Spoiler Warning: I will be discussing things that happened in the previous two issues so go read them then come back for issue 3 and this review.
The library of books at Image Comics is probably the most diverse of any publisher today. From the wildly successful The Walking Dead and the wonderfully bizarre Saga, to so many other critically acclaimed comics, Image seems to be stealing the show in 2012. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, Nathan Edmondson and Nic Klein‘s Dancer brings a twist you won’t see coming (at the end of the first issue) and some of the most intellectual and emotional espionage action this side of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.
With the revelation that the man hunting Alan Fisher and his charming Irish companion Quinn, is in fact a younger clone of Alan himself, Dancer‘s story took an unexpected and sinister twist. The clone then proceeded to kidnap Quinn, the titular dancer, and use her as bait for the older man. While we currently don’t know the clone’s true motives, we do know that he has killed at least one other clone of Mr. Fisher. While the majority of the mystery has been lifted, the tension from the previous issues certainly continues in this third chapter. The writing of Edmondson is not necessarily fast-paced but any reader will fly through the book without realizing they’re doing so. Fisher’s clone is unpredictable, even to Alan himself, and the fact that he is constantly one step ahead of everyone else keeps the reader guessing with every page turn. Perhaps the most intriguing character of the piece is the semi-retired intel agent known as The Fox. Deceptively powerful and brutally truthful, he is able to bring regular reality checks to Fisher and is the main source of information for both the main character and the reader.
Klein’s artwork is the perfect accompaniment to Edmondson’s spy thriller. Every line is given purpose, particularly in the characters’ faces. The weariness on Fisher’s grizzled face is brilliantly balanced with the youthful exuberance of the younger-faced villain. The snowy setting of Dresden, Germany is particularly beautifully rendered.
While not as revelatory as the initial installments, Dancer #3 brings interesting espionage action like nothing else on the shelves today. Fans of movies such as Taken, The Bourne Series or the aforementioned Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy should definitely give Dancer a chance.