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Comics 101, #008: Pretty Deadly

Comics 101, #008: Pretty Deadly

I’m familiar with Kelly Sue DeConnick’s work from Captain Marvel, so when I heard she would be writing a new series with Image Comics, illustrated by Emma Rios (who worked with DeConnick on Captain Marvel) and Jordie Bellaire, I knew I had to check it out. I didn’t know anything about the plot or characters before buying the first issue the day it came out; I was going in completely blind.

prettydeadly02-coverPretty Deadly is a rich blend of folk tale, fairy tale, and classic Western, and it’s this amalgamation of genres that makes this title so unique and hard to pin down. The first issue opens with a conversation between a rabbit and a butterfly which segues into an introduction to the vulture cloak-wearing young Sissy and old man Foxy, two travelers who regale the reader with the story of Deathface Ginny, a vengeful legend I’m already hooked on. (The daughter of Death himself? I’m not just hooked – I’m in love.)

From there, DeConnick gives us little snippets of other characters that’ll undoubtedly pop up in future issues. It’s like a taste test of the fictional variety, and everything was pretty dang tasty. Though Deathface Ginny doesn’t make her appearance in the first issue, her presence is felt largely throughout; her story, told by Sissy and Foxy, reaches far beyond the town where they’re stationed and spreads to the other characters DeConnick introduces to us. Ginny becomes, at least in the first issue, a thread that will undoubtedly connect everything together as the comic continues.

Sometimes the frequent switching between narrators and characters threw me off and confused me, but after reading through the issue a second time it was much easier to follow along. This is the type of comic that needs to be read and appreciated slowly, if not to understand the story than to at least admire the attention, detail, and love that the writer and artists spilled into their work.

Speaking of which, the artwork, drawn by Rios and colored by Bellaire, is to die for. It’s evocative of Western tales with its grittiness, and Bellaire’s color palette for this title really give the comic its own personality, to the point where if you were to just show me a random page without telling me where it’s from, I could identify it as Pretty Deadly.

With so much going on in the first issue, it’s clear that DeConnick has much more planned for Deathface Ginny and the rest of the Pretty Deadly cast. The third issue came out December 18, so if anyone’s thinking about jumping on this fast-paced train, it’s a great time to do so. Especially for readers looking for something new that isn’t saturated with superheroes, this will really tickle your taste buds.

TIP SHEET:

  • Pretty Deadly is written by Kelly Sue DeConnick, the current writer of Captain Marvel and Avengers Assemble for Marvel Comics as well as Ghost for Dark Horse Comics.
  • It’s a blend of fairytale elements as well as Western folk tales that really mix well together and make for a unique storytelling experience.
  • The story features a wide variety of characters but the main focus is on Deathface Ginny, a legendary figure we only just hear about.

YOU MAY LIKE PRETTY DEADLY IF:

  • You’re not into the whole superhero thing and you’re looking for another genre of comic that you can sink your teeth into.
  • You’re a fan of any of the genres woven into the mix: fairy tales, Westerns, folklore, etc.
  • You’re looking for a story with a large cast of detailed characters, various narratives, and highly stylized artwork.

Gabby Taub, the Fantasy Reviewer at Girls in Capes, is a senior at New York University studying creative writing. She enjoys reading, writing, watching TV, and spending time getting lost among the bookshelves at Strand Bookstore.

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Gabrielle Taub on Twitter
Gabrielle Taub
Fantasy Reviewer at Girls in Capes
Gabby, the Fantasy Reviewer at Girls in Capes, is a graduate of New York University. She enjoys reading (about Captain America), writing (about Captain America), and spending time getting lost among the bookshelves at Strand Bookstore – probably while thinking about Captain America.
Gabrielle Taub
Written by Gabrielle Taub

Gabby, the Fantasy Reviewer at Girls in Capes, is a graduate of New York University. She enjoys reading (about Captain America), writing (about Captain America), and spending time getting lost among the bookshelves at Strand Bookstore – probably while thinking about Captain America.