Pretty Violent #6 Review

by Jay Hill on January 14, 2020

Created, Drawn, & Lettered by: Derek Hunter
Written by: Derek Hunter & Jason Young
Colors by: Spencer Holt
Published by: Image Comics

It’s a family feud in the finale of the first arc of Pretty Violent. Brodie Perron’s birthday has been broken up by Gamma Rae’s siblings and they are attempting to reclaim the gift Gamma gifted Brodie, Kill Count.

Since a key aspect of Gamma’s personality is that she is trying to be a hero despite coming from a family of villains, the story has involved plenty of family drama. But this issue is inherently the clearest indication of that. The gloves are off and the family’s building tension boils over. We’ve seen earlier the dynamics that can come from Gamma and her family. There was the, surprisingly wholesome, second issue where her family helped her image as a hero. Then, in issue #3, they ended up crashing her first outing with Misty Meadows. Now, after Gamma’s insistence on pursuing Kill Count, it is time for her to choose a side.

This issue, and previous ones, show a distinct way each member has with dealing with Gamma. Necrosis is softer and more understanding of her sister’s goals, Merc is colder and blunter about things. Gamma’s own personality also acts as a roadblock that can drive the conflict with her family. Gamma’s persistence and self-assuredness are some of her defining traits and ones that make her so fun to watch, but, in this issue, it is also the nail in the coffin for any peaceful conclusion. And, along with her ambition, her infatuation with Brodie Perron creates a bond that cuts through her family ties. 

All of that leads to and fuels the battle that takes place between these pages. The fight is full of action and is structured to have surprise turns and shocking twists. I won’t say that the writing of this issue was surprising in its quality because the team behind has already proven they are greatly skilled, but the execution of this issue’s battle is on par with similar scenes in other comics that take themselves more seriously. The clash features triumphs, losses, and shows what this series is willing to do and is capable of achieving. By the end of the conflict, the family dynamic is left in a very clear place, and, by the end of the issue, so is Gamma’s role with the Saviors. Before the curtains close on this chapter, we get a reveal with implications for the next arc, but with the preview to issue #7 featuring a new enemy called the “Unseen”, I don’t expect everything to be revealed at once. However, that doesn’t worry me because this series has become one that, no matter the main plot, has characters and a world that are consistently entertaining to watch. I’ll be waiting to see what else they have in store.

The growth of the art seems quite fully formed. Derek Hunter appears to be more comfortable in the comics medium and with the particular style of the book. The panel layouts have been getting progressively better and clearer. This issue being paired with writing that hits certain beats with great timing showed that the art is being used in full effect as well. The reveals of big moments stood out in this issue as crisp. The humor and visual gags are also timed well. Then the jokes are put to the side for brutal action that relays the gravity of the situations. Another nice touch, and one that has progressively gotten crisper, is the unique lettering. Big splashes of blood spelling out the sounds it’s making or a fusillade of “bam” to show the noise of a machine gun keeps a cartoony flair to the scenes. And I’m a huge fan of the “x”s over dead characters’ eyes.  The colors and specifically the palette are huge factors in the cartoon aesthetic. Spencer Holt's colors are misleadingly flat and hide a nice use of shading.

This issue pays off what has been building in this first chapter of Pretty Violent. The conflict of this issue is both physical and familial. The sibling battle is exciting to watch develop, fun to look at (thanks to the consistently gorgeous art), and surprisingly solemn by the end. On top of the great story, the future is also set up nicely. This chapter includes every good element of this book and some of its best moments.

Our Score:


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