Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick
Art by Emma Rios and Jordie Bellaire
Published by Image Comics
Release Date: November 27, 2013

prettydeadly02-cover-6fe1aHot off the trails of its debut issue last month, Pretty Deadly returns this week with sex, guns, swords, and more creepy macabre than before.

What writer Kelly Sue Deconnick does well in Pretty Deadly is that she is able to keep faithful to the Spaghetti Western genre by keeping the dialogue terse, but with a poetic tinge that eschews its own mythos. Each character speaks with a deliberate intention that not only captivates your attention but stokes your curiousity. Like Sergio Leone’s Man With No Name films, the words resonate because there are few of them. When characters present dialogue, there is a doleful gravitas about them that sinks into you and stays. DeConnick is able to grasp this ideal while still blending in a drastically different style of Western than we are typically familiar with.

The story is told from the perspective of a skeleton bunny named Bones Bunny to a butterfly, unironically named Butterfly. The voices of Bones Bunny and Butterfly as they begin to tell the story to the reader ring with a child-like innocence that gives this series its fairy tale qualities and mythological ambiance. Not only does this style lend itself well to the Western genre, but it also aids in the supernatural aspects and cutthroat violence that DeConnick attempts to blend together in Pretty Deadly.

As you traverse in reading this comic book, you’re also able to visually absorb the artistic storytelling of Emma Rios. Her artistic approach is reminiscent of the highly stylized anime/manga from the 1980’s but with softer lines that tend to ebb and flow with a seeming fluidity. Rios demonstrates her ability to present edgy, fast-paced action and violence in this issue as we witness a showdown of swords between Deathface Ginny and a rival who has been ordered to return Ginny home to Death himself  — who we can assume for now is her father. Rios slows the pace with full page spreads and employs overlapping panels to bring your attention to the details and heighten the action and draw you in. Colorist Jordie Bellaire craftfully segments scenes by using very soft purple and pink tones of a twisted love scene to warmer and sullen palette of browns, oranges, and greys for the rest of the book. By not using bright or fantastic colors, it keeps Pretty Deadly congruent with the cheerlessness of the Spaghetti Western genre.

On the whole, this issue further fuels the fires of readers interest. We’re offered minimal continuation storywise from what we were previously introduced to as the story shifts focus more onto the lead character Deathface Ginny, but writer Kelly Sue DeConnick gives us just enough tease and uncertainty to keep the reader wanting more. It’s too early to tell if we DeConnick, Rios, and Bellaire will be able to deliver on the idyllic grandness that we are promised with these two issues, but I’m assuredly teeming with interest in finding out more.

The Verdict: 9.0/10



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