Call Me Lady Killjoy

Joelle Jones and Laura Allred made some enjoyable dresses, hairstyles, interiors, and colors. But Lady Killer #1 reads like Stepford Wives fan fic, and would be a lot better if it was. Otherwise it’s just the cute story of a woman trapped in a terrible nightmare. Not only must she live out the tired trope of the lacquered, fraudulent 1960s American housewife, but her secret life is one in which she is indentured to a bad man and has to do terrible things in the same uncomfortable, impractical clothing. Does she have a secret life in which she does her own liberated, nasty shit, and then she has to go home and dress for dinner before her husband gets home? Oh no. She has to wear those clothes and that hairstyle all freaking day. And everything murderous she does is on orders from a man who has power over her and who imperils the other life she has that also revolves around a man. She has no discernible personality or will, and just acts like a robot who can be alternately sing-songy or mildly disgruntled or murderous. She is basically a psychopath. She has extremely creepy doll like daughters. This book is a drag passing itself off as a lark.

Published by Dark Horse, Story by Joelle Jones & Jamie S. Rich, Art by Joelle Jones, Colors by Laura Allred.

Fighting the Good Fight: 2014 Comic Book Highlights


STACKEDD magazine debuts today! I sneak in a last look at some great things in comics in 2014.

2014: Tula Lotay, the Jasons, and that whole Shulkie crew

(This was part of The Best of Best Shots Column over at Newsarama)

Bronze – Tula Lotay (Image Comics/Vertigo): In Supreme Blue Rose and in Bodies, Tula Lotay’s art in 2014 has explored consciousness, memory, and the human struggle to connect and understand. In both books the fluid chalk and grease pencil look of Lotay’s art feels fresh and new. In Supreme Blue Rose she creates multi-layered, patterned scenes to get lost in. We may never find our way out of that story’s maze, but Lotay’s pictures make that book something to treasure. In Bodies her style is cleaner and simpler, with fewer elements to disorient us as she draws a character with an emptier mind. Her work gives the impression that she has an intuitive grasp of how to translate the writers’ intentions, especially in the face of heavy poetic license.

Silver – She-Hulk (Marvel Comics): Charles Soule, Javier Pulido and Muntsa Vicente packed this series with fun, color, and style, making She-Hulk a joy to read. Soule’s excellent dialogue, Pulido’s deceptively simple shapes and dead-on facial expressions, and Vicente’s flat, bright colors all made this team’s interpretation of She-Hulk more fun and funnier than most comics on the shelves. They gave Jen a lot of heart but kept the mood light. This book never took itself too seriously, but always had a core earnestness. Add in an electrifying guest-artist turn by Ron Wimberly, and this series is a phenomenon to get in on if it escaped your attention this year.

Southern Bastards 1

Gold – Southern Bastards (Image Comics): Jason Aaron and Jason Latour have hammered something together that isn’t pretty but has more structural, aesthetic, and thematic integrity than anything else I read this year. Southern Bastards is intensely personal to both creators without being self-indulgent. It’s allegorical without being simplistic. It conveys a strong sense of place but feels universal. Southern Bastard unfolds itself to reveal the small town bruises and scars left by football, abuse, war, vendettas, and simmering hatred. So far it has homed in on two older men left with a legacy of violence handed down from their fathers. Without gentleness, with brutal honesty, this book packs the punch of what violence does to people. And still it manages to be weirdly, darkly fun.

Item to Watch in 2015 – Gotham Academy (DC Comics): Three issues in, Gotham Academy has been flying under the radar compared to some of its cousin publications at DC. It’s had less buzz, less controversy and less praise than a lot of new books but I think it might be a sleeper. The creepy boarding school setting does have the dour, gritty vibe that the new Batgirl team has moved away from. But at the heart of the story, the troubles of Olive Silverlock are deftly handled by writers Becky Cloonan and Brendan Fletcher. Artist Karl Kerschl gives us some of the best facial expressions of believable kids. Maps, Olive and Pommeline are developing into nuanced characters. Something good is blooming there in gloomy Gotham.