Kelly Sue DeConnick & Emma Rios “Pretty Deadly, Vol. 1” (Image, 2014)
If you’re not convinced that Image is the most creative publisher in contemporary comics, take a look at this title. Pretty Deadly is a mythpunk weird western. Its creative team is two women.
I have to admit that I haven’t been familiar with Emma Rios’ work before this title. But wow. That’s clearly an oversight. This comic is absolutely gorgeous. Her illustrations tend to be ornate without being cluttered or fussy. She uses a warm palette heavy on the purples. It’s dangerous and ugly and scary while being feminine and mysterious.
I’m familiar with Kelly Sue DeConnick’s work with Captain Marvel and the Avengers, but I’ve never seen her attempt anything like this. Writing myth heavy material requires a different skill set than a contemporary cape book. I’m pleased that she makes the leap easily.
I’d recommend Pretty Deadly highly to fans of the Sandman, Catharine Valente, or Joe Lansdale. This first volume wraps up the first story arc nicely, but I’m looking forward to seeing where the story goes from here.