After being more than a little confused and actually kind of disappointed by the first issue of this title, with #2 I think Pretty Deadly is starting to live up the hype, as things become clearer, the main character actually appears and DeConnick and Rios deliver a frankly amazing fight sequence. There are still moments of confusion and pretension (like the Night Maid and the Day Maid) that don’t really make sense, but given the tone of this title, I am willing to be patient to see how these confusing things eventually coalesce and make sense.
The issue opens with another strange Bones Bunny and Butterfly scene, but quickly moves to Johnny, the guy who got injured last issue, being tended to by a prostitute. He reveals that he let Sissy, the vulture cloak girl take the binder he had in his pocket, but he doesn’t know why. It seems like this binder has some kind of magical power, as it allows Big Alice to track Sissy and Fox and the rest. We then get a pretty damn steamy sex scene between Johnny and the prostitute, which, yowza, it was hot, even as the prostitute sticks her finger in Johnny’s wound. And hey, since it was written, drawn and coloured by women, you don’t feel like as much of a perv for reading it! Hooray!
After this, the action begins in earnest, with Big Alice and her gang heading to Sarah’s house, where they believe Sissy and the binder to be. Only they aren’t there, they’ve ran off. Big Alice starts burning down the house and attacking Sarah and her kids. Luckily, just when Sarah is about to be killed right in front of Cyrus… Ginny arrives to kick some ass. She carves a bloody swathe through the cowboys, using both a sword and a gun. Man, she is a bad-ass, and what’s even more bad-ass is the one-on-one fight between her and Big Alice, who seems to be an emissary of Ginny’s dad, Death. This is an awesome fight, and Emma Rios’ artwork is mindblowingly good, the way she uses very small panels over the top of larger ones is genius, and it makes the fight seem both epic and close and personal at the same time. In the end, Ginny wins, and she kills Alice, telling her that she doesn’t want to go home. For some reason, Alice turns into butterflies, which is a cool image, again, brilliantly drawn by Rios.
The issue ends with Sissy confiding in Fox about a dream she had about Ginny, which may be the key to her past. This certainly is a strange and atmospheric world that DeConnick and Rios have created, and even though I still have a lot of questions, this issue satisfied me a lot more than the first.
This issue showed that this team can bring it when it comes to exciting action sequences, and this probably sounds weird, but they can also do damn good sex scenes. The first issue was all atmosphere and mood with no real substance, but this issue definitely had substance, and I’m excited to see this title get better and better. If nothing else, this is some of the best art in comics right now.