Creative Staff: Joëlle Jones
Story: Joëlle Jones
Art: Joëlle Jones
What They Say:
The killer housewife is back! The Schuller family has moved to Cocoa Beach, Florida, where life carries on as usual. Josie continues to juggle Tupperware parties, her kids, and a few human heads. However, when someone from her past tails her on a hit, she may be in for more than she bargained for!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Josie Schuller is your average model of a modern mid-century suburbanite; she’s pretty, she sells Tupperware and also happens to be an assassin-for-hire. This time around her life as a housewife and mom of two has had its fair share of shakeups thanks to a decidedly non-amicable breakup with her former employers.
As the issue opens, Josie finds herself snubbed by the other ladies of the party she’s flocking her plastic goods at, with the two elderly sisters hosting the party being particularly unkind gossips towards her within earshot as the party disperses. So what’s a girl to do in the face of such quiet humiliation? If you’re Josie, you smash one sister’s face in with a hammer while they’re on the porcelain throne, and the other before her tea even cools. As a newly self-employed killer-for-hire there’s no one to call in to clean up Josie’s work, but luckily she’s a can-do sort of gal able to take action and build up her business. Nothing like adding new skillsets to the old resume and finding new, creative uses for food storage!
Meanwhile at home, Josie and the family have moved and Mother Schuller has been in a foul mood for months. Learning the truth about one’s daughter-in-law and keeping in secret would do that to any woman. As her clueless husband, Gene implores Josie to talk to his mother, she’s hesitant. To say they don’t really get along is putting it mildly. As Josie tries to reason with her agitated mother-in-law, it’s clear Mama Schuller cannot forget the events of Seattle and wants Josie out of the family, telling her she has no place with them. This clearly rattles Josie who despite her other occupation seems to actually care about and genuinely love her family.
Gene’s boss and his boss’ wife arrive for dinner, and this boss man clearly doesn’t care about polite company when it comes to telling crude jokes. What shocking manners! Clearly, he has no sense of dinner party etiquette.
As much as she’s a good hostess, Josie is also nothing if not a persistent, tenacious assassin. She has seven rules for going into business for oneself, which aside from stabbing people or clobbering to them death are surprisingly applicable to many walks of life. And as she teaches readers these seven rules while taking care of the used car salesman that is her next job, she finds herself in the spotlight or rather headlights of another car at the bank of Josie’s decided murder swamp, with a mysterious figure standing by that Josie is shocked to see. Could it be a familiar face?
Lady Killer 2, much like its first series run, is a simple story at the end of the day but one well told. What it lacks in mind-bending twists or turns it makes up for in style and dark humor and one hell of an anti-hero in Josie. Like Dexter, it is an awkward thing to basically root for a killer, but Josie’s charm and straightforward nature makes you want her to stay ahead of the game and alive and come out on top.
As I said in my previous reviews of this story, I like that Josie has this dual home and work life, but genuinely cares about her family and loves her husband and kids. She’s not pretending as a cover, something frequently seen in similar stories. The added tension of Mother Schuller knowing the truth about Josie, and her “perfect” home life dancing on the edge of a knife adds a nice éclat to the story as does her newly found self-employment and the changes that causes. This new road will not be smooth for Josie, but the ride is part of the fun.
If you’re suffering from superhero exhaust, looking for an unusual female-centric title and have blown through all of Red Sonja and Black Widow, this could be the comic for you. Missing Mad Men? Buy this comic. Waiting for that The Man From U.N.C.L.E. sequel? READ THIS BOOK.
It probably goes without saying that I enjoy Jones’ cheeky mid-century murderverse, and sometimes less complexity is more and this is one of those stories that proves it. Give this comic a chance, and pick up the trade version of the first series so you can get caught up. There might even be a familiar reviewer quoted on the back…
Age Rating: T+
Released By: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: August 3rd, 2016