Written by: Joelle Jones & Jamie S. Rich
Art by: Joelle Jones
Lady Killer #3 continues to be one of the best looking comics on the market. Jones and colorist Laura Allred have brought the 1950’s; the style, the cars, the clothes in vivid Technicolor. You can get lost in the details of virtually every panel. Jones’ best work comes in the form of housewife/hitwoman Josie whose professional and private life are about to collide. This is the turning point in this series where actions have consequences that could turn Josie’s life upside down.
Ever the cheerful and doting wife, Josie Schuller hosts a mean party with happily drunk guests filling their suburban home. The only thing that could put a damper on this shindig is one suspicious and accusatory mother-in-law. Mama Schuller is none too happy with Josie’s time away doing “charity work.” As if that wasn’t enough stress to handle, her boss has lost confidence in her ability to be a loyal agent of death as a paid assassin. Pesky responsibilities taking care of kids and a husband oblivious to the fact she’s a stone-cold killing machine and all. What’s a girl to do?
As captivating as the art is and it really is magnificent, character development had been lacking a bit until now. Jones gives Josie some layers to work with it that add some depth and consciousness instead of just being a mindless, carefree killer for hire. On an important hit job, we see Josie face some inner conflict and self-awareness that she hadn’t before. Up until then we hadn’t seen any reservation or hesitation in her motives. Unfortunately, we didn’t know what motivated her to be an assassin in the first place. She just was. This time out Josie is more reflective, it’s subtle, but it really drives the drama towards the great cliffhanger at the end.
Peck also got some character development of his own as well. Sure, he’s a sarcastic womanizing jerk but he really goes to bat for her with the boss revealing a level of respect for Josie that’s refreshing. He may be her handler, but he also recognizes her abilities. Yet, Peck is still a company man or so it seems.
Lady Killer really is Jones’ baby as every layout is carefully designed with stunning detail and flawless action. The book just flows from panel to panel without a missed step. Jones and Rich have concocted a exciting story with a leading lady that is compelling and transcends her era. The series is hitting its stride and the conclusion is sure to be a doozy. Don’t miss this one.