Pretty Deadly Vol. 1 Review

art & covers

I actually tried reading Pretty Deadly in issues at first. I heard many good things about the first issue so I decided to get into it. Unfortunately for me I could not find the first issue so I settled for the second. To no fault except my own I was lost, confused, and astounded after reading it. I knew that if I had read the first issue I would know and understand what was going on. I remember thinking that it was so brilliant, clever, smart, intelligent, and genius that it went completely over my head how spectacular and magnificent of a book it was. Right away I said, I'll get it in trade, I know I'll be blown away when I get the full story. Besides missing the first issue, I truly believe I wasn't mature enough to read a book and story of this caliber yet, gladly I am now. It's unfortunate that I wasn't able to read this title in issues though because even as I read it in graphic novel form I could tell that it was designed to read beautifully that way as well. What I mean by that is that there is an obvious beginning, middle, and end to each part of the story that stands on its own, each part requires time to think about, contemplate, ponder, and analyze.  This is one of the few books you'll find yourself retracing, rereading, and rechecking every detail. You wont be able to help yourself because the story and art are so intriguing, tantalizing, stunning, astonishing, magnificent, and immersive.

I don't even want to get into the story in fear of not being able to describe it well enough to give it justice. I'll do my best though. It's a western with a folktale narrative and manga style influenced look. Basically it's a story of love, jealousy, death, redemption, and rebirth. I don't want to spoil any of it for any of you because it unfolds and plays out so brilliant and magnificently. I will say this, the story includes a little girl with two different colored eyes that wears a vulture cloak that travels with an old man that is partially blind. They are being hunted by a white-haired lady dressed all in black but it looks like they might have a protector, another badass gunslinger lady. Hopefully I did a decent job of selling the story. If badass gunslinger gals don't do it for you I don't know what will.

Oh wait, yeah I do, the killer art. Emma Rios is like a master swordsman with pencils and inks. Jordie Bellaire sets the tone and keeps the art looking fresh with her colors. The colors add so much depth and life to the characters, their world, and settings. The art is so disgustingly fantastic that it makes you depressed because you know you'll never be near as talented or good at anything as Emma Rios is as an artist. The shootouts are intense and chaotic. It's an emotional, intense, heart-wrenching tale. The colors are constantly changing to fit the mood and set the stage. There's so much detail, beauty, subtext, genius, and care put into each squint, grit of the teeth, smirk, furrow, tear, shot, strike, glance, squint, purse. It's difficult to grasp how beautiful this book is while still having some roughness and ugliness in it. That's the pure grace and majesty of the story telling but art is only one side of that coin.

Few comic book writers rival Kelly Sue DeConnick's expertise when it comes to story telling. Her writing is as eloquent and graceful as it comes. She's easily one of the best in the business and this further proves it. The western folktale narrative is so unique, brilliant, and unlike anything else that it's unrivaled. Her dialogue is so on point, real, and visceral it's ridiculous. It's likely her writing and storytelling in this book will go over peoples heads because its so damn ingenious. Not only will you feel like you need to reread each part of the story to get anything you missed but you'll want to because its just that damn good. I know I did and it was more than worth it.

This is something new that feels classic and timeless. It's a story of biblical proportions. This is what beauty and brilliance is in comic book form. Plainly put this is one of the best graphic novels and stories I have had the pleasure or reading this year. This might even be my Trade of The Year for 2015. There's only one other book that comes close and that's Saga. It should be obvious at this point but I'll say it anyways, this is a STRONG BUY, and as I said there is no other book that is worthy of your money. If you didn't already know it's only ten dollars since it's a first volume published by Image comics.

You can pick up this comic at Age Of Comics or
 Twin Suns Comics & Games

Verdict: STRONG BUY/Trade of The Month


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