Lady Killer by Jamie S. Rich

I have seen this one a few different places and read a few blogs where this one was mentioned. I had seen it when it first came out but it slipped through the cracks and I did not buy the first issue. Eventually all the hype got to me, as I kept hearing more and more about it, so I had to check it out.

Jamie S. Rich is a comic writer and editor who has worked for many of the top publishers in the field including, Oni Press, Vertigo, and Dark Horse Comics. He has written quite a few different titles, Lady Killer being his most famous. Most of his other titles seem like indy books and are mostly under the radar, still he has quite an impressive bibliography. He is listed as the author on this book but I also read that Joelle Jones who is the artist, came up with the idea for this story and is listed as a contributor. The two have worked together before on a few other books as well. Jamie is also a music journalist.

This one starts out in what appears to be the 1960’s ish time frame. A seemingly innocent housewife, Josie, seems to have it all, two beautiful children and a loving but oblivious husband. While this is what it appears on the surface, she has a deep dark secret, she is an assassin, and she is one of the best at her job. As the story unfolds Josie juggles both of her lives while somehow keeping them exclusive, that is until a job goes wrong. Now she is fearing for her life along with that of her families’. Josie now must not only keep her two worlds secret, but at the same time protect her family.

This story is pretty nuts from quite a few different aspects. I loved what the story had to offer in terms of the characters as well as the overall story. There was somewhat of a cliché in this one but I still feel that there was a nice different spin on things to make it interesting.

I think that best part of this one is twofold, first is the main character Josie. She is the stereotypical 60’s house wife and as the reader advances through the story the artwork helps portray a sense of realism, even though the plot and such is farfetched it still felt real and compelling. I have to give props to the writer as I cannot put my finger on how he does this, although I think it is through the artwork and the clothes and mannerism of the characters. Regardless Josie is an awesome lead character while being both stereotypical and absolutely unique. What is also great is watching her husband and his naivety or just plain obliviousness to what is going on around him. This again helps portray the mindset of the times. The husband is the working man who provides for his family and he mostly humors his lovely house wife when she speaks her mind, what he doesn’t know is that she is a trained killer. So there is also a humor aspect as he thinks her life is simple and mostly dull, but it is anything but.

This story is 5 issues which the more I read miniseries I think this is the new minimum in my opinion, or you can do a great story in four 32 pages issues without advertising. I think with most single issues you only get like 24 pages of story the rest are advertisements. Anyways, I felt these 5 issues were still too short. To me there was so much depth in this story and I felt that only the tiny tinniest surface was scratched. At the end even though it appeared that almost everything was mostly wrapped up, I wanted to read more about what happened before. What in the hell happened to Josie and her life that made her travel down this path, not only that but when she chose that path why would you start a family, to me that is just asking for some extreme complications down the road. As with most things in life you cannot have your cake and eat it too. Gosh just too many questions!

With that being said I do think there is a sequel out there now. I am not sure how many issues it will be or where it picks up the storyline. But it looks like there will be at least 5 more issues to the story. I cannot wait to check out the second volume to see where the story goes.

The artwork in the story is mostly traditional, but it does have some cartoony undertones. It honestly reminds me of the artwork in the Disney movie 101 Dalmatians. I think this artwork is more refined than what was in the movie though. I think the artwork works well with the story in terms of tone and setting plus you really get a feel for the timeframe of the story. The colors in the story are good nothing over the top but also nothing to hinder the story either. Page layouts are mostly traditional as well and nothing out of the ordinary. I don’t think there were any full page splashes through the entire series, which is a major bummer. Overall the art is good and works extremely well with the story.

This one is super popular right now and I would love to talk to the writer and ask him if he actually intended to write a sequel or if it was originally a standalone 5 issue series. I would think that as a writer you have to strike when the iron is hot, so that could be why there is no a sequel. But anyways, if you want to check this one out the tpb is the way to go you can find it on Amazon for about $14, not too bad as that is the cost of a normal tpb. However, if you want to collect the original individual 5 issues you are going to be out some cheddar. The cheapest I found Lady Killer #1 for was $17, which is not a terrible price for a potential collector’s item, but that is about 5 times the cost of the original retail price. For the cost of that one issue you can buy the trade. I also saw where all five issues were selling for about $50, which again is pretty pricey. Just something to keep in mind.

I liked this one overall. I thought the artwork was good and certainly played well with the story. The story was also good, a little bit predictable, but still new and exciting for the most part and as I said left me with a ton of questions by the end of the story. I recommend this one, but it can get a little expensive if you want to collect that individual issues. Still it’s worth it to check it out especially if this series really blows up then you could potentially have a comic that is worth some money on your hands.

Manik

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