I liked this better after a second read. That being said, looking at it squarely as an isolated single issue, it's not as strong a debut as it could be. The cover is bland, I feel like an attempt was made to do the "monochromatic illustration with splash of color in stark contrast" thing, but the red highlights one of the weakest parts of the finished drawing and is dead center. Dead center is metaphorically interesting, straight through the main character's heart, as it were, but dead center is compositionally dull too. Again, the bullet-hole lettering motif is subtly telling the reader that Fisher has perfect aim through the cross-hairs of a gun, but it isn't really visually compelling as a comic book logo here.
The pacing here is all over the place, and some of the exposition-through-dialogue is a bit clunky. For an example, the panel where Anna goes to great pains to tell the reader that Fisher is American and she is Irish. Some of the dialogue just doesn't ring entirely true when I read it both times.
The opening scene tries to pull off an interesting trick and almost succeeds. The problem is, the music's lyrics running visually through the panels makes it seem like they are happening in succession and not all at once. The pink lyrics add little the scene, but do a lot to confuse it, unfortunately, but it's still a clever way to open the book. The intent of ending the book rather abruptly a page after the cliffhanger is a little harder to understand. The only thing I can guess is this is some way to force readers to flip through the ads in the back of the book, trying to figure out what happened to the real last page.
The artist draws great backgrounds, but the details in the faces of the characters are too understated. Eyes and other facial features are too crudely shadowed in almost all the scenes, and the colors...they had to look better on a computer screen when they were done than they do on the printed page. Not great. Image might have benefited from hiring a separate colorist on the book. There's no dynamics to the tones and hues used, the artist relies too heavily on a limited color palette and much of the book looks washed out as a result. Again, I am sure this looked better "digitally". But so what?
Bottom line: I really enjoyed Jake Ellis, but I'm on the fence about Dancer. I'll give issue #2 a look to see how things look to decide whether or not to buy the rest of the miniseries.6.75