The Other Side of the Page: Books and Comics

Lady Killer Slays the Comics World

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There’s no doubt that women are becoming more and more present in comics – as subjects and creators alike. But beyond the lady heroes lies Mrs. Josie Schuller, a character unlike any you’ve ever seen in comics. The protagonist of Joëlle Jones and Jamie S. Rich’s new limited-run series Lady Killer is by all appearances a perfect 1960s housewife: devoted homemaker, doting wife, and loving mother of twin girls. But appearances are not what they seem in Lady Killer. Behind the makeup and pearls lies a cold-blooded killer, a trained assassin with years of experience handling whatever “job” her boss assigns her. Her targets range from a gentleman’s club attendee to a stay-at-home dog mother and the kills start immediately in Lady Killer. Of course, it’s not all fun and murder for Josie. When work and home collide and Josie begins questioning her moral compass, she finds herself with a recipe for self-destruction. So, is Lady Killer for you?

Check it out if:

  • You don’t mind blood and violence. Josie’s kills don’t tend to go quickly, so we see a lot of tooth-and-nail fighting, accompanied by plenty of the red stuff.
  • You want to see a very fierce, badass woman kicking ass and taking names.
  • You’re interested in the dynamics of a 1960s household. When she’s not taking lives, Josie is living her double-life at home with her husband, children, and mother-in-law. We get a peek into the goings on of an “average” family.
  • You want some amazing cover art. Seriously, Joëlle Jones and Laura Allred’s covers are phenomenal. Not to mention the additional artwork Jones created as vintage ads. Check them out here.

 

Don’t read if:

  • You’re looking for fleshed out characters. While Josie’s situation is interesting, the first few issues don’t show much beyond her perfect face (which is in itself a little unnerving). There’s a slight turn in issue three when Josie graciously chooses not to kill her assigned target – a boy who can’t be older than ten years old. Hopefully Joëlle Jones gives us more of this in the remaining issues.
  • You don’t want to see blood or ass-kicking. It’s just gonna happen. A lot.

 

My verdict:

The first three issues of Lady Killer have been interesting enough to keep my attention. Given that there are only going to be five issues in the series, I’ll most likely stick with it to see how the plot is wrapped up. I’d like to learn a bit of Josie’s backstory and see beyond the facade she so elegantly flaunts. If the series continues to focus on the killing and forgets the characters, I’ll be a bit disappointed. Overall, I think Lady Killer is a fun ride and worth the five-issue commitment.

There are two issues left of Lady Killer, due out April 1 and May 6. Have you read the series yet? What are your thoughts on Josie?

 

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