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Pretty Deadly, Vol. 1: The Shrike
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Pretty Deadly, Vol. 1: The Shrike (Pretty Deadly #1-5)

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  7,498 Ratings  ·  910 Reviews
KELLY SUE DeCONNICK (Avengers Assemble, Captain Marvel) and EMMA RÍOS (Dr. Strange, Osborn) present the collected opening arc of their surprise-hit series that marries the magical realism of Sandman with the western brutality of Preacher. Death's daughter rides the wind on a horse made of smoke and her face bears the skull marks of her father. Her origin story is a tale of ...more
Paperback, 120 pages
Published May 13th 2014 by Image Comics (first published April 30th 2014)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Wil Wheaton
Feb 07, 2016 Wil Wheaton rated it it was amazing
Absolutely brilliant storytelling and mind-blowing art combine to make a story that you'll want to read again the instant you finish it.
Sam Quixote
May 17, 2014 Sam Quixote rated it it was ok
Pretty Deadly Volume 1 should come with a beret, it’s so art school-y. Writing-wise that is as, while Kelly Sue DeConnick’s writing and storytelling is dull and pretentious, Emma Rios and Jordie Bellaire bring their A-game to the art.

Pretty Deadly’s a western set sometime in 19th century America during the frontier days but the story is heavy on the magical realism/mythologising brand of storytelling that makes it feel like a fable of sorts. And that’s what the first volume is, very broadly: th
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
Err… What the hell what that? Apart from a deadly pretentious, deadly uninteresting, deadly boring piece of utter confusion? I don't read many comics so I might have missed something here. Something that might have helped me understand why so many reviewers rave about Pretty Deadly. Some critics think it is "grand and majestic," others mention how "dark, alluring and original" it is. And you know what, I think that's the problem right there: this comic tries too hard. It tries too hard to be ori ...more
Karly *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)*
There is A LOT of weird stuff going on in Pretty Deadly, Volume 1: The Shrike; from a skeleton bunny narration to a butterfly…..

Skel-a-bunny!!! (if you know me, you know I have an obsession with skele-creatures – Not like Kelly does but so few can rank with her, really – and one of my all time favourite artists is Chiara Bautista for this exact reason.)

(This isn't a Bautista piece, to be clear, it's just a google search that I liked)

Anyways, so this story is kind of all over the map really. The
Oct 03, 2014 Gavin rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics
OK, seriously...what the fuck was that?

"So Ms. DeConnick, what exactly were you hoping to accomplish here? Did you have a plot or plan for this to make more sense? Was there a reason for things?"

"I see. Butterfly and a dead bunny? Care to elaborate on the symbolism you've used here for our narrator(s)?"


"So...that's a no then? MMMkay. Moving right along...can you explain to us the origins of Johnny Coyote and how he fits in with Big Alice, Ginny, Sissy, and Death?"


"OK. Sorry...guess it's a secret
Jun 25, 2014 Keith rated it really liked it
Second in my lineup of Keith Reads All The Image, I went for Pretty Deadly. The first time I read it I realized by the second chapter that I had absolutely no idea what was happening, and by the fourth chapter I decided I was just going to have to slog through it to get the beats down, and read it a second time.

It mostly made sense on the second read, but I'm still baffled by the book's existence in these perilous times. Perhaps the point is stronger right now because I just came off Matt Fracti
Aug 01, 2014 Tfitoby rated it really liked it
Today, on a whim, I devoured this first volume of a female created black fantasy-western hybrid, I revelled in it's often incredible and evocative artwork and became engrossed in it's narrative despite being unsure of exactly what was happening until almost the final pages when things tied together in a remarkable and hugely impressive manner. The whole time I was thinking to myself how my friend who only loves Gaiman would be hugely impressed and that if Ennis could scale back the gross humour ...more
Jan Philipzig
Pretty Deadly reinvents the spaghetti western as feminist, artsy, often experimental, surreal, metaphorically charged sub-genre that is a far cry from your typical contemporary superhero story. It’s a unique reading experience: unnecessarily difficult in places (though it did not feel pretentious to me), but also rewarding in poetic and subversive ways that are a rare treat in popular culture. Oh, and the collaboration between writer Kelly Sue DeConnick & artist Emma Rios is officially the m ...more
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Pretty Deadly is a lyrical, fairytale type of story set in the Old West but firmly rooted in folklore and fables. Seemingly disparate threads slowly converge as the story unfolds, creating a mersmerizing story of love and loss. This is another great example of how graphic novels are a true artform - iillustrations furthering story, with each working together to create a unique and distinct tale.

Story: A butterfly and a b
Sep 09, 2014 Sesana rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, comics, western
This is a story about Death, a story told by the skeleton of a rabbit to a butterfly.

So yeah, it's kind of a weird book.

Going in, that weirdness appealed to me. The idea of a fantastical, western-themed fable is still interesting to me. And the book is at its best when DeConnick stays on that mythic level. The basic story, as I understand it, makes a sort of fairy tale sense. The bunny's narration pulls it together, for the most part. But there's serious clarity issues. Reading other reviews, I
Crystal Starr Light
Bullet Review:

Very different from any other comic I've read. Probably most like Vaughan's Saga if anything. Cross-genre with vivid art but the story is more than slightly confusing. It took me quite some time to realize that the Bunny at the beginning DIES and becomes a skeleton. In fact, there are a LOT of panels I had to read and reread before I "got" it or gave up.

That said, the characters were cool (TONS of women), and I am interested enough to check out Volume 2.

UPDATED: On Second Thought,
Ezgi Tülü
Aug 03, 2016 Ezgi Tülü rated it really liked it
Başlarında sıkıldıysam da, sayfalar ilerledikçe kendimi hikayenin içine çekilmiş bir halde buldum. Çizimler gerçekten hoşuma gitti ve olay örgüsü, gittikçe daha açık bir hale geldiğinden kafam hiç karışmadı.

Ama sanki fazlasıyla "son"du? Devamında neler olabileceğine dair hiçbir fikrim yok. Eğer devamı olmasa, biri çıkıp da, "Bu kadardı," dese, hiç sorgulamazdım; oldukça oturaklı bir şekilde bittiğini düşünüyorum. (Yan karakterler açısından çok fazla sorum var ama.)

Karakterler farklı ve ilginçti
William Owen
Feb 20, 2014 William Owen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novel
If you aren't picking up the issues of this as it comes, well I won't say you're wrong but I am a bit less likely to trust your taste in booze, films, and starships, your ability to quote Vonnegut or Winterson, and certainly wouldn't consider you an asset for West Wing trivia. At the very least you should mark this one down in the calendar to pick up when it comes out.

It's weird-good and good-weird chaparral animal bones haunting revenge western of the very first order.
I'm having a bit of a hard time with this book. I didn't find it as confusing as many other people seemed to, but I do feel that there wasn't much to grab hold of. It felt like set-up, something that might've been better as a flashback in an established comic, because you get the feeling that the important stuff is yet to come. And worse, you don't get much of a grasp on character -- it's like a myth in that sense, but there's also the Wild West vibe and other stuff going on that makes me feel ...more
May 29, 2014 Allison rated it it was amazing
I'm so impressed with this collaboration from Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios. The artwork alone is enough to satisfy me; the drawing is gritty but sculptural with coloring that uses dusty earth tones, all matching perfectly with the Western grit that holds the story together.

I was immediately intrigued by the folkloric way in which DeConnick opens and narrates the story. Using a conversation between a butterfly and a bunny, we follow the story of how a young girl comes to take over a very in
Aug 05, 2016 Jessica rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics, adult
Not very impressed, especially since Kelly Sue DeConnick wrote Captain Marvel, which I liked a lot! I felt like I didn't get a lot of it, and the art muddled the story for me despite being pretty. The whole thing just seemed unclear and convoluted. I'm sure I'm missing something, but I don't feel all that drawn to figure it out. I'm not sure I can even summarize it, and I only read it three days ago. It's a violent adult western about... something about Death and Death's Daughter and a girl ...more
Lindsey Rey
Feb 26, 2015 Lindsey Rey rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels, 2015
I found this to be confusing and I didn't care very much about the characters. I thought some of the connections were cool and I enjoyed the artwork, but I won't be continuing this series.
Isa Lavinia

actual rating 3.5 stars

ARC provided by Image Comics through Netgalley

Attend the song of Deathface Ginny, and how she come to be
A wraith of rage for men who'd cage and harm what should be free
It all began when the Mason man took Beauty for his bride
He quick turned a fool and made her a jewel
In the crown of his glittering pride
He'd loved that gal since they were kids, a Beauty for more than her skin,
But he crushed that joy, when he made her a toy
To tease before covetous men
Overcome wit
May 19, 2015 Nicole rated it it was amazing

I'm really impressed with the graphic novel. When you think about this universal question regarding graphic novels and comics and by that i mean which is which, you cannot explain why you think so, but you always know what are you reading. And in this circumstances I definitely think graphic novel. For the art, for the meaningful story, for the form and construction.

It's one of those stories you get back to and every time it's a different experience.And in a way it reminded me of the other f
It's creative and I can appreciate it, but it didn't really work out between us. I thought it was very bizarre, hard to follow and just not for me.
So I had to sit on on this one for a while before even committing to a star rating, and even now I’m still not sure about it. I mostly only chose three because it seemed like the most neutral option. This book is hard to think about, hard to digest, and hard to categorize. Ultimately, that’s probably a good thing. Confusing and hard to categorize generally at least means ‘original.’ And Pretty Deadly is certainly original. But it’s also confusing and confounding and hard to pin down.

My main prob
Emma Sea
Life ain't ours to keep . . . we get to hold some for a little bit but then we got to pass it on.

A contemporary folk tale with exquisite, surrealistic art, knock-me-down storyline, gorgeous colouring, and unforgettable characters, How did I not read this earlier. HOW?

Absolutely recommended for all graphic novel and comics fans.

Nov 16, 2014 Kris43 rated it liked it
Didn't like this.
There is nothing overly wrong with it, i guess its more a thing with personal preference.
I really dont like this whole sub-genre of wild west mixed with fantasy/horror.
Also didn't like the story, it was jumbled up and hard to follow.

Art work, on the other hand was exquisite. Surreal and beautiful! Loved it!
May 15, 2016 Donovan rated it did not like it
A marriage of Sandman and Preacher, not a good premise for someone who mildly liked the former and detested the latter. A bumbling narrative too predictably western noir to be interesting. I don't know which came first, this or East of West, but Jonathan Hickman's child of Death concept is much more interesting. Skip unless you're a glutton for westerns.
Jul 06, 2016 Writerdom1118 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this, but I'm partial to Westerns and the Sandman method of storytelling. If you think Gaiman is pretentious, you'll probably think DeConnick is pretentious.
May 30, 2014 Unai rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
Hay ciertas obras que hacen inútil este sistema de puntuar de 1 a 5 estrellas, porque sencillamente no comparten el mismo plano de existencia de otros tebeos. Este es el caso de Pretty Deadly, quien por derecho propio opta a los Eisner mas gordos este año, es decir Kelly Sue Deconnik a mejor guionista, por deshechar la narrativa convencional y llevarnos con ello a un camino sin retorno por varias capas de historia a las que no estamos acostumbrados y que encierran una mitología propia, que ...more
I'm still thinking this one over. There's a whole lot going on here and much of it is really, really cool. Kelly Sue DeConnick clearly has one interesting story to tell. Part western, part fantasy, and part horror this honestly probably needs a genre all its own.

There's a bit of a "dropped into the middle of the action" feel to things as we find ourselves in some sort of old west world where a young girl with mismatched eyes is on the run toward or from something. It's not quite clear. She's he
Jul 19, 2014 Cassie rated it it was ok
2.5 stars.

I might be the only one that hates the artwork, but so much is jam-packed into each page (panels upon panels upon panels) that it made an already difficult to follow story nearly completely incomprehensible. I love the fairy tale-ish tone of the book, but I'm not convinced that a comic is the most appropriate format for it. There's just not enough scripting to flesh anything out in an understandable way. The description makes it sound like Deathface Ginny can be summoned to avenge thos
Kayla (BOOKadoodles)
More like 2.5 stars: I found this quite confusing at times, and not in a good way. The art, while beautiful, is a tad all over the place. I do appreciate the unique use of paneling, and am intrigued by the developing mystery and the plot revelations. I will be giving Vol. 2 a chance.
Jan 23, 2016 Kamil rated it really liked it
This is a fantastic, quite complex as for the comic book, story with great dark characters. The one that referrs to mythology and other sf literary works (i.e. Hyperion by Dan Simmons). Very surprising and provocative. Great stuff. 4,5 stars.
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Other Books in the Series

Pretty Deadly (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Pretty Deadly, Vol. 2: The Bear
  • Pretty Deadly #1
  • Pretty Deadly #2
  • Pretty Deadly #3
  • Pretty Deadly #4
  • Pretty Deadly #5
  • Pretty Deadly #6
  • Pretty Deadly #7
  • Pretty Deadly #8
  • Pretty Deadly #9

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“It's the dying that makes the living matter.” 14 likes
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