Review: Pretty Deadly Issue #1

Pretty-Deadly-COVER

PRETTY DEADLY #1
story KELLY SUE DECONNICK
art EMMA RÍOS & JORDIE BELLAIRE
cover EMMA RÍOS
Release Date: OCTOBER 23
32 PAGES
Cover Price: $3.50

I’m not a big fan of Westerns. I’ve read some Jonah Hex and some of the classic stuff, and I love classic comics, but I just never got the appeal of the Wild West. You know what I do like? Jonathan Hickman’s East of West, while extremely weird, is trying to be a western. So I was happy to see that Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Pretty Deadly, while trying to be a western, is extremely weird.

The Good

Emma Rios and Jordie Bellaire shine in every aspect of the art. It creatively helps to move the story around, and has a consistent and spectacularly unique sense of style throughout, with the story, and the stories told within the story, not suffering a bit. There’s a solid western-style story being told with the unmistakable Old West setting, but there’s something else going on. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it’s something between folklore and fantasy, and makes for an interesting, albeit quite weird, story. And that story is told wonderfully by DeConnick, and it’s just cool to see her reaching a high level of success. I’m a fan!

The Bad

The art may be a bit too stylized in some place for some readers, making the story a bit tough to follow, but it’s truly not a huge problem. The real problem in this book is the plain old weirdness of the story. There is a whole lot going on, seeds are being planted for future cultivation, but, like many of these overly bizarre books, it loses the western feel and just becomes another weird story. Now, that’s not a bad thing as long as the story stays good, but if Pretty Deadly is using a western feel just for the sake of having it be a western that isn’t really a western it becomes Pretty Pointless.

The Verdict

Overall this was a good issue. It was creative in the way it told the story it was telling, but, unlike the branding, it just wasn’t quite a western. Sure, it’s set in the old west, and the dialogue is of the period, the western aspects were sloppily thrown into the whole thing. And, as a comic fan that doesn’t much care for westerns, I dug it. The fantasy/folklore underpinnings are solid and show real possibility, and the art is brilliant. Give it a look if you dig weird stuff, but if you were looking for a traditional western from this first issue, keep looking.

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