The final issue of the first Pretty Deadly arc is here, and I have to admit, I’m still pretty confused by a lot of it. I think I get what happened, but a lot is still unclear. I think I need to go back and do a re-read of this whole story before the next one begins. Although from the looks of things, this was all just an extended origin story, and the adventures of Deathface Ginny should be a bit easier to follow from now on.
After another inscrutable bunny and butterfly sequence, we are back at the Gates of Death’s domain, with Big Alice trying to stop Ginny, Sissy and everyone getting in. Ginny and Alice have another fight, which is good, but not quite as awesome as the first one they had a few issues back. In the end, it’s not Ginny who takes care of Alice, but Johnny Coyote anyway.
After this, the group has to make their way past those 3 creepy ‘Maidens’. The narration here actually made things more confusing for me, it was all beautifully written, but in a way that obfuscated the true meaning. Ginny tried to convince them to let them through, but failed, but Sissy was more successful, as well, she’s the new Death. I did like the short scene where Sissy asks Fox why it’s bad that the current Death wants to do away with the concept of dying, that was interesting and clever. It was interesting too that Sarah wasn’t allowed in, as she is still actually, fully alive, I imagine we’ll see her again.
Inside Death’s domain, he’s made it look like the Western town we saw back in #1 and there’s an awesome shoot-out between our ‘heroes’ and Death. He even ends up killing poor old Johnny Coyote, who had a pretty shitty time throughout this story. The final fight here between Ginny and her father was excellent, Emma Rios’ art is perfect for these weird action scenes, giving them a lyrical beauty that sets them apart from your normal comic-book slugfest. In the end though, much like against Big Alice, it’s not Ginny who strikes the final blow, as he actually ‘kills’ her, but Ginny’s mother. She stabs Death in the back, killing him, and allowing Sissy to become the new Death. Ginny’s mother sets eyes on Fox, the Mason who trapped her and led to all of this happening and forgives him.
In the end, we see that Sissy, as the new Death, used the key that Ginny gave her to hide ‘the soul of the Universe’, which might actually be what Bones Bunny and Butterfly are, I dunno. We also see that Sissy resurrected Ginny and sent her out into the world for more adventures, which, from the looks of the single, cinematic panel we get, look like being more on the Western side of this weird fantasy-western hybrid, which is great by me.
Even at the end of this arc, I still don’t know what I think about Pretty Deadly. Part of me really likes it, the art especially, but I also think a lot of it is ridiculous nonsense. As I said, I definitely need to re-read this. I would recommend the trade, it’s certainly unlike anything else out there, and again, Rios’ art, along with Bellaire’s colours, are beautiful.