By Stephen Wilds | Contributor Published: 12/20/2013 10:00 am EST
Publish date: December 18, 2013 Publisher: Image Comics
“Now Fox and Sissy are on the run—to where and from what, he ain’t made clear.
The Shield Maids—the Night Maid and the Day Maid—they know, and they ready themselves for the tempest that is surely headed their way.”
Death’s daughter has been loosed upon the world, and no one is ready. The last issue of Pretty Deadly ended in a bloody mess, and it was glorious. Pretty Deadly #3 continues this epic Western in the form of multiple plots and some tall tales, weaved together into something that I can only equate to a song, one that sings the praises of a masterpiece.
A fun scene with the animal storytellers and a lesson about cruelty starts off the issue, in one of the few moments of humor that I think this series will ever see. After that is when events get odd and Pretty Deadly shows that it has many elements of science fiction that need exploring. Johnny, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters (even if I did see way more of him naked than I needed to this issue), finds himself talking to a bird that knows him rather well. Johnny wanted to play with fate, and in doing so, may have set the world on fire, just as the binder had burned.
“…and fear makes fools of us all.”
With Sissy and Fox on the run, tensions are high because Mutt and Fox will not tell her everything, hoping that it may protect her. Sissy refuses to listen to Fox though in protest. She irritates him enough that he decides to tell another part of the Mason’s story out of anger. It is a story about the devil, redemption, Death’s daughter, and a beast. It is an unsettling tale, with Emma Rios providing some genuinely beautiful and scary scenes—near perfect. The epic tale leads up to a dramatic ending for this book that has me ready for the next.
While that is going on, Ginny is searching for the pair. She shares a great scene with the Scorpion, a scene that shows off one of the many things I like about the book—impressive dialogue. It also reinforces the animal allegory and some of the themes DeConnick has set up. It all blends well, with my only complaint being that Pretty Deadly is still confusing in parts and may approach the line of overly artistic for art’s sake, but nowhere near as much as the first issue did. The comic is very entertaining, slow only in its overall pacing, which is how an epic poem of this nature should go. But that may not fly with everyone. Woe I say unto the reader who does not stick with this series, though.
No short story this time around, but extra art and plenty of fan comments on the book, which are fun to read. A letter from the writer describing what she and the artist wanted from the series and a look ahead at the coming issues was a nice surprise. To say I am hooked is an understatement, but to any who are still on the fence for Pretty Deadly, give art a chance.