Lady Killer, Vol 1 by Joëlle Jones & Jamie S. Rich
Graphic Novel | Thriller
Published by Dark Horse
Released September 15, 2015
Purchase: Amazon | Books-a-Million
Jamie S. Rich Links: Website
Joëlle Jones Links: Website | Twitter | Tumblr
The first book/graphic novel I finished in 2019 ended up being a re-read for me. I first picked up this book last year after falling in love with the fifties-style art while browsing at one of our local comic book shops, Comic Kings.
While 90% of the comic books and graphic novels I read are situated in the Marvel universe, I do like to branch out on occasion and pick up something new. Lady Killer Vol 1 was one of those times.
I’ve always been slightly obsessed with dark, morbid, 50-style motifs, which is the reason Fallout is my favorite video game in the world. The 50s have always been portrayed as a time of wholesome family endeavors, and seeing a bastardization of that is something that I’ve always found incredibly delightful.
Written by Jamie S. Rich and Joëlle Jones, this series follows Josie Schuller, a housewife by day and assassin at night. The beautiful dresses and dinner soirees are starkly contrasted by the sheer bloody violence of the story – this is not a series for people who get nauseous at the sight of blood. Joëlle Jones does an absolutely wonderful job of drawing all that gore and violence in an almost pleasant and definitely artful way.
One of the most interesting aspects of this series is how it deals with the inherent sexism of the 1950s. Josie is expected to be the perfect housewife – raising the children, cooking and cleaning, keeping up appearances with the neighbors, etc. During her “other” life as an assassin, she’s always given jobs that require her to wear skimpy outfits and flirt with the men she’s going to kill. She is also told by her boss that she cannot keep a family and work at the same time, that she has to choose. Josie, however, sees both sides of her life as completely separate and is willing to do both.
The book reminded me a bit of a combination of Archer and Mad Men, and I think would be appropriate for fans of either.
Josie herself is a complete badass who is willing to do what it takes to finish a job and is smarter than most of the men in her life. I love that she’s not willing to take nonsense from anyone and will stick up for what she wants. I also am very envious of all of Josie’s daily outfits, and I appreciate that so much time was spent focusing on the fashion of the 1950s.
Overall, this has easily become one of my favorite self-contained comic series, and I’m going to be picking up volume two very soon.