Dancer #5 Review
Written by Nathan Edmonson
Art by Nic Klein
Review by Joey Braccino
This week, Nathan Edmondson’s critically lauded Dancer mini-series ends the same way it began: with a BANG! It seems like forever ago that I reviewed Dancer #4 (actually, about a month and a half, but still) here on the Talking Comics site, but I immediately remembered why I was so stunned by this series the moment I opened to the first page. With this week’s issue, Edmondson and Klein wrap up one of the best espionage-suspense-sci-fi-thriller comics series I’ve read in a long time.
As I was writing that last sentence, I started thinking about the sci-fi noir classic, Blade Runner. While Dancer doesn’t feature androids, electric sleep, origami, or Harrison Ford (?), it does have clones, dancing versus assassination metaphors, clandestine organizations, and an aged, rugged protagonist (hmm…). As I mentioned in my last review, Dancer is very much in the same vein as hard-boiled, anti-tights four-colored crime comics like Criminal, 100 Bullets, and Gotham Central. And yet, Edmondson and Klein have managed to imbue the mini with enough originality and a metaphoric through-line (ballet) that help Dancer stand out on the stands.
I won’t go into the plot too much here because it is the last issue and because a lot of the action builds upon events from the past four issues. I will say that Nic Klein’s artwork and panel layouts are worth the price of admission alone. The pencilwork and colors fit Edmondson’s script perfectly, conveying the action and violence (extreme violence) with more than enough grit and grace. The character designs in this issue are reminiscent of pulp stylings of (my personal favorites) Daniel Acuña and Francesco Francavilla. Klein also deftly uses parallel paneling lay-outs to convey concurrent events. Brilliant and suspenseful.
Dancer#5 is the final entry, so it isn’t ideal for new readers, but I do recommend picking up this entire series in back-issues or waiting for the trade (released next month from Image!). Edmondson’s other Image series, The Activity, is also getting rave reviews, and I’m glad he took the time to put together this 5-issue story. It’s just damn good comics storytelling. Check it out!
Nic Klein was just recently announced as the new artist on Marvel‘s Winter Soldier series come February. Flippin’ YES!