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Pretty Awesome...Er...Pretty Deadly #4

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Silly French Man

Postby habitual » Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:32 pm me interested.

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crash test dummy

Postby AngusH » Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:56 pm

While I agree that the book has got a lot of layers and needs to be read multiple times, it just hasn't gripped me. East of West is similar (too similar IMO) but the difference is that that book hooked me and made me want to read it again and again. This one, not so much. Dropped after #3.
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Rain Partier

Postby LOLtron » Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:00 am

Pretty Awesome...Er...Pretty Deadly #4

East of West > Pretty Deadly = The Prestige > The Illusionist

Source: Image Comics

I have a problem with Pretty Deadly. It’s like the Lord of the Rings movies. You remember those? Of course you do, because if you don't, we have a problem. Now, when I saw Fellowship of the Ring for the first time, I thought it was great, but I hadn't experienced anything quite like it in all my 15 years. I decided to see it a second time. It was even better than the first. I understood more of the plot line and the depth of the characters. But I wanted to understand all of it, so I watched it again and again and again. I watched that movie 11 times that year. Eleven. It was a problem. 
This is the same problem I have with Pretty Deadly.  No intentional comic pun here, but this is a real issue. I keep reading it over and over and getting more out of it. Maybe LOTR isn’t the best analogy. For me, it reminds me of Mission Impossible. At first I was kind of confused as to what happened, but after I revisited it a few times, I caught on to it’s complexity. 
Even the personal prose by Kelly Sue DeConnick at the end of each issue is incredible. I’ll be honest, I didn’t like the art at first. I’m sorry I had to say that. If you’ve read any of it yet, you know what I mean. Don’t get me wrong, it’s beautiful, but some frames are too small to distinguish what’s really happening on an iPad. So I bought a couple issues. Upon further understanding of the series, I can pick the scene apart better. Emma Rios threw me at first, but now she’s earned a big fan. Without Jordie Bellaire on the colors, I’m not sure this Western Fantasy would have the same feel. There’s so much depth to get into, I can only scratch the surface.
So after we learn the truth about Sissy & her relationship to Fox, the plot thickened in issue #3. Sissy is the spawn of a thousand violent deaths. Her father was Violence and her mother was Grief. She has an incredible role to fill after the conclusion of the first arc it would seem. So I’m incredibly eager to see what happens in issue #5 because their about to meet Death face to face. 
Bottom line, if you like East of West for it’s Western Sci-fi nature, you’ll love Pretty Deadly for it’s Western Fantasy blend. Hell, you might appreciate it more. A butterfly and a dead bunny are telling the story, so how much more out-of-the-box can you get for starting a new series? Plus, it’s the incredible Kelly Sue DeConnick. Did you know she’s married to Matt Fraction? Ya. I’m pretty sure that’s a magical marriage, like if Shaggy married Velma. Just saying. I'm not saying I'm crushing on her, I'm just saying she sounds fuckin' awesome.

Written or Contributed by Luke Anthony

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Postby LukeAnthony » Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:08 am

AngusH, I totally understand. I sort of felt that way after issue #1. But as I delved into it, read about it more, & hit issue 4, that's when I started to really love it. While EoW grips you from the beginning like falling in love for the first time, PD is like spending a lot of time with someone then realizing that you like them after the fact, imo. :-D
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Staff Writer

Postby Punchy » Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:31 am

Just like with last issue, things are getting much, much clearer now for Pretty Deadly. The first 2 issues we were all thrown in the deep end by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios, but now we’ve learnt to swim and have made our way to the surface, and it all mostly makes sense.

I still don’t get what the Bones Bunny and Butterfly sequences are about though.

Much like my strained metaphor just there, this issue begins with Sissy making her way out of the deep water, and to the surface, where she comes face to face with Johnny Coyote, the man who started all of this by allowing her to steal the mysterious binder. Johnny reassures Sissy that she isn’t a monster, and they head off together to ‘meet their destinies’. I did like how DeConnick made a point of having one of her characters complain about how nobody ever gives a straight answer, it might be basic ‘lamp-shading’, but it works.

The next scene provides some more answers, as Big Alice, in Butterfly form returns to her master, Death and is returned to her human form, to start a new plan, she wants to team-up with Ginny and kill Sissy. Why does she want to do this? Well, it turns out that the role of Death in this world is not a permanent one, and Sissy is supposed to take over from the current skull-faced guy. Death doesn’t want this to happen, as part of some evil plan to ‘break the cycle’ and stop anyone from dying ever again. After Big Alice leaves, Death talks to Ginny’s mother, who first asks him to let her go, and then to join her in permanent death. These were fascinating scenes, and Death is becoming a very creepy, very interesting villain.

Also rising up from the depths is Fox, and he runs right into Ginny and Sarah. Ginny wants to kill him for what he did to her mother, and they get into a fight. I think fight scenes are where this book, and Emma Rios in particular, really shine, they are just beautiful and fluid, but also very violent and hard-hitting. Fox tells Ginny about why Sissy needs protecting from Death, and that she is the new Death, and that stays her hand, and she, Fox and Sarah all go off to try and protect Sissy. I was surprised by how quickly Fox and Sissy were reunited here, I sort of expected them to be separated for a while, and for this book to become a bit of a travelogue, but nope, in the space of 2 pages, everyone is together and making their way to Death’s domain, where they once again run into Big Alice. I like that DeConnick isn’t drawing stuff out here, a lot has happened in only 4 issues, and probably more has happened that I haven’t understood yet.

After a rather rocky start, this book is now starting to live up to the reputation it had even before it began. The atmosphere and artwork have always been fantastic, but now the story and characters are much clearer. I’d still probably suggest waiting for the trade, but it’s still well worth a look.

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