Tuesday, October 22, 2013


2 new books from Image this week, both featuring female leads


Pretty Deadly  is Kelly Sue Deconnick's new Image title, and a good start to a promising series.

Legends passed down tell of Death's daughter - the result of Death's love with a beautiful human woman. Songs and poems are told to entertain, but it turns out that they're not just stories. Death has a daughter named Ginny, and she's just as deadly as her old man.

Pretty Deadly follows a band of horse riding misfits as they travel town-to-town and saloon-to-saloon, telling the story of Death's daughter and collecting tips from their performance. After working a performance, one of the group members is handed a mysterious feather by a peculiar man, which turns out to be trouble for the gang later on. This feather is important, and it appears Death's daughter needs it for herself. The band ends up on the run from Death's daughter, and must do whatever they can to keep their distance.

Pretty Deadly #1 is a little ambiguous, which is great if you like long payoffs and intriguing mysteries one after the other. Not a lot of information on the main characters is provided in issue one, but the characters themselves clearly have stories of their own, as well as rich histories for the reader to unravel. Fox is an old bearded blind man who can shoot his targets with deadly ease and accuracy. Sissy is a sharp, smooth-talking youngster who's eyes are different colours. There's a lot to explore.

The story is set in the Wild West, with what seems to be a touch of magic or spirituality involved. Certainly the setting makes for some interesting storytelling, but the mythology that Deconnick has wrapped this world in seems rich in itself. How the story is unfolding is still a little unclear at this point, but for a first issue, there's certainly enough information to enjoy the book, and more than enough to look forward to the next installment.

Pretty Deadly is recommended for the older crowd as well, due to some adult themes that pop up. All in all, a great addition to the Image line.


Velvet is the newest addition to Brubaker's crime fiction books. Whether you're a fan of his existing material or not, you'll enjoy Velvet if you like crime fiction books.

Arc-7 is a secret government organization that trains an elite group of special ops spies known as X-Ops. When agent code name X-14  is found murdered on the street, questions are raised and accusations are thrown around, resulting in distrust between agents. One of the X-Op agents named Velvet is affected on a more personal level, due to her past relationship with X-14. This leads to an investigation of her own. That's when things go from bad to worse.

Brubaker is the leading creator of crime fiction comics, and Velvet is no exception of his skill with the genre. The characters and locations are mysterious and secretive. The book is paced quickly with more than a few pages of action, though there is a lot of breathing room to present questions and answers to fuel this murder mystery. Another strong female lead is always a welcome addition, and it looks as though Brubaker is on his way to achieving that with this first issue.

The art by Steve Epting is solid as usual, and compliments the writing perfectly. Lots of heavy shadow and graphic blacks enhance the story, something most pulp crime mysteries strongly benefit from. It's clear just how well Brubaker and Epting understand this genre, and Velvet is a great example of just how well this creative team works.

Velvet #1 is highly recommended if you are a fan of the genre, or if you'd like to try it out.

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