Pretty Deadly is one of those books that feels like a Vertigo book in look and feel. There’s a conversation between a rabbit and a butterfly that serves as a Greek chorus/overall narrative to the story, Death’s daughter is hunting down a man who she’s carrying a grudge toward, and there’s a little girl running around wearing a vulture outfit. You could have told me this was from the pages of Sandman, and I wouldn’t have blinked.
The story is otherworldly, but the setting is grounded in the Old West. There’s a myth – a legend – of a woman kept prisoner by her husband, but who becomes Death’s lover, and dies, leaving a child behind. There’s a vulture-clad little girl named Sissy and her traveling companion, Fox, who wears bandages over his eyes. The two spread the story of Deathface Ginny as they travel, and there’s a scoundrel named Johnny Coyote and a scary woman named Big Alice. The stories intersect, with revelations and bloodshed – lots of bloodshed.
This is a book that demands at least two readings, because it is so surrealistic. Even when I thought I had a handle on what’s going on, there are still moments where I had to go back and check, because I knew I was missing something.
Emma Rios’ artwork is amazing, and Jordie Bellaire’s (I loved you on Journey Into Mystery!) colorwork is gorgeous. While I’m still not sure if Pretty Deadly is my book, I would hang the artwork from this title in any room of my home.
Pretty Deadly Vol. 1 is already in stores, so go check it out! The trade collects issues #1-5.
PRETTY DEADLY VOL. 1
Writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Artist: Emma Rios
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
On-Sale: May 13, 2014