ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Bolero,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Bolero #1 - But Why Tho

Bolero #1 is published by Image Comics, written by Wyatt Kennedy, art by Luana Vecchio, and letters by Brandon Graham. Meet Devin Dagney. She’s a tattoo artist who has hit a hard point in her life. But what if there was a way she could get a do-over? If she could get a second chance on the mistakes she had made? What if it was as easy as walking through a door?

As our story opens, Devin catches the reader up on her life so far. We see her meet the love of her life in Nat, see them learn about themselves, and see them hit a high point with each other in their lives. Then, fast forward to the present, and something has gone decidedly wrong for Devin. Nat is no longer around, and her life is falling apart. Devin’s life comes to a head when she is asked to attend a friend’s concert and her world just becomes too much for her to take. That is when she is offered an out by a random individual she meets at the concert.

Bolero #1 functions as what feels like a prologue to its main narrative. Setting up its lead character Devin for the journey ahead. As far as setting up the mental and emotional state of its protagonist goes, the issue manages quite well. Devin’s journey from happy high to crushing low is delivered well. Although the omission of certain key elements to Devin’s story does leave the reader with a few questions that could impact just how much sympathy Devin’s situation warrants. How much of our protagonist’s struggles are due to her actions, or falling outside of her control is unclear.

While many of the exact details are left out, writer Kennedy does a solid job of delivering Devin’s ongoing reactions to her place in life. Her struggles and choices, while often less than optimal, feel like the sort of choices a real person would be likely to make. Self-destructive spirals are a thing many of us drag ourselves through and Bolero #1 delivers Devin’s with a painful amount of realism.

The art in this book does a wonderful job of capturing the narrative’s many emotions. Vecchio’s lines do a great job of bringing the emotions of the characters to the reader in a way that is both clear and impactful. Combine that with a simple but effective approach to color that washes most panels in hues of a single color that augment the emotions of the moment and you have a wonderfully effective visual presentation.

The final element of the book’s presentation is the lettering. The lettering delivers the characters’ voices in a way that complements the grounded nature of the story.

When all is said and done, Bolero #1 does a strong job of establishing its main character, where she is emotionally and ends with her getting offered a fantastical chance to have a second chance at her life.

Bolero #1 is available on January 19th wherever comics are sold.


Bolero #1
4

TL;DR

When all is said and done, Bolero #1 does a strong job of establishing its main character, where she is emotionally and ends with her getting offered a fantastical chance to have a second chance at her life.