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Review: “Pretty Deadly” # 4

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“Pretty Deadly” hits its stride. After two confusing issues of introductions the characters motivations are clearly in place and the main conflict of the story rears its ugly head. In retrospect Kelly Sue Deconnick and Emma Rios have done an incredible job layering all the reveals throughout previous issues. Which creates an incredibly rewarding reading experience this month. Don’t miss this issue.


WRITTEN BY: Kelly Sue Deconnick
ART BY: Emma Rios
PUBLISHER: Image
PRICE: $3.50
RELEASE: January 22, 2014

“Pretty Deadly” remains a difficult book to review. For some the slower pace might dissuade them from reading on. For those with a little more patience, the read will be tremendously fulfilling, there is a deep history to this book that cannot possibly expose itself within one issue.

This is a story of jealously, love, destiny, and most importantly death. All things that are becoming abundantly more clear as the series progresses. The fantasy elements of the plot rise to prominence this month to clearly distinguish the characters reactions to the history we learnt last month. The result is a fast paced issue that dovetails every story beautifully in line for what will amount to be an incredible conclusion.

For all its wild characters, for all the wild stories, and for all the madness it appears there was one clear and distinct through line for everyone: Death. Death looms over everything in this book, and his appearance in this issue manages to deepen the world and provide Emma Rios with an incredible opportunity to strut her stuff.

Her work here is absolutely stunning. Her pencils are light and fleeting. When we first encounter Death. His lair is filled with tiny intricate details. The layering of which seems like it could topple at any moment. The entire book has a sense of being whisked away by the wind. Frail elements in this world truly bring her style to life. A butterfly’s wings are drawn with such fragility that they feel real. You want to reach out and touch them, but won’t for free of destroying its beauty.

“Pretty Deadly” didn’t have me at first. I was skeptical that the story would ever pay off and was worried that the plot was needlessly complicated. Now I see how wrong I was. The payoff in this issue is wonderfully simple in its execution.

Westerns are propelled by death. The death of a town, a lawman, or an innocent usually jump-starts the conflict. This book has made the effort to personify the unsightly creature to great effect. The result is a inescapable tenants of human nature. Even Death itself cannot be free from the power of love.

The supernatural elements concoct this unique stew in the western world that cooks to perfection in this issue. Everything is tightly crafted. Deconnick and Rios always knew where the story was going, they just weren’t afraid to take the time necessary to get there on their own terms. It’s a brave method of storytelling in this ADD – second screen infused world. This book is beautiful, heart wrenching, and action packed in all the right ways.

Rating: 4.5/5 Skulls