Josie Schuller is a lady and she’s a killer, so the title tells us and so it is. This new book from Dark Horse Comics falls in line with their brand of comics, offbeat and edgy. Written by Joelle Jones and Jamie S. Rich, who previously worked together on Oni Press’ 12 Reasons Why I Love Her, You Have Killed Me, and Spell Checkers, the offbeat nature of Lady Killer makes for a fun read.
The stand-out thing about this comic is Joelle Jones’ (Helheim, also from Oni) artwork. Really lovely lines. The characters are sleek and feel like they’re moving around on the page with fluidity. You really just want to stare at their eyes, that’s how alive they feel. This is also due to the fantastic coloring work. Laura Allred, who often works as colorist on her husband Mike Allred’s books, creates some wonderful contrast. She emphasizes the eyes (Windows to the soul, indeed!), shifts the saturation for dramatic effect, and includes a little flourish that adds worlds to the feel of the comic. She leaves little speckles of black here and there across the pages; it adds a slightly foreboding feeling to what might otherwise be seen as a normal situation. And, this is what our team of storytellers seem to be up to. They subvert the normal, or what we perceive to be normal, which makes you wonder when the rug will be pulled out from under our heroine.
The first issue is pretty much all set up, and any plot to speak of doesn’t really begin until the final beautifully drawn page, which should catapult us into wanting to read the second issue, only I don’t feel the immediate urge. Why is this? Well, there isn’t really anything terribly surprising about the set up. These are things we’ve seen play out in different variations before, and because no real stakes have been added we don’t feel the urgency to find out what happens next. On the other hand, my intuition tells me the writers are up to something, and they may be taking their deliberate time getting there. This leaves it to Jones’ incredible artwork to carry us along, and the promise that a hit woman trying to lead a normal life is going to kick some ass. These might be reasons enough to pick up issue two.