Josie is a young housewife living post-war America. She sells makeup door-to-door, she takes care of her twin kids and the family dog, she makes dinner for her husband, and she suffers her endlessly disapproving mother-in-law. That is, when she's not murdering people in astonishingly violent ways.

Josie's a highly trained assassin, and the paradox that is her life comes courtesy of cartoonist Joélle Jones and co-writer Jamie S. Rich, whose new Dark Horse series Lady Killer invites readers into a weirdly alluring story that follows a grand tradition of subverting Americana, but with a uniquely wicked, black comedy twist and what Josie might even say is a woman's touch.

"How it all originated was through an obsession of mine with vintage advertising and falling in love with some of the illustrators from the '40s '50s and '60s," Jones told ComicsAlliance. "I wanted to play in that world with all the stereotypical characters but to take it someplace darker because that is the sort of thing I am naturally drawn to."

Followers of Jones' cartooning and illustration will recognize her fondness for period imagery. Her Tumblr routinely features artwork that calls back to the vintage fashion and pin-up illustrations of mid-century America, and her and Rich's graphic novel You Have Killed Me dives head-on into the period with more of a straightforward noir approach. But Jones has also demonstrated a penchant for action, particularly in her recent work on Adventures of Superman and the awesomely violent Viking fantasy series Helheim.

With Lady Killer, Jones found a way to synthesize both of her artistic strengths to magnificent effect in a first issue that I had the chance to read. The book is at once adorable, funny, sexy and savage. It's Americana viewed in a funhouse mirror that calls special attention to details like wallpaper, furniture, the contents of a kitchen cabinet, the way clothes hug a body, and the way a knife sticks out of a corpse. It will be obvious to anyone who reads Lady Killer that Jones relished drawing every page.

You can pre-order Lady Killer #1 from Dark Horse or your local comics shop.


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