Turn off the Lights

Pretty Deadly #1 Review: Death’s Daughter Has a Face and It’s Glorious

I love the origin of Death's daughter. But where is she? Instead, we get a girl in crow feathers, a supposedly blind man, a Vampire Hunter D rip-off and a dead bunny narrating to a butterfly. Plus a unique story that isn't like your normal Jonah Hex western. I think we're in for a wild ride.

In the Wild West, two travelers by the names of Sissy and Foxy share the story of Death's daughter Ginny. Soon, the two are on the run for their lives from Big Alice. But something else much more terrifying is coming: A rider on a horse made of smoke with a skull-tattooed face.

The choice of narrator is unique but questionable. It's a narrator in a story within a story with another narrator. Confused? The main story seems to be about Sissy and Foxy, which is told from the point of view of a dead rabbit who is telling the story to a butterfly (it makes about as much sense in the issue as it sounds). Then, Sissy (with some help from foxy) tells the origin story of Ginny, the daughter of death. 

Pretty Deadly #1 Panel
Pretty Deadly
writer Kelly Sue DeConnick makes a surprising decision and doesn't give Ginny a single line of dialogue. Instead, DeConnick uses Sissy, who does a great job talking Ginny up. Her origins are completely laid out by Sissy, who narrates am absorbing tale of love and tragedy. This origin story is the highlight of the issue. Ginny's beginnings give her a strong presence despite the fact that she doesn't speak a word. The problem is, Sissy tells Ginny's story so well that I don't really care about Sissy and Foxy's adventure as much as I'd like to. I'm much more anxious just to see Ginny.

I have no idea where the story is going and, except for the allusive Ginny, have no idea what motivates any of the other characters. But DeConnick drops enough hints about them that I am interested to find out more about them, even if Ginny's intrigue eclipses them. It's just confusing to the point of frustration in this issue as to why there's a narrator within a narrator and the significance of any of the characters besides Ginny. Other than to have some cool character designs thrown into the mix.

There are several memorable character designs in paricular. I love Sissy's crow feather cloak and how Big Alice looks like a purple version of D from Vampire Hunter D. Death's design is different from the usual Grim Reaper look and stands out because of it. Ginny also has a good design (from what we can see of it) and her origin story has Tarot cards scattered throughout that are symbolic of the story. I liked the Tarot cards, but not only were they not necessary, some of them weren't even real Tarot cards. They were just an excuse to get more artwork onto the page and, unfortunately, this is part of a huge problem I have with Emma Ríos and her otherwise solid artwork. Way too much is going on artistically in almost every page. It's hard to wrap your head around everything that is going on. So much is happening that it's hard to appreciate the artwork.

Ginny from Pretty Deadly #1
Having Ginny's origin story laid out for us would normally make her character lose its mystery, but since we don't even know what her personality is like and how she's lived her life all these years, there are still plenty of mysteries left to uncover and I look forward to seeing what there is to come... with a little less going on artistically and a little more explaining.

For more information about Pretty Deadly, check out my news story Death's Daughter Rides this October: Pretty Deadly Announced.



Meet the Author

About / Bio
An all-around nerdette, I’m a comic book connoisseur, horror aficionado, video game addict, anime enthusiast and an aspiring novelist/comic book writer. I am the head of the comic book department and the editor-in-chief of Entertainment Fuse. I also write and edit articles for Comic Frontline. I am also an intern at Action Lab Entertainment, a comic book publisher at which I edit comic book scripts, help work on images in solicitations and help with other comic book related project. My own personal website is comicmaven.com.

Follow Us