PRETTY DEADLY #1
Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick
Art by Emma Rios, Jordie Bellaire
Published by Image Comics
Release Date: October 23, 2013
Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios have long said this story is told by them both, with DeConnick providing the script and Rios the visuals. This is a brilliant way of describing this arrangement as this tale would not work without these two gifted storytellers bringing their talents together to make Pretty Deadly #1 the unique piece of glory it is. DeConnick uses some interesting storytelling devices in this issue that allow readers to gain insight into the world we are reading, building this rich, yet desolate world through stories that are told with grace and wonderful flow. DeConnick’s script is elegant even when filled with violent themes, a dark tale that is filled with mystery and intrigue. This is some of the strongest writing we have ever read from DeConnick, her narration and exposition driving this story moreso than its dialogue in this early stage of the series, and showing a different side to her work. The script hits every beat at just the right time, revealing details at exactly the right times and getting readers acclimated to this dark new world. There is a tension brimming throughout the issue from the very first page and that feeling never lets up, setting a tone that makes it impossible to put this issue down.
The art, provided by Emma Rios and Jordie Bellaire, is the perfect compliment to the script DeConnick has written. This marriage between visuals and words does create a singular story, and it is obvious these creators are in perfect sync with respect to the world being built and the story being told. Rios’ work is sharp and her layouts are astounding, creating an excellent flow with unique elements that are reminiscient of J.H. Williams III in their sprawling awesomeness. Rios’ builds a grand world that is seemingly devoid of hope and filled with despair, but with flashes of beauty throughout that grip the eye and draw the reader into the world of Pretty Deadly. The colours from Jordie Bellaire make this strong art even more engrossing and provide a richness to the visuals that enhances the story being told immensely. Her colour work is the perfect compliment to Rios’ style in this issue, and matches the tone of the story flawlessly. This is some of the most unique artwork you’ll find in creator owned comics today and should not be missed by anyone.
Pretty Deadly #1 is a fantastic debut issue by creators who are working in perfect tandem to tell one of the tightest stories I have seen in a #1 issue in a long time. The world of Pretty Deadly is dark and filled with ominous tones, but also a bizarre beauty and grace that was not expected. This is, by no means, your typical Western and DeConnick and Rios have a winner on their hands. Get your hands on a copy of this as fast as you can, I have absolutely no doubt this comic will sell out (if it hasn’t already). This is one you’ll want to be in on the ground floor for, as Pretty Deadly #1 sets up all the pieces for this series to be something really special.