“Pretty Deadly Vol. 2: The Bear” by Kelly Sue Deconnick and Emma Rios

“Pretty Deadly Vol. 2: The Bear” by Kelly Sue Deconnick and Emma RiosPretty Deadly, Vol. 2: The Bear by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Emma Ríos
Series: Pretty Deadly #2
Published: August 24th 2016 by Image Comics
Genres: Graphic Novels
Pages: 152
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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When I read the first trade paperback volume of Pretty Deadly, I was impressed. Pretty Deadly is a Western-style comic that incorporates American mythology amidst gorgeous artwork and lyrical storytelling. I couldn’t put it down, and it was unlike anything I’d read before. Impressive, but also super artsy, and there were points in the story that were a little bit hard to follow.

Pretty Deadly Vol. 2 takes a bit of a darker tone, but is also quite lovely. The story begins as Sarah Fields is on her deathbed. Her family makes a deal with the gods of death–that they will wait to claim her for one month, until her son is able to return and see her one last time. There’s only one problem–her son is off fighting in World War I, and the war is not going well.

Pretty Deadly Vol. 1 focused largely on the American West. Volume 2 focuses most of its action on the battlefields of Europe, and on the interactions between different forces like war, fear, and vengeance. The stories of mortals and immortals are juxtaposed together, and even if they have different motivations, their fates are linked together.

As in Volume 1, there were points in this book where the experimental style of storytelling made the action hard to follow. I also had to jog my memory a bit from the first book, because it had been a while since I read it and I had to remind myself who some of the characters were. But the experience was entirely worth it. This isn’t just a book about characters, it’s a book about emotions and ideas, and those are reflected through the hard work of a team of extremely talented artists. There are points where you’ll find yourself saying, “I don’t quite know what just happened but this is beautiful and I want more.”

Verdict: Worth the read, and I hope Volume 3 comes out soon.

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