed.
- Prophecy Twist: The Virgin of the Wall prophesies that "nothing and no-one" can kill a Tharmic Null. The solution turns out to be to remove all the souls making up the composite ghost Fetch, then use magic to keep him from just dissolving. Now that he's literally "nothing and no-one", his fighting the Tharmic Null results in both ceasing to exist.
- Really 700 Years Old: Thessaly was born a very, very long time ago. At one point in this series, there's a flashback that shows her as a cavewoman.
- Ret-Gone: Anything the Tharmic Null touches is retroactively removed from existence.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Thessaly has acquired several of these over the millennia.
- Stalker with a Crush: Fetch refuses to leave Thessaly alone, convinced that there's something between them.
- Villain Protagonist: Thessaly is a witch who's murdered thousands of people (plus at least one she-lamb and a god or two) over the millennia. She's also the protagonist of this miniseries.
- World Pillars: The titular witch alludes to there being pillars that keep the various Heavens from crashing down upon Earth. She mentions this in the context of mentioning that she's learned spells to topple them.
- You Need to Get Laid: Fetch insists that Thessaly's life would have far more meaning if she got laid once in a while.