Lady Killer #1 Review

Written by: Joëlle Jones and Jamie S. Rich

Art by: Joëlle Jones

Publisher: Dark Horse

Lady Killer is a neat little comic with an interesting premise. Josie Schuller is your classic 1960’s housewife and mother. She makes sure dinner is ready every night. She cleans in heels. She participates in bake sales. Oh, and she also murders people for money.

Josie, you see, is actually a killer for hire. When her husband isn’t around, Josie spends her days getting close to her targets so she can collect on their deaths. This first issue opens with one such hit and it’s a tremendous way to set the stage for what’s to come. While Josie is all smiles and oozes the image of a picture perfect wife and mother, the violence she inflicts is wonderfully bloody and dark.

Joëlle Jones’ art is a tremendous fit for the subject material and it somehow manages to be dark amid all the pop influences. There’s also some incredible exaggerations of perspective that seem to jump from the page in the best ways. When Josie extends her hand towards in target within the first few pages, it seems to jump towards the reader as if we’re being introduced ourselves. The fight scene we get is also drawn in a very cool way and makes me excited for the bloodshed in future issues. Jones isn’t afraid to make the fights messy or subject Josie to some pain herself, and the inclusion of close ups on faces is a great idea that makes everything way more visually pleasing.

It’s also nice to see the art and Jones spend a lot of time bringing out Josie’s personality and double life without needing words. A series of panels in which Josie gets a phone call from her employer was perhaps my favorite part of the comic. As Josie complains to her employer that it isn’t a nice time to call before ending the call, we watch as she goes from a somewhat annoyed look to taking a deep breath before putting on her act of a loving wife and mother without a care in the world. The transformation is done perfectly and it’s telling of Josie to see this transition from “I need to kill another one” to “Dinner’s ready!” done so well and I hope we get more of this.

Josie's shtick is one of the best things about this comic

Josie’s shtick is one of the best things about this comic

My only complaint is that there’s a ton of information missing that really prevents it from taking off, and I sincerely hope that Jones and Jamie S. Rich tackle some of these things in later issues. For example, while it’s a fun idea to take a housewife and make her this killer for hire, I couldn’t help but wonder why. Josie’s husband doesn’t know about her hits so she can’t necessarily spend the money, and he presumably is making enough  to take care of the whole family. Which made me wonder why in the world Josie was doing these things when it was seemingly leading to more problems that it seemed worth.

Lady Killer #1 was a pretty fun little issue and it definitely gave us a ton of things to look forward to and expect in the next issues. A new hit was given to Josie that seems like it can end up being a really, really fun issue. And Josie’s mother-in-law seems to be catching on to the fact that Josie might be hiding something from her family which is sure to bring in some much needed complexity to the comic.