by Joelle Jones, Jamie S. Rich and Laura Allred
The five-part mini series comes to a close this month, but Lady Killer is unwilling to go out quietly. Joelle Jones and Jamie S. Rich are back this month to conclude their tale of Josie Schuller. From the very beginning, Lady Killer has been captivating in every aspect and the final issue meets that standard. Some suspense, a good bit of action, with a touch of revenge and even some twists, issue five is a quality finish.
After an unlikely, but logical pairing of Ruby and Josie in issue four, the duo are set to settle things with Peck and Stenholm and get on with their lives. The book opens wonderfully with a black and white advertisement detailing the upcoming World’s Fair even in Seattle. It is an incredible choice of setting for the final chapter and Jones and Rich bring readers back into the fold immediately. The two assassins take their places as the broadcast from the president comes over the speakers. In moments, the book is throttling forward, Josie and Peck in a dead sprint and the final showdown is underway. Jones’s pacing and timing are perfect in this issue, as the battle between the players feels incredibly tense and exciting from start to finish. Laura Allred flashes from her regular color palette for the book to hues of reds, accentuating every blow. Jones and Rich keep the dialogue to a minimum throughout these moments and that allows the pages to fly by. Readers will speed through the sequence along with the characters, hoping for a moment of calm.
Jones’s art continues to be a spectacle in every page of the book. The decision to place the book in this time period gives the story the visual element to add an odd bit of charm to the book. When Ruby steps in to take on Peck by herself, Jones positions the characters in a fantastic panel, creating an obstacle between her and her mark, and also allowing that moment to slow the pace. Despite the break-neck speed of the issue, there is more to it than pages of running and punching. Jones and Rich know just when to slow things down, bring in the dialogue, and ramp up the tension once more. There is an impressive balance between the creators throughout the issue, and that results in a truly fantastic reading experience.
There is a lot of finality to the issue as it attempts to wrap up the story that Jones and Rich have been telling over the five chapters. However, Jones makes sure to add in a few pieces over the course of the book that layer on some additional pieces, developing the world a bit beyond the present tale. Between the final page and the letters in the back, readers have just enough beyond a tease to feel confident that this is not the last of Josie Schuller.
An excellent mini series from all levels of development and production, Lady Killer is one of the strongest books out this year. Filled with talent and a thrilling story, this is one people should be passing out to fellow readers to build up the audience awaiting the next tale.