With this issue, I feel like I’m finally starting to ‘get’ Pretty Deadly. The first 2 chapters, whilst lovely to look at thanks to Rios, really were very confusing and I had a hard time working out just what the hell was going on. But with this issue, DeConnick reveals a lot more about Ginny’s backstory, and we learn just what the importance of several more of the characters are, and just how they are all connected. I still don’t think it’s as good as a lot of the hype, but now things are a lot clearer and I enjoyed it a lot more.
There are still some scenes and moments that don’t really work, like the opening ‘Bones Bunny and Butterfly’ stuff, which just seems disconnected and pretentious at the moment (although it did have an armadillo in it this time, which was cool), and also the conversation between Johnny Coyote and that bird didn’t make much sense either. But once the story moved to the aftermath of Ginny’s fight with Big Alice last time, everything starts to coalesce a lot better.
Ginny and Sarah have an interesting conversation, which basically boils down to the fact that Ginny wants to find Fox and kill him, and Sarah wants to protect her friend, who she believes is a good man. Why does Ginny want to kill Fox? Well, all of this is pretty much explained in a story he tells to Sissy, which expands on the legend of Ginny we heard in #1. It looks like Fox was the man who locked his wife up in the tower, leaving her to father Ginny with Death. Fox offered his life in exchange for Death bringing back his wife, and when Death refused, Fox blinded himself.
Fox would have returned to the land of the living, but then he found out about young Ginny, who he wants to take with him. Fox claims that he is her only living relative, and that he has rights. Ginny doesn’t want to go with him, because he killed her mother, but Death strikes a deal. If Fox goes to a river of blood, and slays a beast that will rise from it, and bring the body to Death, then Death will stop Ginny from killing him, and make it so that she cannot come to the real world except in dreams. Fox goes to this river, where he finds a crying black woman (Sarah?) and prepares to kill the beast, but when it rises, it’s a load of arms holding… a baby. Unable to kill the baby, who has different-coloured eyes, so she’s probably Sissy, he runs away with her. So it looks like the reason Ginny is after Fox and everyone is because he killed her mother, and somehow, Sissy is some kind of monster. It’s all a bit strange, but it makes the events of the last 2 issues make a lot more sense. Of course, given that this is all a new twist on what we learnt in #1, there is probably a lot more to this back-story.
Whilst Fox is telling this story, the rain is lashing down, and it causes a flood which eventually washes everyone away. What caused this flood? No idea, but then confusion pretty much rules when it comes to this series.
As I said before, Emma Rios’ art is what makes me overlook any dissatisfaction I have with the writing in this title, everything here just looks beautiful, the layouts are inventive, the characters are full of personality and everything combines perfectly with the omnipresent Jordie Bellaire’s colours.
Back in my review for #1, I said that I thought this series would read better in trade, and I think I am being proven right. After reading #3, what happened in #1 and #2 is far less confusing, and I imagine that after a few more, I’ll be fully turned around on this title and loving it. In this day and age, you need to give titles room to grow and explain themselves, you can’t expect #1 to give you everything.