Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer(s): Joëlle Jones, Jamie S. Rich
Artist: Joëlle Jones
Release Date: 4th March, 2015
After two issues of gloriously rendered scene-setting, we finally get to the real meat of Joëlle Jones’ Lady Killer. The previous chapters have introduced us to Josie Schuller, doting housewife slash contract killer, and in spite of a few unlucky stumbles along the way, Josie has always been presented as a strong, confident, unflappable woman. Well, in this issue, as she faces perhaps her toughest assignment yet, we finally see the cracks beginning to form in Josie’s world, as well as witnessing the first outpouring of any sort of genuine emotion from her – an aspect of her character which has, in my opinion, been long overdue.
As always, Jones’ artwork is stunning in its stylised simplicity, with the early 60’s furniture and fashion all beautifully recreated, and Josie’s measured, almost feline facial expressions propelling the story forwards. The main characters are all striking and distinctive in their own way, and each has been slightly over-exaggerated without them turning into caricatures. From her devilishly handsome, squared-jawed handler Peck to her growling, Regan-esque boss, to her menacingly disapproving mother in law, everything visual nuance of the characters in Lady Killer hits the mark perfectly, providing a truly engrossing world that looks like nothing else on the shelves right now.
The writing remains solid throughout, with Josie’s aforementioned emotional breakdown adding some much needed depth to her character. Peck gets a little extra development here too, his character momentarily slipping from flirtatious, innuendo-driven Lothario into something actually genuine – even if only for a second. In spite of the somewhat ‘out there’ premise, this is a story which is being kept relatively simple by Jones and co-writer Jamie S. Rich. The cast of characters is tight and focused, and the twists and turns are kept to a bare minimum, preventing the reader from ever having to play catch-up. That said, the events of the final few pages of this issue certainly yank the wheel, sending the story careening off into an unexpected new direction, and I’m more than happy to admit that I have absolutely no idea where this story is heading.
Overall, while it may have made its mark with its stunning visuals and sharply conceived concept, Lady Killer is finally starting to hit its stride in terms of the story itself, and promises a tense, emotional conclusion before all’s said and done. Over the course of this one issue, leading lady Josie Schuller has gone from intriguing enigma to genuinely compelling protagonist, and I’m most definitely going to be waiting with baited breath to find out what happens to her next.
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.
[Click thumbnail for full size image]