Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer(s): Joëlle Jones, Jamie S. Rich
Artist: Joëlle Jones
Release Date: 4th February, 2015
[Review may contain minor spoilers]
The second issue of Dark Horse’s Lady Killer follows a lot of the same storyline beats as the first, which, to be clear, is definitely no bad thing. We get to see Josie in action again here, watching her effortlessly switching from doe-eyed ‘kitty-cat’ waitress to lithe, athletic killing machine with a subtle flick of artist Joëlle Jones’ pen. Josie’s handler Peck once again shows up midway through the issue to inject a little innuendo to the proceedings, and we’re also given a brief glimpse into Josie’s hectic (but comparatively straightforward) life as a homemaker and mother.
The big difference between this issue and the first is that we finally get to find out a little more about the organisation who employs Josie during a tense, face-to-face meeting with her boss, Stenholm. Jones and Rich push the story forwards in a shockingly unexpected way, and the conversation between Josie and Stenholm goes a long way towards highlighting the stark contrast between the restrained, caring, ‘family’ Josie and her coldly professional façade as she more than holds her own against her glaring, square-jawed employer. This is no subservient housewife cliché, folks – Josie Schuller is one strong, confident and highly-motivated woman.
There’s also something utterly compelling about the character design of Josie herself. Her subtle facial expressions and angular, almost feline features combine beautifully with Jones’ gift for capturing the distinctive design and ‘feel’ of the early 60’s to give this series a visual aesthetic that’s truly like nothing else on the shelves right now. The dialogue – given a little extra polish here by accomplished writer Jamie S. Rich – is undoubtedly sharp, but there’s still the faint feeling that Jones is perhaps holding back just a little, keeping those cards clutched tightly to her chest. The story does seem to be opening up a little though, and after speaking to both creators, I have absolutely no doubt that there’s a ‘bigger picture’ on the horizon.
Overall, the second instalment of Lady Killer capitalises perfectly on the momentum built by the first, drawing us deeper and deeper into the complicated life of Josie Schuller, and serving as a stunning showcase for the creative abilities of Joëlle Jones. A darkly comic take on the saccharine world of the early 60’s housewife, and a series that – judging by the nature of Josie’s next mission – promises to become even darker before all’s said and done. Well worth a look.
If you want to find out more about LADY KILLER, make sure to check out our exclusive interview with creators Joëlle Jones and Jamie S. Rich.
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