The final issue of the first arc is here and Josie Schuller must confront her former employers, Peck and Stenholm. To spicen it up, it will all be taking place with the Seattle World’s Fair as the backdrop. Is it good?
Lady Killer #5 (Dark Horse Comics)
Josie has gathered her team and strategically placed them throughout the fairgrounds. She has set her trap. Now, all she has to do is play the bait to get the attention of both Stenholm and Peck, who just so happen to be together. Jamie S. Rich and Joëlle Jones use the opening speech of the World’s Fair to foreshadow and build tension leading up to the climax. The opening speech also provides levity, describing the hope for “a happy and a peaceful world” or opening “an era of peace and understanding among all mankind,” knowing full well there is going to be a violent conflict in the pages ahead.
Rich and Jones don’t stop with using the opening speech to provide levity; they also have Gene, Josie’s husband, and her twin daughters make an appearance as Peck and Stenholm race after Josie. It’s a riot how she stops and chats with Gene as if nothing is happening.
After the opening pages, the levity is gone and the comic takes a very serious turn with Josie sparring physically and mentally with Peck and Stenholm on separate occasions as she is forced to abandon the plan and run between the two of them. This is the one time where the plot gets muddled and it is unclear as to why Rich and Jones move her between Peck and Stenholm other than to depict the battle scenes and outcomes against the two.
Speaking of the battle scenes, Jones is once again at the top of her craft. Her action sequences flow so smoothly together. Each panel follows after the other as Jones leaves little room for your imagination to fill in the gaps. A slice across the gut of an oncoming assailant leads into a killing stroke targeted at the assailant’s temple as he falls backwards.
There was one oddity involving the artwork. Upon the aftermath of a battle between Peck and Ruby, Josie’s jaw is elongated as she screams in shock. It looks like she was doing her best impression of Imhotep from The Mummy.
Laura Allred’s colors were naturally top notch. There were two panels that were absolutely brilliant: the first highlighting Peck’s extreme rage and anger with red emanating around his body and then almost fully consuming him in the next. It really captures his emotion.
Finally, Rich and Jones conclude this arc in a wonderful fashion. They bring it back to the first episode, but this time Josie is on the receiving end. However, she has played that game before and knows better. After dealing with the potential threat, Jones and Rich conclude with a little lesson on owning your own business and hint at the return of Lady Killer as well as how Joëlle will be taking on full responsibilities as writer moving forward.
Is It Good?
Lady Killer #5 was a fantastic conclusion to an overall excellent first arc. It had drama, comedy, and action, everything a comic reader could want. Jamie S. Rich and Joëlle Jones provided wonderful and refreshing dialogue throughout the issue. They were able to hit on the comedic relief when it was warranted and to build drama and tension leading up to the climax. Jones’ artwork was absolutely brilliant again, minus the one jaw-dropping panel. I can’t emphasize enough just how good her action sequences are. I can’t wait to see what is in store for the second arc as Joëlle takes over full duties on writing.