Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Kelly Sue Deconnick
Artist: Emma Rios
Release Date: 18th November, 2015
It’s been far too long since Pretty Deadly last graced our comic shop shelves. Thankfully however, having it back has refueled the fire all over again. It’s like it never left, except it definitely has. We open with the familiar face of Bunny, telling a tale to Butterfly. We are also greeted by the astounding art work of Emma Rios, as we get to see see the inner workings of a hive, shown almost like the heart of a tree. The first three pages are nothing short of stunning; with sporadic panels and intricate line work, this is nothing less than a work of art.
From there, DeConnick spins a tale that reads like it came straight from the heart. We meet a woman on her death bed as her family start to come and pay their respects. There’s no easy way to explain death to a child, but what we see here may well be the example I go to, should I ever be in that terrible position. We are then greeted by a very familiar face.
The issue itself deals with a subject matter close to many people’s heart; what if you were actually granted that extra 24 hours to let everyone say their goodbyes. I can only wish this were true, as someone that never got to say a goodbye myself. It’s strange how things like comics can bring on emotions you thought were previously dealt with, but Pretty Deadly seems to have tugged on them, and tugged pretty hard.
Emma Rios has a feel to her art that is hard to explain. There’s a perfect use of negative space, which is often neglected, but at the same time it manages to be both expressive and simple with its sparse use of colour where needed. I’ve mentioned the unusual paneling before, but as this issue progresses, they gradually get more and more dynamic, giving an almost fluid feel to them. Eyes seem to play an important role in this issue, maybe there’s something I’ve not seen yet that explains that (Get it? Eyes? See?)
Overall, while it jumps around a fair bit, and could conceivably be a little hard to follow if not given your undivided attention, this is a damn fine return to form from the series, which prides itself on its strong female leads and its focus on a form of fairytale-esque storytelling often neglected.
There’s also a very nice piece about The Valkyries at the end, who you need to check out, and help show support for everything they do towards equality in comics.
[Click to Enlarge]