Final Crisis Aftermath: Dance is a strange little book. On the one hand, it almost feels as though it doesn’t take place in the DC Universe at all. We’ve had only a few cursory, generally insulting, references to the Justice League and their big-name heroes. We’ve seen none of the landmarks of the DCU. All the locations have been either sci-fi takes on existing cities or places of Casey’s own creation. And yet, Dance also feels like a quintessential DC book in the way it incorporates the existence of superpowered beings into its setting – with a keen eye for the fantastic, for better or for worse.
Dance #3 is, in many ways, the strongest issue yet. The Parasitic Teutons of Assimilation are fun, bizarre foes, and are more memorable than the past two. We see the Most Excellent Superbat hit rock-bottom. We see how the characters are really reacting to the pressures of being teen celebrities, teen heroes, or just plain teens. In a way, everything that’s been simmering below the surface of the first two issues bursts out here in a variety of smart, interesting ways.
It also features the return of ChrisCross on art. He does a great job with the bulk of the issue – his action scenes are dynamic and exciting and the P.T.A. design is a blast – but his faces vacillate wildly between expressive and offputting. Still, despite that, he does some pretty stellar work here.
But not all is quite well with the issue. Though it handles them better than previous issues had, it nonetheless feels like a bit of a retread of the problems and realizations we’ve seen before. Every issue has seen the team realize, in one way or another, that they aren’t getting what they want. I can totally buy it being difficult for teens to break the routine and try and change – especially at the expense of fame and fortune – but, nonetheless, we’re three issues through a six-issue mini and I don’t know that we’re too much farther along, either in terms of story or in terms of character arcs.
Despite those complaints, however, this was a rock-solid issue of comics. Casey did a great job at bringing the sexual tensions to bear in the middle of an action-packed, humorous issue. And, even though he’s the closest thing we have to a narrator, this was the first time we really saw much of the personality of Most Excellent Superbat, who has become a remarkably complex character in the span of three issues. Still, it feels a bit like Casey is spinning his wheels right now, as though he planned for less than 6 issues and is just killing time for now.
- Cal Cleary