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‘Who is Jake Ellis?’ and ‘Activity’ Writer Nathan Edmondson Teases ‘Dancer’ [Exclusive]

Nathan Edmondson has quietly become quite the comic book spy master. His stylish espionage adventure with Tonci Zonjic, Who is Jake Ellis?, has received accolades from all the usual suspects like our friends at iFanboy, who made Volume 1 their Book of the Month; he was until recently the writer of DC Comics’ superhero spy/fugitive adventure Grifter; and his new Image Comics ongoing The Activity, inspired by a real-life but largely unheard of U.S. intelligence group, has been a critical hit, earning a nice write-up in USA Today.

We’ve been remiss in our coverage of Edmondson’s work, so we hope to atone with this tantalizing and exclusive teaser for the writer’s as yet unannounced Image Comics project, Dancer, featuring artwork by Nic Klein (Viking, Doc Savage). Check it out after the cut, along with some lovely pages from the latest issue of The Activity. We know literally nothing about Dancer beyond what you see here, but it seems safe to assume that there will be some ballet dancing and some gun fighting (ideally at the same time).

On sale now in finer comics shops and digitally via comiXology are the first two issues of The Activity, depicting the fictional but seemingly quite realistic exploits of Intelligence Support Activity. Don’t feel bad if you’ve never heard of it — the ISA changes its name continuously, and has been known throughout the decades as FOG, CENTRA SPIKE, TORN VICTOR, CEMETERY WIND and GRAY FOX, among other names. Ostensibly, the group is tasked with gathering intelligence to facilitate Special Forces operations like that which resulted in the death of Osama Bin Laden. In Edmondson’s book, we see a dramatized approximation of just how the Activity (as the group is known) gets that job done.

Speaking with USA Today, Edmondson suggested The Activity was in part a response to 24, in which the hugely important U.S. Counter Terrorism Unit is depicted as dangerously inept at virtually every level. By contrast, The Activity introduces characters who are thoroughly trained intelligence virtuosos (all except the rookie whom we meet in the series’ first issue, of course). Along those lines, if something goes wrong, “it will be crazy exciting to see how and why.”

The Activity is illustrated quite excellently by Mitch Gerads, whose realistic line work and dramatic colors create a cinematic style that helps make pages of mission briefings and surveillance duty seem quite exciting indeed. Which is not to say The Activity is all talk — you’ve got helicopters and gun fights and subterfuge and everything else a spy fan could want from a comic book.

Check out some pages from The Activity #2 (on sale now) and as well as future cover artwork below:

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