Dancer is an all new on-going series from Image Comics, written by Nathan Edmondson (Who is Jake Ellis?) and drawn by Nic Klein (Viking). I picked it up on a whim and can gladly say it's a great read for any comic book geek. This first issue ends with a pretty surprising cliffhanger that will definitely leave you wanting more. Unfortunately it has little to nothing to do with dancing. :P
Set in Milan, Italy, Dancer stars Alan Fisher, a retired military assassin, and Quinn, Alan's girlfriend - a ballerina. We get a brief but succinct introduction to the couple, and while the two enjoy a late meal at a small cafe, they immediately find themselves on the run from the police, and eventually another assassin. The couple manage to escape unharmed, but Alan soon finds himself with an impossible dilemma, as well as a secret past that has slowly unraveled before Quinn's eyes. I won't spoil the ending but it's definitely nothing Alan, Quinn, or the reader would ever suspect.
Despite the cliche characters and plot, Dancer is a surprisingly good read. It's a suspenseful book that will leave you with many questions. It's obvious the surprise twist at the end of the issue is what makes it different from other similar stories, and it's definitely a good one so far. The art is also superb, and matches and enhances the mood of the book extremely well. There's lots of muted colors and dark shadows to help give the book an even more ominous tone. Can't wait to see what happens next issue!
THE GOOD: Great first issue! We get all we need to know about Alan and Quinn, and when the suspense begins it doesn't let up. The ending will surely leave you wanting more.
THE BAD: At first it seems the premise is one we've all read or seen somewhere before - former assassin with a secret past. It's even set in Italy! Fortunately the cliffhanger ending makes it a different one altogether.
THE ART: Klein's work here is very dark and shadowy. There's a lot of blacks and muted colors throughout, but it fits the mood of the book well. A tad bloody and gorey for younger readers, but what else would you expect from a book about an assassin?
FINAL VERDICT: A