Comic Vine Review


Pretty Deadly #2 Review


Let's just say that I'm going to start singing Deathface Ginny's song anytime I feel wronged...

The Good

A striking first issue is followed up this month with a lot of "more" -- more context, more action, more Deathface Ginny. Swords come out, everything's on fire, and it's pretty easy to note that PRETTY DEADLY is pretty spectacular.

Kelly Sue DeConnick discards last issue's song and stage show in favor of more straightforward storytelling, and it's a great jump-start to the pace of the book. Bones Bunny is still along to lend a preternaturally wise frame to the tale, but things really start cooking in terms of action -- Ginny is a myth no longer, and she gets straight to business. There's still more to learn about what exactly that binder locks in, and what will become of Sissy and Fox, and that's precisely why issue #3 can't arrive soon enough.

Emma Rios is a master with an ink brush. Atop a canvas of lush details -- flames and feathers and hair, oh my! -- Rios lays down some serious visual storytelling. Big Alice's face, streaked with blood in a macabre mirror of Ginny's Deathface is just poetic. And with Jordie Bellaire's colors, Rios' pages catch fire. Everything feels dusty and lively at the same time -- as it should in the Old West -- and every page has a near-palpable texture.

As with the first issue, the backmatter lends touching context to the book; DeConnick once again shares a personal anecdote that reminds us that PRETTY DEADLY is brought to us by real people with real stories that unfold in parallel with the wild tale of Bones Bunny, Ginny, and the rest. It's philosophical, it's honest, and it's thought-provoking. As if that weren't enough, the team also back-loads the book with a lovely short story (part 2 of the story from the first issue), a pinup, and selected tweets, songs, and other treats from the fan community.

The Bad

I've had a few conversations with readers who found the language in PRETTY DEADLY to be a bit inaccessible; I've had to explain that a binder is less "Trapper Keeper" and more "contract" in the context of the story more than a few times. It's a trade-off -- there's a certain authenticity in DeConnick's words that I (and many others) find enjoyable, but the price of authenticity can sometimes be confusion.

The Verdict

PRETTY DEADLY is a shining example of everything that Image Comics is doing right lately. The concept is unique, the creative team is driven and talented (and unburdened by existing lore, crossovers, or the like), and just two issues in, Ginny & Co. have a captivated, passionate fanbase. Even if Westerns aren't typically your flavor of choice, this one's worth a look.

As a caveat -- PRETTY DEADLY may have a young girl in its principal cast and an overarching story that DeConnick can talk about with her children, but there are definitely some scenes that are more suited to mature readers.

10 Comments Refresh
Posted by CaptainHoopla

Another excellent issue for this very unique book. Things escalated quickly here. A grand entrance for Ginny. Is it a crime to just want to stare at and be mesmerized by the art? Seriously impressive linework and coloring.

Posted by dcfox

I was one of those people who loved the art and not the writing. But if the story is more straight forward this time around it might be worth it to give the book another shot.

Posted by Crimsonlord53

It's sad that literature (comic books included) has to start and stop at the lowest common denominator.

I really like where this book is headed.

Edited by Akindoodle

It's sad that literature (comic books included) has to start and stop at the lowest common denominator.

I really like where this book is headed.

What do you mean?

Edited by Fenderxx

I love the series but i would be lying if I said I understand 100% of whats going on and why ... but I am just enjoying the ride.

Posted by DoomDoomDoom

Gorgeous art with a good story so far. I have found the dialogue to be accessible so far.

Posted by kilomac29

Everyone seems to really love the art in this book, wish I could say the same. I guess its just subjective taste but for me the art style distracts from the story and hinders my understanding of what's going on. My dislike for the art is a shame because I'm actually really enjoying the story. I will probably give it one more issue to see if the art grows on me. It will probably be my loss if it doesn't.

Posted by TheUnN4med

And comics like this is why my pull-list is 90% Image. It was awesome from beginning to end. I loved this issue.

Posted by fps_dean

@dcfox: I would say if after reading the second issue you still don't like the first issue then maybe this series is not for you. I found that not only was the second issue much more straightforward in storytelling, but it should answer most of your biggest questions about the first issue as well.

After reading the first issue, I had a ton of questions and it was clear the second issue would be make or break for the series -- I liked the first issue, but I liked it a lot more after the second issue made the storyline much more coherent too.

Posted by akbogert

This is fast becoming my favorite monthly. Gorgeous in so many ways. And the back matter really makes me feel like part of some sort of family by virtue of being a reader.