Rating: 4.5/5 – If at first you do not read, try, try again.
Pretty Deadly is a supernatural western. The story of Deathface Ginny, Death’s daughter who “rides the wind on a horse made of smoke and her face bears the skull marks of her father”. That’s what the solicitation text tells us.
I was first exposed to Kelly Sue Deconnick’s writing over at Marvel comics on the Osborn mini-series in 2011 focusing on Norman Osborn, the original Green Goblin. I remember picking it up because of the Emma Rios art, I had been a fan of Rios from back in her days at Boom! illustrating Hexed back in 2008 (a great series and worth picking up). So, there I was reading Osborn. I was a fan of the character, I was a fan of the artist, but Deconnick’s writing just didn’t click with me. It wasn’t bad, the story just didn’t resonate. Next up was Supergirl #65-67 over at DC. Again, it didn’t appeal to me. I tried her again on Captain Marvel & Avengers Assemble at Marvel. Nope. I could not get into the writing.
I could have just said “I’ve tried it time and again, I’m going to avoid Deconnick’s writing from now on” when I saw Pretty Deadly solicited (re-teaming Deconnick with her Osborn collaborator Emma Rios). But then I though of Rick Remender. I have LOVED almost everything creator-owned from him that I’ve read; Strange Girl, Sea of Red, Fear Agent, Last Days of American, Crime, etc. On the other hand, I’ve had a pretty universal dislike for everything he’s ever done at Marvel. Same guy, but I just can’t get into his work on super-heroes while loving his un-caped creator owned work. I had never read a creator-owned book by Deconnick and I was eager to see if she would fall into the “Remender zone” for me. I’m glad I did.
I enjoyed this issue quite a lot. Deconnick’s characters, characterizations, dialogue, everything about this fell right into place for me. I liked it from page 1. The highlight of the issue for me was Sissy’s recounting of the “Saga of Deathface Ginny” as visualized by Rios’ amazing artistry. The only thing I can really hold against the issue is that I’d have liked to have seen a scene with Ginny interacting with the rest of the cast, but I can understand the desire to pace the introduction the way it was handled.
So, I can now say I’m a fan of Deconnick’s creator-owned Pretty Deadly. I’m on board for this series and I look forward to future creator-owned project from her. Emma Rios has always been on my “happy” list. Her art just makes me smile even when she’s illustrating something pretty grim (or, dare I say, pretty deadly). Her storytelling, page designs, and panel layouts are always a pleasure to experience, and it’s no different here. This series is highly recommended, it could very easily become Image’s next runaway hit. Check it out!
Reviewed by: Bob Bretall – email@example.com
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