Review – Lady Killer #4 (of 5) (Dark Horse Comics)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer(s): Joëlle Jones, Jamie S. Rich
Artist: Joëlle Jones
Release Date: 1st April, 2015
With the previous issue ramping up the pace a little – as well as injecting some much-needed emotion to the proceedings – this penultimate instalment of Joëlle Jones and Jamie S Rich’s 60’s serial killer chic series kicks things into a whole new gear as Josie Schuller finds her perfectly crafted world crumbling down around her, becoming the target of the very same organisation she previously killed for. Now, I’m not exactly sure if ‘60’s serial killer chic’ was even a genre before, but all I can do is thank the creative team behind this book for making it happen, because Lady Killer is the beautiful, violent genre mash-up we’ve all been waiting for – even if we didn’t realise it until now.
Once again, Joëlle Jones’ distinctly stylized artwork gives the book a vibrant aesthetic that perfectly captures the fashion and feel of the early 60’s. The contrast between the ‘fresh from the catwalk’ look of some of the main characters and the stark, brutal violence contained within these pages give this series its unique selling point, but there’s so much more going on within these pages than simply housewife homicide. That said, there’s still no disputing just how visually stunning the book is, with Jones fully embracing the striking fashion of the era, mixing it up with some truly dark moments along the way.
As beautiful as the artwork is, this is a story that was only ever going to be as good as its leading lady, and thankfully Josie Schuller remains an utterly fascinating protagonist throughout. Striking a curious balance between loving mother and cold-blooded killer, her strength and determination in the face of her male-dominated environment (both in terms of the decade she’s living in and the ‘occupation’ she has chosen for herself) is difficult not to feel inspired by, and watching her life gradually unravelling as a result of her moral compass makes for truly riveting reading. Also admirable is her ingenuity throughout this series; constantly adaptable when things don’t go according to plan, and able to utilise her surroundings to her advantage – something which is displayed beautifully here in her inspired use of the local neighbourhood ‘curtain-twitcher’ as an extremely useful asset.
Brilliantly paced, gloriously rendered and utterly empowering, Lady Killer takes a refreshing look at the era of the quiet, subservient housewife and throws in some shockingly brutal violence for good measure. Featuring slick dialogue, engaging characters and a slow build to what promises to be a show-stopping conclusion, I honestly can’t recommend this series highly enough.
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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The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson (aka Ceej)
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