Bolero #1 is a beautiful, relatable and cosmic beginning to writer Wyatt Kennedy and artist Luana Vecchio’s new Image Comics miniseries.
The official premise for Bolero doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it has enough sci-fi jargon to catch the attention of a nerd such as myself. After reading the first issue, the following blurb made a lot more sense, but several huge mysteries remained.
BOLERO: THE EYES ARE THE WINDOW TO THE SOUL
“A woman running away from a broken heart discovers a mother-key into parallel universes. The rules are: The key can work on any door. The mother will only let you visit 53 universes. Do not ask to speak to the mother. Never hop more than 53 times.”
Any reality-hopping is held off until the end of the first issue, though I’m sure issues 4-5 will increase these numbers greatly. With over 50 shots at a new universe, and a multiverse of possibilities lying in wait, the rest of the series promises to up the cosmic ante with each issue. Some of the best pages in this funny, heart-breaking, ethereal comic take place towards the end, where a mystical cat guru explains the rules of the mother-key to “Dagger”, the protagonist of Bolero.
BOLERO IS A FIVE-PART COMIC BOOK MINISERIES FROM IMAGE COMICS
Dagger was brought to this multiversal being by someone she hooked up with at a party, after she vented to him about her last relationship and how it’s dissolution broke her. The heart of Bolero is the question of how to deal with loss. As Luana Vecchio explained, “Page by page, Wyatt and I put our whole love and passion for comics into this miniseries to convey the strong sense of loneliness and despair that many feel after the end of a relationship…Running away might often seem like the simplest solution, but there is no simple solution when dealing with pain”.
Bolero quickly opens with an introduction to Dagger and her romance with now ex-girlfriend, Natasha. The intro is beautiful, inclusive, and slick, but the happiness gives way to tragedy once we catch up to the present day. For reasons unknown, Natasha and Dagger broke up, and their separation has been tearing at Dagger ever since.
BOLERO #1 BY WYATT KENNEDY AND LUANA VECCHIO
Everyone who has endured the breakup will be able to relate to this wonderfully illustrated, personal story. This is a mature, adult story not intended for children, and sex is an important, recurrent element of Bolero. Refreshingly, the sex portrayed in Bolero is included to service the story, to flesh out the characters, never to objectify or service the male gaze. Few comic books have succeeded in portraying sexual intimacy with such skill, respect, and attention to detail.
Vecchio and Kennedy have put together a remarkably honest, original and engaging new comic book with Bolero #1. The creative team knows how to move a comic book story along with style and grace, creating multiple dynamic, unforgettable scenes. Kennedy’s deep bond with the characters and world they’ve created can be felt in each page, and the mystery of the multiverse is a great sci-fi hook for this character drama.
Bolero #1 is a fantastic new comic book hitting shelves on January 19, 2022, starting the year off right for comic book fans. This is a story that will pull you in and leave you wanting more after you turn the final page, making it a valuable asset to the Image Comics catalogue. The second issue of Bolero arrives on February 16, 2022.
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