Image from comicsalliance.com
Writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Artist: Emma Rios
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Publisher: Image Comics
Announced at last years San Diego Comic Con, the supernatural/western, “Pretty Deadly” hooked me from the beginning. Discovering Kelly Sue DeConnick’s work first on Marvel’s underrated mini-series “Girl Comics,” DeConnick along with artist Emma Rios produced another highly underrated mini-series for Marvel called “Osborn.” Since then, DeConnick has become a real star with her highest profile story being the current run on Marvel’s “Captain Marvel.” After over a year after it’s announcement, “Pretty Deadly” has finally hit the stands, but it might be something I wait awhile longer to read as a whole.
There are a lot of things going on in this book. The story is told from the point of view of a butterfly and a bunny reminiscing on their first meeting. Through their conversation they decide that the best start is following a duo of performers named Sissy and Fox. Sissy is a young woman with different colored eyes, a black dress and a vulture headdress with black feathers that drape down the back. Fox is a grizzled, older blind man with long gray hair, gray beard, and a blindfold that covers his eyes and hides an “X” shaped scare on his face.
The duo travel around as a stage show and tell the tale of Deathface Ginny, the Reaper of Vengeance singing “If you’ve been wronged, say her name, sing this song” and death will ride on the wind.
After performing, Sissy is tipped with a piece of paper from an outlaw named Johnny. The contents of the parchment are secret, but as the issue continues, there are groups of people who will kill to find out what’s on that paper.
Along with the main story, on the last page is a story about The Disgraced Scoundrels Johnny Coyote and The Lady Molly Raven. It adds just a bit more back story for Coyote and gives the book a little more story for your buck.
A conundrum that faces a comic reader nowadays is this: do you read it as a monthly or as a trade? DeConnick’s past work reads well in a monthly format but this title has maybe too much for a single issue. We’re introduced to a sizable cast with at least three different story lines, and since the majority is still a mystery, and I wonder if this might read better in a trade format.
The main star of this issue is Emma Rios’s beautiful art. Along with great detail of the characters, clothing, and layouts, the issue really shines in Sissy’s song about Ginny. I love the storybook format of Ginny’s origin combined with the crowed reactions and Sissy’s performance. Jordie Bellaire re-teams with Rios and DeConnick and really makes her art shine.
By the end of Ginny’s tale, this is going to be an awesome book, but as a single issue monthly tale, it maybe something worth waiting for.