Pretty Deadly : The Shrike Volume 1, Paperback Book

Pretty Deadly : The Shrike Volume 1 Paperback

3.5 out of 5 (14 ratings)


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 retribution as beautifully lush as it is unflinchingly savage. "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 facade 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


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 120 pages, chiefly illustrations (colour)
  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Fantasy
  • ISBN: 9781607069621



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Showing 1 - 5 of 14 reviews.

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Review by

I don't think that I'll ever look at bunnies or crows in the same way again.Honestly, I'm still not totally and utterly sure exactly what was going on. There was a girl named Sissy who was traveling with a guy named Fox. Then they ran into a guy named Johnny, and soon after that they're being chased by a menagerie of people. Not to mention the people who are chasing those who are chasing Fox and Sissy.Then there's Ginny, no one is quite sure what she is (I definitely wasn't).Even though the storyline was twisty and turney and I wasn't always sure what was going on, the art and craft of the story was awesome. And honestly I'm a sucker for anything that even remotely involves the old west, so that aspect was cool too. The kickass female characters didn't hurt either.Overall it was a really great comic, I just wish that I'd been able to follow the story a bit better. By the end most of the story made sense, but I wish it had sooner.I got this advanced galley through Netgalley on behalf of Diamond Book Distributors.

Review by

Fantasy Western with lots of violent women and mysteries. Pretty much Orphan Black-like in the way that women are the moving forces, though Death seems guy-like and there’s also a man blinded for his arrogance and mistreatment of a woman who makes some plot happen as he tries to protect a young girl from the supernatural being hunting her, and also maybe from the supernatural being trying to save her. It’s complicated. The art is appropriately creepy and spiky, with danger lurking at every corner. Westerns aren’t my thing, though, so I won’t be continuing on.

Review by

I got a copy of this graphic novel to review through netgalley. I was immediately drawn to the artwork on the cover and after reading the synopsis I was hooked. This is a very intriguing graphic novel that has an interesting illustration style to it.This is a story about Death, his daughter by a woman named Beauty (Ginny), and a young girl born from blood who is meant to rule the dead. Ginny rides on a horse made of smoke and her face bears the skull-like features of her father. Ginny has sworn to avenge any wrong doing and is vicious about her vengeance. The story is very dark and violent, so it's an adults only read. I mean really, really violent. There are also a couple of sex scenes and nudity.There are a ton of quirky characters that I really loved. You have Sissy the young girl who wears a cloak of crow feathers and Fox the blind man (who is deadly and seems to be able to still see some how) who travels with her. There is of course the deadly vengeful Ginny. I absolutely loved the mysterious Alice who seems to be Death’s right hand.The story can be classified best as western fantasy. The art style and story setting have a very western feel to them. There is a lot of gun slinging and old cowboy towns. It reminded me a bit of Stephen King’s Dark Tower graphic novels and a bit of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. I loved the nostalgic western feel, couple with all the mysticism.The art style (yes this was more art than illustration) is phenomenal. All sketchy and dark while also being detailed and dreamy, it was just absolutely stunning. Seriously I wish I could hang some of the pages from this book in my room as art. It is just very different and very well done, I loved it. The only downside to this book was that the story got a bit confusing. It takes some time to figure out what’s going on with the story. It also took a bit of rereading and careful examination of the illustrations to figure out who was what and what was going on. Once I figured everything out though, I was in awe at the cleverness and mythological feel to the whole thing.Overall I really enjoyed the style behind this graphic novel; it was absolutely stunning. I love the western feel couple with both supernatural and mythical elements. The only downside was that the story is a bit confusing as first, however if you persevere you will figure it all out in the end and be so happy you read this. As mentioned it is ultra-violent. I would definitely recommend to fans of western fantasies or mythological type fantasies. This is definitely a series I will continue to read.

Review by

I got this through NetGalley caught first purely by the cover. This is a creepy brutal western about Death…This is a fascinating and graphic story blending the western and mythology into a surreal tale of retribution. Visually it reminds me of Vaughn’s Saga but the story brings to mind Gaiman’s Sandman crossed with Ennis’ Preacher in a strange new myth involving Death personified and the Old West. I'm particularly interested in the strong group of female characters. I’m very curious to see where this goes next.

Review by

Full disclosure: I received a free review copy of this book from Net Galley.Pretty Deadly was my first exposure to “weird western”, a genre I knew existed but had never read. Things first get weird when we meet the narrators - a butterfly and a dead rabbit – and that’s only a taste of what’s to come. This first volume focuses on the adventures of Sissy, a girl wearing a vulture cloak, and Fox, an old blind gunman who sees more than you might think.Fox and Sissy make ends meet by traveling from town to town telling the story of the Mason and his wife, Beauty, who he locked up in a stone tower. When Beauty despaired of her prison, she asked Death to come for her and take her away, but when he arrived, Death fell in love, and their union produced a baby.That baby grew into Deathface Ginny, a relentless killer who comes to the aid of those in trouble if they sing her song. Needless to say, it isn’t long before Fox and Sissy are on the run from another killer named Big Alice and one of their friends summons Deathface Ginny. This results in a sword fight in the desert between the two women, one of whom has a skull tattooed on her face. It turns out that Fox and Sissy are on the run because there is more to Sissy than meets the eye, and all the players soon converge in a series of bloody gun and sword battles that lead them right up to Death’s door.In some ways, Pretty Deadly reminded me of The Sandman’s penchant for dark supernatural stories set in the intersection between myth and reality. However, the characters were a bit flat, and I had a hard time keeping all of their motivations straight. Part of the reason for this is that the book feels overstuffed; we’re introduced to a decently large cast of characters in a very short amount of time, and none of them are given much depth. The pacing felt rushed, and the story relied more on bloody mayhem than genuine character moments.Also, this volume reads like a fairly complete story arc. I’m not sure where the next book might go from here, and I’m also not sure who the viewpoint character(s) will be. The last page implies that Deathface Ginny will be the focus of the next volume, but that feels like an odd choice, simply because we spend more time with Fox and Sissy. So far, Deathface Ginny is nothing but a one-note killer with supernatural origins, and I can’t see myself being invested in a story with her as the focus. However, I suppose it’s also possible that the author will use Ginny as a gateway character into stories about other characters, much like Dream wasn’t necessarily the main character of The Sandman for its entire run.Ultimately, I wasn’t drawn into the world of Pretty Deadly, and I probably won’t pick up future volumes.

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