Kelly Sue DeConnick’s (Avengers Assemble, Captain Marvel) and Emma Rios’ (Dr. Strange, Osborn) Pretty Deadly is their surprise-hit series that marries the magical realism of Sandman with the western brutality of Preacher. The story contains elements from western horror tales as 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 retribution as beautifully lush as it is unflinchingly savage. At times, DeConnick and Rios have been accused of making Pretty Deadly “deliberately obtuse” for fans used to their more mainstream fare.
Pretty Deadly is a creator-owned American comic book series distributed by Image Comics, and draws on aspects from mythology and folklore. The comic is Deconnick and Ríos’ third collaboration, their first being Osborn in 2011 and their second being issues #5 & 6 of the 2012 Captain Marvel series. The initial print run for issue one of 57,000 copies sold out.
The Pretty Deadly creative team was nominated for several Eisner Awards in 2014: DeConnick for Best Writer, Ríos for Best Penciller/Inker and Best Cover Artist, and Jordie Bellaire for Best Coloring. In 2020, Ríos won the Eisner Award for Best Cover Artist for her work on Volume 3: The Rat.
“It’s a perfect match for the gorgeous, dizzying artwork in a sumptuous palette-overlaid panels add intricate choreography to fight scenes, and detailed, whirling splash pages beg for long-lingering looks. Couple that, along with a handful of Eisner nominations, with a multicultural cast of tough-as-nails women who all fight for their own honor, and this is a series to watch out for.” – Booklist
“It’s ambitious and challenging (two qualities that are not often valued, but that probably should be), under a façade of violence and sacrifice. Rio’s art is lush and detailed, and is more than capable of keeping up with the far-reaching story.” – PW