You know when you are good at your particular business when you start attracting employees and the attention of other companies that want to work with you. Having struck out on her own, Josie while being highly proficient in the completing of the main task of assassination, somewhat flounders with the clean-up. Luckily for her, her old colleague-in-killing, Irving, appears and offers to help her out for a cost.
Writer / artist Joelle Jones certainly has her work cut out for her, maintaining the high quality of this darkly humorous story. The stand out moments seem to be the Josie at home or with her family. Eugene seems a bit of a good-natured sap, the sort of man who is far too trusting for his own good. He is clearly a man of his time; Jones’ choice to place this story in the 50’s allows the juxtaposition of a strong mindful woman working in the shadow of a male dominated period. Is this forward thinking? I am not sure, but Jones certainly makes the most of Josie playing up to (or down to depending on your point of view) to the male characters expectations. The dialogue remains sharp, characters interacting well with barbs exchanged along with quick thinking and a great game of bingo. Story-wise, I am surprised that Josie is getting her head turned by a certain offer, especially as she spent some much time trying to set up her own business.
As good as the writing is in this series, Jones artwork is, simply put, fantastic. There is an edginess and sexiness with Josie in action, which is then contradicted with a “little woman at home” feel with her interactions with her family. The only way that this works is if the artist recognizes that both sides of the character are viable, in which Jones more than succeeds. There is no “which is the mask” type of argument. Josie is a woman who somehow morphs to meet the need of acceptance, but remains all business when required. Looking at the art, there are subtle changes in Josie demeanor when at the beach, where she at first interacts with her new neighbours before being confronted by Uncle Irving. Jones shows her skills throughout the book, not being afraid to use straighter lines to counter some of the softer approaches to some of the characters. Jones is unquestionably helped out by Michelle Marsden whose color scheme suits the look of the era and breathes life and context to the various environs that Josie finds herself in.
Despite this being the second issue of the second mini series, the credit page states that this is actually issue 7 in a series. I am a big fan of this type of publishing, of which Dark Horse are particularly adept, as it allows for the readers tongue to be wet without overwhelming the wallet or allowing a book to outlast its welcome. This also implies that Jones is plotting for the long haul with each mini series feeding into the next and together making a whole. With such a simple strategy in place, this book shows that to say that Joelle Jones is at the top of her creative game is an understatement.
Writing – 5 Stars
Art – 5 Stars
Colors – 5 Stars
Writer: Joelle Jones
Artist: Joelle Jones
Colorist: Michelle Madsen
Cover Artist: Joelle Jones