Review: Pretty Deadly Vol. 1

MARVELCoverTemp copy.indt Title: Pretty Deadly Vol. 1

Author: Kelly Sue Deconnick

Illustrators: Emma Rios, Jordie Bellaire

Publisher: Image Comics

Published: 2014

ISBN: 978-1-607069-62-1

 Pretty Deadly, Vol. 1

Synopsis from Goodreads:

KELLY SUE DeCONNICK (Avengers Assemble, Captain Marvel) and EMMA RÍOS (Dr. Strange, Osborn) present the collected opening arc of their surprise-hit series that marries the magical realism of Sandman with the western brutality of Preacher. Death’s daughter rides the wind on a horse made of smoke and her face bears the skull marks of her father. Her origin story is a tale of retribution as beautifully lush as it is unflinchingly savage.

What a beautiful comic I have to say. The colours are and the ink are absolutely stunning. What really caught my eye was the artfulness of the brushstrokes. They seemed so perfect and so intentionally placed, which for me, really demonstrates the purposefulness and thoughtfulness behind each image.

I love the female characters in this. They’re all pretty badass and powerful, each in her own way. It is the women and their secrets and their struggles that drive the story. It’s refreshing to see strong female characters who are in control and still manage to keep their clothes on (for the most part). Their truths are slowly revealed throughout each issue and the volume ends on a cliffhanger to assure us that there is more action to come in the next issue.

I do have to say, I found the story to be rushed a bit. It is such a quick read that the plot doesn’t have much time to mature and strengthen. Things that should have taken pages to unravel, were presented in only a few panels. The story itself is so complex that it needs to be given more time to reveal itself to the reader. I do plan on reading it a second time to see what else I can get from it. And plus, who doesn’t want to look at beautiful art work for a second time?

This graphic novel is classified as a Western/Fantasy but I wanted to see more of the Fantasy genre throughout. It’s definitely there in the images, but I would have loved to see it integrated into the story a little more strongly so it’s presence was constant. You do see the Fantasy brought in with the representation of death and his lair, and you see it in the reaper’s ability to enter and interact with Sissy’s dreams, but the dream walking is only introduced in issue #5. I found this such an intriguing element and it’s only mentioned in passing. I wanted to see more.

Overall: beautifully illustrated, compelling storyline, strong characters, but still lacking in the narration. It’s a great read and I’ll definitely be buying myself a copy of Volume 2 one day. If you’re a comic lover, this one’s for you.

Published by wornpagesandink

Hi! I'm Jaaron. I'm a book-obsessed blogger, writer, reader, coffee-drinker, and dog-lover. I have a B.A.H. in English Literature and a post-graduate diploma in Book and Magazine publishing. I've been fortunate to have worked in both trade and educational publishing. If you have any recommendations for excellent reads, let me know!

One thought on “Review: Pretty Deadly Vol. 1

  1. The art is just SO gorgeous. Emma Rios is just brilliant. I’m sorry the story felt a bit rushed to you. Maybe because I read it in monthly installments I missed out on that.


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