There are no words adequate to describe how much I loved this graphic novel. I’ve never given a 5 star review to a graphic novel before, so that should say something. The premise is simple, a seemingly normal housewife, Josie, in the early 60s moonlights as a contract killer. She has a suspicious mother-in-law, a doting and clueless husband, and two sweet children. Everything is going perfectly until her family time cuts into her professional time and her annoying boss turns up at her house unexpectedly.
Everything about this graphic novel combines to make the sum of its parts greater than the whole. The outstanding writing provides a solid base for the series. Josie is a complex character and the story weaves her personal and professional lives together seamlessly. She’s a woman who can hold her own in both of her worlds, but it’s still fun to watch her navigate them.
Then there’s the artwork which completely blew me away. It’s stunning on its own, but it also works to build the story up in some interesting ways. Most of the colors are muted greens, brown, pinks, and purples. Then there are little pops of vibrant red here and there that really draw the eye. Those pops of red move the reader through the already propelling plot. Because red is used in such an intentional way, most of the blood in the violent scenes is actually black. Such a smart way to show the gore without having it pull focus from Josie.
It’s still such a novelty to see women portrayed as unapologetically violent or ruthless and I’m glad it’s done so well in Lady Killer. There’s a heavy dose of black comedy and sly social commentary that I can’t see anyone not liking this book. This would make one hell of a movie in the hands of the right people.