Review of Lady Killer by author, Illustrations by Joelle Jones and Jamie S Rich
Lady Killer is a graphic novel series that has a very simple concept. The protagonist is a typical 60s housewife who moonlights as an assassin for hire.
I have to point out that the Goodreads tagline for this book is “Betty Draper meets Hannibal” and that is egregiously incorrect. You can’t just use Hannibal in place of any murderer. Hannibal is a cannibal who kills for his own personal delight and then eats the bodies in a morosely fashionable manner. Josie, the main character of Lady Killer, is an assassin. It’s her job to kill not her fetish.
And let’s talk about how bad she is at this job. Assassins should be stealthy, quick, and leave little evidence. Josie is none of these things. She is a messy killer. Blood and broken property everywhere! So much evidence could be found left in these crime scenes and it’s so obvious that someone was murdered there! She really lacks subtlety.
So honestly, it wasn’t surprising to me that her boss would call her abilities into question. But the book frames it as he thinks she’s unable to perform her duties because she is splitting too much time between work and the home life with her kids. I think he’s meant to be sexist, saying a woman can’t do this job, but she is bad at it.
It’s hard for me to find a feminist message here when she’s portrayed as incompetent. It’s also just really hard to enjoy reading about a character who just kind of sucks at all parts of their life. I mean, she’s also not a very good wife and mother since she’s off killing people all the time. She does two roles badly!
Back in my review of The Way of the House Husband, a very similarly plotted book, I mentioned I have a hard time understanding how these double lives ever would happen. I know it’s just a comic book but this kind of thing come up a lot in media and I just don’t get it. How does a house-wife just go out and become an assassin?
When I was in college I couldn’t even figure out how to score cocaine let alone find a secret underground crime boss willing to take me on as a killer for hire with absolutely no experience. Where are these criminal undergrounds and why are they so easy for these people to find?!
All that being said, the story of Lady Killer is adequate, the art is good, and it’s an alright way to spend a couple hours. I just really don’t see how this premise could be maintained for longer than one book without jumping the shark pretty early on. It’s just not that interesting of a story.
3/5 this is the second time I’ve needed an apron emoji and I don’t have ones 👗👗👗
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Buy it here: Lady Killer