The Title is an Understatement! PRETTY VIOLENT Volume 1 Review
Pretty Violent Volume 1: …With Lots of Swears
Created, Drawn, & Lettered by Derek Hunter
Written by Jason Young & Derek Hunter
Colored by Spencer Holt
Published by Image Comics
I wouldn’t call this series pretty, but it sure is violent. Artist Derek Hunter creates his own superhero universe in Pretty Violent. This new series follows aspiring teenage hero Gamma Rae as she tries to make a name for herself in Bay City. Rae believes that most superheros’ strict adherence to the rules keeps them from actually helping people. Rae’s enthusiasm gets in her way at first, but that’s not the biggest barrier to her success as a hero. You see, Rae comes from a family of super villains. Rae leaves a pile of bodies behind her as she blazes her own trail in order to achieve her dreams.
My favorite thing about Pretty Violent is that it was created by the artist and not a writer. This seems to be a rarer and rarer occurrence in modern comic books. Hunter is on triple duty, drawing, lettering, and co-writing. Hunter’s background in animation is very evident in his character designs and style of illustration. The characters and action scenes are very cartoon-y. Except, these are cartoons that decapitate and disembowel each other. It’s like if the Fairy Godparents went on killing sprees instead of granting wishes. As you can infer from the issue’s sub-title, there’s also lots of cursing and profanity. I truly enjoyed the juxtaposition between the adult levels of language and gore and the bright and cute cartoon characters.
Hunter shares writing duties with Jason Young. The story they put together for Pretty Violent is full of thrills, fights, and comedy. The dialogue is funny and features just as much word play as it does cursing. Each main character also has their own unique voice that reflects their personalities. Hunter and Young also do a great job of writing Gamma Rae. They brilliantly capture both her passion and teenage angst. I think it’s really cool that Hunter based Rae’s personality on his daughter. His bond with his daughter, and in turn Gamma Rae, is evident in his treatment of the character. It’s obvious after reading the first volume that writing this series has been an act of love.
If you’re looking for something to distract you from the current state of the country, Pretty Violent is the perfect diversion. You don’t have to do a lot of thinking to enjoy the story. Shoot, the art is so vibrant, vivid, and wacky that you hardly even need to read the words. With art this good, the dialogue is just an added bonus. Forget your troubles for awhile and immerse yourself in the world of Gamma Rae. For those who use Hoopla, this first volume is available to borrow and download for free.
Pretty Violent Volume 1
With art this good, the dialogue is just an added bonus.