Comic Book Review: Lady Killer Issue #1

Lady Killer -
Lady Killer –

Once upon a time, there was a devoted housewife who put on her pearls and heels. Then she killed people.

This is the story of Mrs. Josie Schuller, an early 1960s housewife who freelances as an unassuming assassin. Written by Joëlle Jones and Jamie S. Rich, Lady Killer offers a linear story and the evident symbolism of the era, all illustrated (by Joëlle Jones) in relevant vintage fashion with pertinent pastels (colors by Laura Allred). This Dark Horse Comics publication features lettering by Crank!

Is protagonist Josie Schuller a killer of ladies, or a lady who is a killer? Both, it turns out – which begs the reader to examine the complexity of characters and people. I can’t stand when comics present flat female characters, and in this story, the title itself opens the door to a more insightful depiction, replete with glorious violence.

The death scene is as graphic as you might hope. Fans of Dexter will approve.

This comic also passes the Bechdel Test in a very interesting way. Two women have a conversation, confrontation, and a murder party without mentioning a man. Pretty cool. This is a big contrast to the killer’s home life. There, she motivates her daughters to clean up by reminding them that their father will be home soon.

The aesthetic plays an important role in the vintage landscape. Our killer first appears as an Avon saleswoman and makes sure to keep up appearances herself as the story goes on.

Mrs. Schuller leads a double life. Even her prying mother-in-law isn’t aware of what she’s truly up to. As a reader, it’s like having all the thrill of a protagonist having an affair, and none of the guilt or disdain over her cheating on her spouse. (Is that weird? It’s probably weird, but anyway, murder-for-hire is way more empowering than cheat-on-your-husband.)

Ultimately, Lady Killer is about a woman who lives within confines of society, but gets to take out an unwanted element. It’s a job for her, and she has a reputation for getting things done – and we are left with the right amount of questions, especially as the issue leaves her at the beginning of her next job. Is her motivation in the want of more excitement, flirtation with her boss (Peck) or the satisfaction she’ll get for killing her next mark – after he offers the ultimate catcall in a club setting?

Lady Killer is a five-issue series – on sale 1/7/15. Learn more at

Liked it? Take a second to support The Geek Initiative on Patreon!
About Tara M. Clapper 289 Articles
Tara is a lifelong geek and the founder and publisher of The Geek Initiative. Her interests were forged in an early appreciation for "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "Jurassic Park," and many historical fiction and fantasy novels. Tara is a game designer, LARPer, and frequent convention attendee. The author of over 1,000 individual blogs, her content has been featured on HelloGiggles,,, and The Billfold. She holds a B.A. in English from McDaniel College and has attended many events as press (including New York Comic Con). Tara has a professional background in marketing and publishing. She lives in the Philadelphia area. A Marvel fan, her favorite superhero is undoubtedly Thor. View her portfolio at:

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.