Tagged: Laura Allred

Chris’ Comics: Lady Killer TPB

2015-01-05-ladykillerLady Killer

Joelle Jones, Jamie S. Rich, Laura Allred

Dark Horse, $17.99

Confession: I love it when artists are credited before writers on comics. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of books I buy currently because I love the writer/writers involved, so I’m not saying this out of spite. But more times than not, an artist is the reason a why I’ll check out a book I’m totally unfamiliar with, and are the deciding factor as to if I will stay with it or not.

On paper, the premise of Lady Killer doesn’t appeal to me much, which is why I initally passed over it. A housewife who’s secretly a hired killer set in the 50s really doesn’t do much for me, either though I’m a fan of books with female leads. But the book was getting some solid buzz, and I eventually reconsidered my stance seeing how good the art was. So yeah, Dark Horse crediting Joelle Jones first on the cover of the Lady Killer trade was a smart move. Jones is an artist I had zero familiarity with coming into this series, but offers a lot to like once you see her work. The best way to describe her art style is Annie Wu (Hawkeye, Black Canary) mashed up with EC Horror comics, as her art on this book is gorgeous, but also extremely gory. Lady Killer is not for those with low tolerances for the ultra violence, so if if the cover disturbs you, you should stay away.

4263831-1+ldyklr+#1+pg+01Those who don’t mind watching  fictional people die violent deaths are in for a treat. Aside from some gorgeous line art from Jones, Laura Allred colors the hell out of this book. Allred goes faux-retro by keeping her palette monotone, which mixes nicely with the splattered inks from Jones, giving the book a gritty, dirty look. I also like the specific shade of red Allred went with (no pun intended), as it’s bold to the point where it’s noticeable, stressing the importance of that color in the book. It’s a very cool visual trick that I dug a lot, and given her past work on such books on FF!, Silver Surfer and iZombie, made her a perfect fit for this book. The artists also deserve credit for keeping the outfits, settings and color scheme very period accurate, going a long well to sell the book’s premise.

I haven’t talked much about Jamie S. Rich, the book’s co-creator and writer. Rich is another creator I’m unfamiliar with, but his work on Lady Killer is  pretty solid. The dialogue is pretty straight forward, feeling slightly restricted, and making the book come off as quiet as time. It feels like he held back on filling the books with character talking in order to let Jones win the audience over with her art. It’s a smart move, as her work is ldyklr2p4stunning, and it makes the dialogue seem all the more important when the characters do speak. I’m also a fan of some of the humor injected into the book, granted it’s pretty dark, the black humor is totally fitting for a book like this. Less is more with Lady Killer, and Rich does hint at some intriguing concepts throughout the book, leaving me wanting to know more about the world, but still satisfied with what I got.

Lady Killer isn’t the most original book you’ll read this year, as several plot points and themes will feel familiar to anyone who’s familiar with Ed Brubaker or Greg Rucka‘s works. But it’s a visually stunning ultra violent ride with a fun, sexy vibe to it as well. It’s a fun mini that tells a complete story, and is definitely worth your time if you want something heavy on the action.

 

 

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I have bought some comics, and most of them are written by Matt Fraction.

Before I get into “This Week in Matt Fraction Comics” (stalkingmattfraction.tumblr.com), let’s take a quick look into two of DC’s digital-first offerings – Batman ’66 and Injustice: God Amongst Us. Both these books are INSANE, and I mean that in 2 completely different ways. The former, written by Jeff Parker and drawn by  Jonathan Case, is an all new on-going series that takes place in the Mayor Adam West/ Burt Ward 60s Batman series, and is fantastic. Assuming you like your Batman campy, because if you don’t then this book is definitely not for you. I certainly don’t mind, and this book takes advantage of not being restricted to a TV budget, and the results are superb. Well worth the cover price IMO. Injustice:GAU has about a dozen creators attached to it, and is insane because of what goes down in this SUPER GRIMMDARK DCU. The book, a prequel/side story to the hit fighting game, starts off with Superman murdering his wife and unborn child under the influence of Kypronite-infused Scarecrow gas, and contains such moments as Superman, now Emperor of the World, outing Batman’s secret identity via Twitter. It is a GLORIOUS train wreck, one I cannot help but laugh at. Each of these books are $4 a pop and you enjoyment may vary.

Let’s move to the part of the article where I gush about Matt Fraction comics yes? Hawkeye Annual #1 dropped this past week, starring Kate Bishop Hawkeye, not the Hawkguy, continuing to sett up the new status quo on this book. Fraction’s on words, and Javier Pulido, last seen drawing issues 4 & 5 of the main series returns, bringing amazing visuals. Javier drawing kick-ass females come as no suprise to anyone who remembers his time on Ed Brubaker’s Catwoman run. Something I really dug about this issue was how Pulido & Fraction handled Katie-Kate’s internal monologue. Instead of using thought balloons, the creators opted for little panels with a Peanuts-esque Hawkeye waxing poetically, leading to often hilarious results, and was a neat alternative to having thought balloon clog up the page. Having Pulido draw this issue is also very fitting because the issue’s villain , Madam Masque’s, presence in the book is due to events that happens in the 2 issues he drew. For $5, you definitely get your money’s worth with this book, as it’s a fantastic done-in-one that helps build the overall narrative of Fraction’s HAWKGUY series. I’m sure no one is surprised when I say that I loved it.

Another Fraction-penned book with amazing art was collected in FF Volume 1: Fantastic Faux. The first volume of this NOW!-rebooted series does not however, collect the first bunch of issues, rather collects issues 4-8 of the series. The book is being collected in chronological order, meaning you’ll need to buy the first volume of Fantastic Four to get issues #1-3. MARVEL COMICS EVERYONE!

Back to the book itself, these 4 issues are drawn by legendary artist Mike Allred, which is as good as having Jack Kirby back at Marvel, with Joe Quinones swinging by to do a guest issue. Note, Joe is definitely more than ideal to draw this book with Allred is playing catch up, so no complaints on that front. The book is definitely a lot bigger in scope and more dramatic than Hawkguy in terms of tone, but still has some off-beat humor as seen in Fraction’s more personal work. Much like F4, it theme of Family is still a big one, only with a more non-traditional cast. Also Allred was born to drawn the Fantastic Four, so seeing him in action this book is a treat, especially with his wife Laura’s colors bringing Mike’s pencils to life.

In terms of content, the new FF continue to struggle with the slew of problems left as a result of a world without an F4. There also is a ton of stuff done with the Inhumans, which is probably setting the stage for the new Inhuman series Fraction is doing post Infinity, the big Marvel event starting in office. While it doesn’t connect with me on a personal level like Hawkeye does, FF is definitely a great book, and one worthy of your time!

That’s all I was allowed to spend on comics this week. Next time, The Enemy Within concludes, Dazzler: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. hunts the Uncanny X-Men and I take a look at the 3rd volume of Fatale.

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