Limbo (Pretty Deadly: The Rat #2 Comic Review)

User Rating: 9

Script Kelly Sue DeConnick

Art & Cover Emma Ríos

Coloring Jordie Bellaire

Lettering Clayton Cowles

Backmatter Laurenn McCubbin

Editor Sigrid Ellis

Managing Editors Turner Lobey & Lauren Sankovitch

Production Tricia Ramos

“The Reaper of Vengeance seeks the Reaper of Cruelty? God save the world.”

In This Issue: Butterfly and Bunny contemplate fear and its effects can be felt from any side of a situation.

Sissy and Fox discuss the progress made in the World Garden since Sissy took up the mantle of Old Death and became The Gardener. Progress or no, Sissy still despairs—she is Death, after all. Fox points out that though she is death, she is also life. She tends the garden, makes it grow. It’s all about perspective.

Frank Fields and Ginny, the Reaper of Vengeance, work out a deal. Ginny offers Frank three days of her time to find justice for Clara. They decide to start with Jack Kaufman, the director. Apprehending him on a film studio lot, they find an unoccupied film set, complete with a swimming pool, which they use to persuade Kaufman to talk.

Clara had come to Kaufman when he was at the end of his tether, and he saw her as a means to get himself back to the top of the Hollywoodland elite. Clara’s artistry captivated him. He made a deal with her; she would help with Kaufman’s new film, uncredited and in secret, and as soon as Kaufman was back on his feet he would reveal Clara as the secret behind his newest successes and make her a star. He pushed the reveal back—one film, then two films—and when the studio wanted a third, Clara was gone.

But her soul was never delivered to The Garden.

My Two Cents: Working on three layers as it does, Pretty Deadly: The Rat somehow manages to pack an astounding amount of storytelling into a relatively short piece of work. The creative team accomplishes this with inventive and fastidious use of space. There are very few ‘traditional’ layouts in this book. The images bleed into each other—they’re woven together in a meticulous fashion so that this enormous plot can be disseminated clearly and concisely without sacrificing artistry. It could easily be overwhelming, but it isn’t. It’s easy to follow—even the more drastic and immediate change of scene isn’t jarring in the slightest. It’s difficult to argue with such an exquisite amalgamation of art and language…so I won’t.

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Elizabeth Fazzio
South Bay native turned East Bay resident. Holder of two less-than-useful arts degrees. Human Resources professional by day, creative recluse the rest of the time. Favorite words: Weasel, toast. Mental health advocate--https://makeitok.org
Elizabeth Fazzio
Summary
This book is beautiful. It's compelling and engaging and thought-provoking, and you can rarely divine what's going to happen next. The art is an impressive homage to the prevalent aesthetic of the time—art deco—and to the animation of Lotte Reiniger, as I mentioned in my review of issue #1. The movie set where Ginny and Frank perform their interrogation of Jack Kaufman is reminiscent of the large-scale production numbers which were so popular in the '20s and '30s—too early for Esther Williams, but possibly the Ziegfeld girls would swim around in the intricately decorated pool, with a full orchestra playing off to one side. There is also a great deal of extra content in issue #2, including a discussion between DeConnick and Ríos about their creative process, which gives us an inside view to how the world of Pretty Deadly comes about.
Good
  • Extras within the book
  • Art and story blend seamlessly
  • Seamless worldbuilding
Bad
  • I'm honestly having a difficult time finding any, TBH
9
Amazing
Art - 9
Writing - 9
Story - 9
Predictability - 9
Written by
South Bay native turned East Bay resident. Holder of two less-than-useful arts degrees. Human Resources professional by day, creative recluse the rest of the time. Favorite words: Weasel, toast. Mental health advocate--https://makeitok.org

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