I have been looking forward to reading Lady Killer since the moment Dark Horse released the cover art. The story is written and illustrated by Joëlle Jones and co-written by Jamie Rich. It has a 1950’s era housewife in a beautiful pink swing dress, pearls, matching pink flats and yellow rubber gloves mopping blood off the floor and walls of a light blue kitchen after what we can only assume was a very violent murder. Lady Killer is a limited series which will have a 5-issue run but the first issue has already left me with the hope that it’ll be extended into an ongoing series.
The main character, Josie Schuller, is a housewife with an interesting side job as an assassin. She resembles Jackie O but the synopsis describes her as Betty Draper meets Hannibal. In the beginning of the comic, Josie is outfitted in a powder blue skirt suit posing as an Avon lady (but she looks like she could be working for Pan Am). She pushes her way into a potential client’s house and “accidentally” sprays perfume in her eyes before attempting to poison her. We learn that Josie has no idea why she’s been contracted to kill this woman, but she is being paid handsomely for it.
Later when Josie heads home to her angry mother in law who’s impatiently waiting for her dinner meat, it becomes apparent that her husband and children know nothing about the way she spends her days. Josie receives a phone call about her next job but she tries to ward off the call by insisting that dinner is an inappropriate time for sales calls. This leads her boss to show up unannounced later in the night posing as the most fashionable plumber I’ve ever seen.
I really really really love the artwork and the tone of Lady Killer. The colors are mostly soft pinks, blues, and yellows with neutral grey backgrounds which cause Josie to really pop in her panels. The detailing in the kitchens may be one of my favorite aspects (besides Josie’s clothing of course) from the pink cannisters on the counter to the gorgeous yellow ruffled curtains hanging from the windows. I’ll definitely be picking up the next issue because 1) her next job is a big one and I must see how she carries out her assignment, 2) I can’t stop wondering how she became involved assassin work (is her husband’s salary not enough to live on? Will she be able to fool her family for all 5 issues?) and 3) to see the dresses Josie pulls out of her closet next!
Betty Draper meets Hannibal!
Josie Schuller is a picture-perfect homemaker, wife, and mother—but she’s also a ruthless, efficient killer for hire! A brand-new original comedy series that combines the wholesome imagery of early 1960s domestic bliss with a tightening web of murder, paranoia, and cold-blooded survival. (via Dark Horse)