Kelly Su Deconnick's "Pretty Deadly" Earns Its Name | Fanboys Anonymous

Kelly Su Deconnick's "Pretty Deadly" Earns Its Name

Posted by Unknown Sunday, October 27, 2013
As Image Comics has grown, so too has its depth of titles and roster of talent. The company has striven, particularly of late, to stick out from the crowd and flaunt its creator-owned work with increased publicity. One book that hit the advertising campaign trail particularly hard was Kelly Sue Deconnick’s Pretty Deadly. Female-created content depicting a female lead is a rare commodity in the comic industry, which surrounds this book with great expectations. What we got was certainly a pretty story, but the pacing and lack of a direction could prove deadly to the book.

Cover for Pretty Deadly, a new series from the publishers of The Walking Dead

The story's opening sets the imaginative tone for the piece, as it's told from a rather unique perspective. A dead rabbit and a butterfly narrate the pages, which include the death of the rabbit at the hands of a little girl with a revolver. We then jump to your traditional Wild West town where a young girl in a vulture costume, Sissy, and a blind man, Fox, stand atop a hangman’s platform to tell the story of Death falling in love. The story/song explains how Death found a gorgeous woman who was imprisoned by her husband, and killed her—but not before having a child, Ginny, with the woman. Following the end of their presentation, and a scuffle with an inappropriately touchy gentleman, the duo decides to leave town.

Sissy and Fox tell the story of Death's daughter, Ginny, in Pretty Deadly 1
That night they are attacked, but they ward off the men with a crack shot by Fox, who seems to be much more than we originally thought, which continues the simultaneously mystical and eerie tone. Back in town, a massive woman—fittingly named Big Alice—enters the local bar and is greeted by the fear of the patrons inside. Upstairs, she breaks into a room to find the very man who approached Sissy earlier. Alice is looking for “the binder,” which she knows to be in the man's possession. At gunpoint, the man finally relents and tells her the book's whereabouts only for the duo to discover one of Sissy's feathers where the book had been.

Back at the campground, the blind man realizes they are burning pages Sissy stole and immediately warns that the troupe needs to move. They relocate to a shack in another part of the desert—it all kind of looks the same—owned by a friend of Fox’s. The final page then shows Ginny riding through the desert towards us and, most likely, the cabin.

Death's daughter arrives in new Image Comics series Pretty Deadly

Pretty Dead 1 had a lot of world building, but much like Sex Criminals, I didn’t get a strong sense of driving action or direction for the series. I know a lot happened, but I’m not sure what a lot of it was. Omitting details to allow for a chance to get to know a character is one thing, but I came out of this issue not even knowing who the main character is. Is it Sissy and Fox? Why are they on the run and who are they living with? The premise of a vengeful body attacking sinners in a Western setting, drawing its powers from an otherworldly figure, also isn't anything revolutionary, but at least Nicolas Cage can't ruin this franchise too. While the story left me confused, I can say the art certainly helped keep the read enjoyable, and there were enough plants throughout the book to imply big things to come.

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