When the first issue of PRETTY DEADLY came out a few months ago, we were catapulted into a world where the dust had not yet completely settled; a whirlwind of a Western that required some getting-acquainted. It was interesting and mysterious at the same time -- we knew that there was a revenge element and that Death had a daughter, but weren't quite sure how all of the pieces slid into place. Four issues in, the larger narrative scaffolding has been built, and the key players revealed for what they are -- and this story is getting good.
There's a mythic quality to PRETTY DEADLY. It's so much bigger than the physical space over which its cast is roaming; there are lives and deaths and cosmic purposes at stake, and there's no clear answer to who's good, who's bad, and who's innocent. Kelly Sue DeConnick is proving, issue after issue, what a masterful storyteller she is, architecting a dusty, revenge-y fairy tale that has us hooked.
I'm especially curious about where each character's alignment will shake out; so many could be wildcards at this stage that even with all (current) cards on the table, there's no way to tell where the action will lead them. Ginny and Big Alice are especially interesting cases, as is the charming and rakish Coyote -- Issue #5 can't come fast enough.
Emma Rios -- especially with colors by Jordie Bellaire, because the pair works together splendidly -- delivers strikingly beautiful and incredibly finely-detailed pages. It makes me wonder what special brand of patience the two possess; laying down thousands of tiny butterflies or skulls or blades of grass, just so we can enjoy them for the swift moments that our eyes rest on a panel. At the risk of downplaying my enthusiasm for the rest of the book, I would have to recommend picking up a copy just for the sequences between Death and Beauty.
I got nothin'. I'm just sitting back and watching this thing unfold with Bones Bunny and the rest.
PRETTY DEADLY debuted strong, and it's only getting stronger by the issue. Exceptional art by Rios and Bellaire sweeps us further into DeConnick's intriguing story of fear, power, and regret. The cast is wild and interesting, and Death vs. Sissy (and vs. Mason, and possibly vs. Ginny, who is also vs. Alice…you get the picture) promises several rollicking issues' worth of action, magic, and sweet revenge. PRETTY DEADLY is an absolute must-pull, and one of the most outstanding titles out right now.