Dancer is a trade paperback collection of Nate Edmondson’s five part series of the same name. It was published by Image in 2012. In the first chapter, a grizzled old American and his Irish ballerina girlfriend are chased by police and an assassin. The assassin, it turns out, looks an awfully lot like the grizzled old American.On paper, Dancer sounds like a fantastic book. Image has been on fire, lately, Edmondson is working on major books like Punisher and Black Widow, and the premise is great. Sadly, the book is uneventful and seems to be written by rote. If you’ve seen an action movie in the last fifteen years, you already know every beat.
If you like Edmondson’s Black Widow run, you might like Dancer. I found both books to be unsatisfying because they’re both slow and indifferent. There’s no real emotion. You get the sense that characters are sad, but you don’t have a reason for that to matter to you one way or the other. If they ever are in danger, you have no reason to care. I sometimes found myself rooting against the protagonists. Maybe the book was over my head, but that’s how it felt to me. I do want to highlight Nic Klein’s art, which is is kind of crudely beautiful. I am not sure of the colorist, but s/he did an excellent job of capturing the locales. When it’s snowing in the book, it feels cold. Well done.
A much better spy book with similar mood and art style is Ed Brubaker’s Velvet, which is also on image. If you want a muted color scheme and brooding spies, pick up those trades instead of this book.