Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Image Comics shows no signs of slowing down, especially with its release of new titles every year. One in particular is the brand new series Dancer. Writer Nathan Edmondson (Grifter, Popgun Vol. 3) is the man behind this Jason Bourne-esque story with artist Nic Klein (Viking) providing the visuals in the newly released issue 1.
The story follows an Irish ballerina by the name of Quinn, who, from the pages of this inaugural issue, seems to be wrapping up her dancing career. Watching over her and possibly having more than just a professional relationship with Quinn is former American black ops assassin Alan Fisher. Issue 1 takes place in Italy and is essentially one big footchase amidst dark, shadowy-drawn environments. That lack of variation is not necessarily a bad thing as a sense of urgency and fear is almost instantly established.
Quinn and Alan are put on the defensive in dramatic fashion and the tale intesifies rather quickly. For readers of this gritty book, I would predict a 50/50 split on the ”I like it, I don’t” opinion. There’s action, gore, proper introductions, but I didn’t find a whole lot of complex punch and pizzazz on the pages of dancer. Granted, it’s only the first installment of the ongoing series and there’s still a whole lot of story to tell and we’re only out of the starting block. However, when you’re pinching pennies to determine what titles you’re going to stick with from month to month, a story needs to grab and retain a reader after the flip of the last page (if not earlier).
I’m up in the air on visiting issue 2 when that comes out next month, just because I wasn’t completely won over with the premier. There is a unique twist that I won’t give away that could open a whole other set of doors to the future storyline(s) of this title. Upcoming issues are bound to take us from Italy throughout the rest of Europe, North America and parts unknown. The result of Dancer‘s success will rest on Edmondson as the story will need to get a little more involved to bring issue 1 readers back and current non-readers onboard. I just feel like this is a story that’s been done before.