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Pretty Deadly: The Shrike (Pretty Deadly, Vol. 1)
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Pretty Deadly: The Shrike

(Pretty Deadly #1-5)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  11,124 ratings  ·  1,201 reviews
Kelly Sue DeConnick (Avengers Assemble, Captain Marvel) and Emma Rios (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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3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  11,124 ratings  ·  1,201 reviews

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I wanted to like it, but the story was all over the place and the art was very confusing for me in a lot of panels. Maybe it was because I read it digitally, but some of the action scenes were just too hard to understand.
My overall impression was that the whole thing was cluttered with feathers.


If you like metaphorical shit and your stories don't need to make sense?
This will be your jam.
I mean, the issues are narrated by a dead rabbit and his BFF the butterfly. Because?
I don't fucking know.


Wil Wheaton
Feb 07, 2016 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 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
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
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more
11/24/17 - ON SALE for $3.99:

Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

There's a special kind of chaos that went into the creation of PRETTY DEADLY.


The installments begin from the POV of a bunny and a butterfly and are told with fable-like flair, but as the main characters are human, there's a significance to our animal narrators that isn't immediately understood. I say "understood" b/c there's a lot that is never explained, just implied.


Combine that with the maelstrom of images that bomb
✘✘ 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
Karlyflower *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
May 11, 2014 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
May 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018
I went back and reread this after so many others raved about it, but I still found this an incoherent mess of story and art. A lot of people love Emma Rios's art in this, but I found the action scenes to be a blurry jumble of images. I hate the trend of these small panels in action scenes. You can't tell what's going on in any of them. I think it's a crutch for artists who can't portray art in larger scenes more than anything innovative. As far as the story goes, it's the classic Death falls in ...more
Jun 25, 2014 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 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
Jesse A
Aug 22, 2014 rated it liked it
A bit hard to follow. The art was nice to look at though.

Reread: THE story was a bit easier to follow 2nd time around. I'm still not sure it's good. The art is still pretty.
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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
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,
Timothy Urges
Oct 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Death's heir is nearing the throne in the wild west. Carnage ensues.

A tad convoluted but beautiful all the same. This definitely feels like a prequel.

Story: 3
Art: 5
May 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics, fantasy, 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
Rory Wilding
Nov 08, 2015 rated it liked it

When it comes to stories about the American Wild West whether factual for fictionalised, one of the most interesting traits about this period is how it can be interpreted by any media from the clean shaven cowboys from John Ford’s films, the ultraviolence of Sam Peckinpah, to the spaghetti westerns by Sergio Leone. However, there are also the mashups with the Western genre being merged with another genre, whether it’s sci-fi i.e. Cowboys & Aliens and Westworld, or in t
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 l ...more
May 15, 2016 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.
Ezgi Tülü
Jul 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebooks, graphic-novel
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
Magrat Ajostiernos
Un primer volumen interesante, pero a la vez algo confuso y en el que las cosas suceden para mi gusto a una velocidad de vértigo sin dejar tiempo a que los personajes y situaciones tomen verdadera forma.
Aún así.... bien. Crea una mitología propia prometedora.
A ver como sigue.
L. McCoy
A lot of mixed feelings from folks about this book, some love it and some hate it. I’m somewhere in between.

What’s it about?
This is a fantasy western about the daughter of Death… that’s most of what I gathered about the general storyline… oh and it’s in the old west to make it even cooler.

One thing I have learned… KSD knows how to write fantastic action and find artists who draw action well. The action is the highlight of this book for me. I love bad-a** western action and this book has a l
William Owen
Feb 20, 2014 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.
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 27, 2014 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
Jun 03, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult, comics
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 name ...more
Lindsey Rey
Jan 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015, graphic-novels
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.
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
3,98 Mesmerizing, Imperfect Stars

This is not a straightforward story nor a straightforward storytelling. More than once I was unsure I really understood what was going on, came back to it and I am still coming back to it in my head, hours after I finished it. It might be annoying to many, but this is a kind of uncertainty I enjoy, it is the intriguing variety. I will probably go back to this volume several times before I connect all the pieces of the puzzles completely, enjoying it more after ev
Ryan Michael
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
The art is intense, beautiful and sometimes hard to follow, which for me isn't a bad thing. I think art that makes your eyes move over it multiple times is doing its job well. The story feels almost like a prequel to what the main arc will be, and that's kind of a few concept for me. Get your hands on this of you are looking for something different and engaging
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Pretty Deadly (1 - 10 of 12 books)
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“It's the dying that makes the living matter.” 18 likes
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