The highly anticipated ‘Pretty Deadly’ #1 arrives fusing a number of different genres, most notably Western but with elements of fables and the supernatural. This first issue is a lot to process as loads of characters and concepts are introduced in flurry… a poetic flurry, but a flurry nonetheless.
The book opens being narrated by a butterfly and a rabbit, who is quickly killed, but who continues their conversation.
We are then introduced to a young Native American girl, draped in a a vulture feather cloak and her traveling companion, an older blind man named Fox or Foxy, who arrive at your requisite “one horse town” and regale the locals with a tale/song about Death’s daughter, Deathface Ginny… a mythical figure who may actually be real.
That night in the desert, the pair are attacked, but the blind man fires back and strikes one of their assailants, with no explanation. The would-be thieves retreat.
There is a confrontation between a mysterious woman named Big Alice and a man that appeared earlier. He appears to be the sheriff and they clearly share a history involving a mysterious notebook.
Fox makes a startling discovery and rouses the men that attacked them earlier imploring them to ride with him to the home of a woman from his past.
Something big is coming, we’re just not certain what yet.
There is some addition material in prose form as well, including some memoir-like passages from writer Kelly Sue DeConnick.
This is a somewhat challenging read, because it’s just the first complex exposure to a new world, populated by a vast, diverse cast. It’s excellently woven together, but it’s a challenging read. It makes much better sense upon a second reading and I’m positive it will actually work even better as a trade.
The art, by Emma Rios, works well. It’s got a grimy, indie feel that works well for the story. Like the story, the flow works a bit better upon a second reading, in that there are some extreme closeups which can feel a bit too abstract upon first glance.
There’s a whole lot to take in here and you can tell there’s going to be a lot more coming up. Some things feel clearer by the end, but clearly some things are left unanswered for now. It should be an enjoyable ride if this creative team can maintain this level of energy and quality.
PRETTY DEADLY #1
Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick
Art and Cover by Emma Rios