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Review: Pretty Deadly #9

PrettyDeadly_09-1Pretty Deadly #9 picks up where the previous issue left off with the same question on everyone’s tongue. “Good luck? Bad luck?”

Cyrus is dead, with dear Melvin and Theo not far behind, for that is the way of war. Alice faces off with Johnny Coyote and Ginny’s battle with the Reaper of War doesn’t seem to be going in her favor. In fact, it seems as if none of our reapers except War might make it out of this alive.

Emma Ríos and Jordie Bellaire stand out in this issue once again as the atmosphere takes a more grey tone as the action begins to die down on the battlefield. The red of War is still overwhelming and Bellaire does an amazing job in immersing the world in his color, but also finding subtle ways to tone it down from the last issue, mixing it in with grey and white as the revelation of the nature of the Reaper of War comes to light. The most striking part of this issue though is how Ríos uses the eastern tiger swallowtail butterflies that make up Big Alice to frame panels, and how even a mass of butterflies feels so incredibly detailed. That, and the way Bones Bunny and Butterfly act as shadow puppets in the beginning of the issue as Bunny retells the story of The Lucky Farner.

This issue in pace seems to move a lot faster than the issues before it. I’m not certain if it’s because of the story beats Kelly Sue Deconnick hits in this issue or because there’s a lot less battlefield movement this time, but it seems that #9 is zipping along to the inevitable conclusions of #10. It doesn’t mean that there still isn’t weight behind the actions though, especially when Cyrus’s soul confronts Fear right in the face, or as Alice and Ginny face their own mortality. It just seems like the story isn’t content to rest there too long. As it shouldn’t, since there’s still one issue left to finish the story.

Have our heroes hit a string of bad luck? Or has everything that happened here been a blessing in disguise? It’s hard to say now, but the penultimate issue of Pretty Deadly’s second arc doesn’t rest long to answer the question, but rather chooses to let the action play out. Whether fortune or folly, it’s all set up to go down here.

Story: Kelly Sue Deconnick Art: Emma Ríos and Jordie Bellaire
Story: 7.5 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Read

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review