"Lady Killer 2 #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Written and illustrated by Joelle Jones
Colored by Michelle Madsen
2016, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on August 3rd, 2016
Oh, how I've missed Josie Schuller, the homicidal housewife. She's been busy since we last saw her back in Seattle. She's settled in to Cocoa Beach, Florida, selling Tupperware, keeping up with the chores around the house, and brutally killing people for money. Somehow she manages to do all that while her family is none the wiser...except for her nosy mother-in-law that is.
Since Josie is no longer working with an agency for her kills, she has to do everything herself. She was used to committing murder and that's something she's quite good at. Now she's got to clean it up too. The opening scene is a perfect summation of the character and the strange life she leads. It's also incredibly brutal, as Josie viciously beats two people to death with a hammer.
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Joelle Jones makes murder look beautiful in Lady Killer. There's an elegance to Josie as she swings the hammer down. She's always in control of the situation and at times, seems to enjoy it. There's this one panel where she's reeling back for one last swing, both hands grasping the hammer over her shoulder, and she looks to be ever so slightly biting her lower lip.
Michelle Madsen's colors close the loop on the period piece of the book, giving it a retro feel, like it's right out of The Patty Duke Show. What's interesting is that instead of red, Madsen colors the blood a dark black. This causes it to stain everything it touches like a thick mud. It works well with Jones' artwork, as if it's tainting the otherwise perfect form of Josie. I am a little curious as to what it would have looked like in classic red.
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Madsen also shades certain panels or parts of panels to great effect. Sometimes it's to highlight something in the foreground by keeping the rest of it in shadow. Other times it's a vibrant red that showcases the violence. The best example of this is a small panel that features a closeup of Josie's eyes, burning with a fiery red as they look towards her next kill.
Lady Killer is not just the best comic you'll read about a contract-killer housewife, it's also a gorgeously illustrated book with levels of gore that will rival any horror book on the stands today. You just haven't lived until you've seen a beautiful woman cut up a body with an electric carving knife.