Bolero #1 Review

Writer:  Wyatt Kennedy
Art: Luana Vecchio
Letterer:  Brandon Graham
Publisher: Image Comics
Price: $5.99
Release Date: January 19th, 2022

Bolero is defined as a genre of song characterized by sophisticated lyrics dealing with love.  Bolero #1’s fusion of heartfelt writing and gorgeous art fits that definition perfectly, and I see it as a serious contender for book of the year.

If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any others that were mentioned then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon.

The Story

Bolero #1 opens with the introduction of young Devyn Dagny, as she meets another girl named Natasha at a party.  The two become friends, and over time, fall in love. As with most relationships, though, they have troubles, and we follow their ups and downs, culminating in a surprising sci-fi style climax.

I loved that writer Wyatt Kennedy took time exploring Devyn and Natasha’s relationship, including exploring their hopes and dreams, that magnificent time in your youth when you feel like everything is possible and within reach.

This is no Hallmark-style love story, with forced meet cutes and romance that’s as fake and artificially sweet as a crate of chemically-enhanced pixie sticks.  This is a genuine relationship, warts and all, between two young women struggling to figure out who they want to be and losing themselves along the way.

I grew to love Devyn’s character, her imperfections and her wrong choices.  She’s an awkward rebel.  She’s inappropriate at the worst times but smart and relentlessly independent.  She rages at a world that’s boxing her in, but keeps complicating things for herself.  And who can’t identify with that?
The book takes a sharp turn into sci-fi at the climax, and I can’t wait to see where Devyn goes from here.

The Art

Luana Vecchio’s art in Bolero #1 enhances the story, perfectly capturing the mood and expressions of all the characters. The panels are laid out in dynamic fashion and Luana’s colors pop.  The panel flow and pace of the story felt like I was watching Susan Seidelman’s film “Smithereens”, where every scene is immediate and alive, bursting with punk rock energy, and the city itself is a character.

Over the course of the story, Devyn gets more and more tattoos, and by the end of the issue, Devyn is gloriously arrayed in flowers, symbols and webs, swirling and dotting her body like beautiful battle scars. The sci-fi part of the issue is drawn in a surreal fashion that’s diametrically opposite to what we’d seen to that point, but equally beautiful and edgy.

Final Thoughts

This is it folks, you can’t go wrong with Bolero #1.  Like Bolero music, it’s sophisticated and lyrical, a perfect synthesis of writing and art telling a story about the human condition, and the ending sets up for what promises to be a fascinating ride over the next few issues.  That’s why it gets a perfect 10/10 score.


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