Wherein we recognize talent when we see it, and we cheer heartily while a relatively unknown writer and artist team proceeds to pull Marvel Comics’ underwear up over its head.
If you’re reading this there’s a good chance you like comics. If you don’t that’s okay. Captain Marvel #3 came out this week. I’ll have a review of that hot mess up this weekend. But if you do like comics and if you miss the days before Marvel became infested with Lactose Intolerant Defenders of Imaginary Virtues and Micro Anger Tweeting Passive Aggressive Douchetards, Tap Dance Killer is the comic book for you.
Writer Ted Sikora and artist Nikolaus Harrison are crafting a love letter to 1970s era Marvel Comics. Sikora is obviously well versed in OG Marvel writers like: Steve Gerber, Jim Starlin, Steve Englehart, Roger Stern and Chris Claremont. They all show up in Sikora’s stories like a list of spices that blend together to make your Uncle Billy Bob’s secret barbecue sauce. I get it. Some of you might not like the metaphorical BBQ sauce but if you do you will love Tap Dance Killer.
The Quick Rundown
The Tap Dance Killer in question is actress Nikki St. Claire. She took a role as the lead in a horror show musical and now she can’t shake off the part. She’s a 1920s style mobster/assassin leaving a swath of damage in her wake… with flair.
True, the book really doesn’t have a hero. The main characters are all mobster types but they do have a sort of twisted moral code. The plot for issue #3 is pretty straightforward. Nikki gets a tip about a drug house that’s doing bumper business and assembles her team of Vaude-Villains to take them out. Sikora has a strange talent for making up cool bad guy names (Uzi Clown, Punchline, Sir Terror) which may be part of the reason we haven’t seen any superheroes yet. But really, with characters this well developed and interesting who needs ‘em.
The Bitchy Part
My one gripe with this series is that so far its release schedule seems to be “when we get to it.” While I love, love, love the stellar art from Nikolaus Harrison, I wonder if he’s fast enough to keep up with a monthly schedule. If it’s Sikora’s fault then mea culpa, but Niko is doing the heavy lifting here. I think this series would be far better served by getting a fill-in writer or artist. It was standard practice with early Marvel. Just sayin’.
Tap Dance Killer is shaping up to be a fantastic series by a great writer with a brilliant art team. It has something that is sorely missing from everything Marvel is currently splattering all over the comic book shops and that’s heart. Sikora and Harrison have a genuine love for the characters and it shows. Every issue just bursts with the sheer joy of making comic books. I heartily recommend this series to everybody who loves a good story. Tap Dance Killer kicks ass!
Now, if anybody needs me I’ll be up on the rooftop with my megaphone.
- Great story
- Great art
- Lots of Fun
- Awful shipping schedule
- Not enough people are reading it