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Review: Image! 30th Anniversary Anthology #1

Image! 30th Anniversary Anthology #1

It’s been 30 years since Image Comics launched. I remember fondly the buzz and excitement of these amazing creators breaking off on their own and creating whole new worlds no longer shackled by corporate bosses. I also remember reading a lot of those early comics and scratching my head. The art was definitely better than the stories with each series varying wildly in the overall quality. A lot has changed in that time with many ups and downs for the company. Image! 30th Anniversary Anthology #1 doesn’t celebrate what was, it instead what is. The anthology focuses on the current crop of creators releasing their creations under the publisher. It’s not a reflection of those titans who started it all.

Image has come a long way and this anthology is evidence of that. With a who’s who of creators, Image! 30th Anniversary Anthology #1 features a little something for almost everyone. There’s a lack of all-ages content, but, with so much adult content, it’d feel a little out of place. And boy is there adult content. Serial killers, murder, violence, the stories within are fare from the general “spandex superheroes” the publisher launched with. Sure, Image pushed the envelope in many ways when it launched, but the first story involves a child killer being killed on the footsteps of a courthouse. If there’s ever a flag planted that says this isn’t the Image of old, that’s a pretty big one.

And there’s a lot of variety here. The stories are pretty entertaining with few that are outright clunkers. But, with every anthology there’s some stories you’ll enjoy and some you probably won’t. It’s the nature of anthologies.

The art is generally top-notch. There’s a wide variety of styles and designs. Image! 30th Anniversary Anthology #1 features black and white gritty stories to bright colored neon explosions. The stories themselves are a mixture of cartoony manga inspired designs to grittier noir-ish tales that whose looks feel like they’re inspired by Frank Miller. Like the stories themselves, there’s a lot to take in and surely there’ll be some that readers will enjoy and some they don’t.

Image! 30th Anniversary Anthology #1 is an interesting comic. With it, the publisher seems focused on what is and what’s to come. This isn’t so much a celebration of the past 30 years of Image, it’s looking ahead at the next 30.

Story: Geoff Johns, Declan Shalvey, Wyatt Kennedy, Wes Craig, Skottie Young, Mirka Andolfo, Erica Henderson, Brenden Fletcher, Kyle Higgins, Patrick Kindlon
Art: Andrea Mutti, Declan Shalvey, Luana Vecchio, Wes Craig, Skottie Young, Mirka Andolfo, Daniele Di Nicuolo, Maurizio Rosenzweig
Color: Jason Wordie, Chiara Di Francia, Walter Baiamonte, Katia Ranalli
Letterer: Rob Leigh, Clayton Cowles, Fabio Amelia, Becca Carey
Editor: Brian Cunningham, Heather Antos

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXology/KindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Image Celebrates 30 years with an Image! Anthology

Celebrate the 30th anniversary of Image Comics with the upcoming anthology series Image! kicking off in April. This 12-issue series will treat readers to all-new stories from some of the biggest and best names in comics.

Edited by Image Comics’ Publisher Eric Stephenson and featuring a combination of ongoing serials and standalone short stories, Image! will be the cannot-miss event of the year.

This first issue will showcase a combination of ongoing serials and standalone short stories, including the first chapters of two 12-part stories, “The Blizzard” by Geoff Johns and Andrea Mutti, as well as the opening installments of a trio of three-parters: “Gospel for a New Century” by Wyatt Kennedy and Luana Vecchio, “Hopeless” by Mirka Andolfo, and “Shift” by Kyle Higgins and Daniele Di Nicuolo. Readers will also be treated to an exclusive first look at Declan Shalvey’s upcoming Old Dog series, an original ongoing comic strip by Skottie Young, and more.

The series will also boast the talents of such comics powerhouses as, Brenden FletcherW. Maxwell PrinceMartín MorazzoRobert KirkmanCory Walker, Ed BrubakerSean PhillipsTim Seeley, Bryan Lee O’Malley, Leslie HungJoe CaseyNathan FoxZoe ThorogoodMaria Lovett, Jay FaerberMatt FractionFábio MoonGabriel BáKelly Sue DeConnickEmma RíosJames Tynion IVKieron Gillen, and many more.

Image! #1 (Diamond Code FEB220047) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, April 13.

Image! #1

Review: Bolero #1

Bolero #1

The elevator pitch for Wyatt Kennedy and Luana Vecchio’s Bolero goes something like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind meets Locke & Key. If that doesn’t sell a comic, what does? But to lay claim to that comparison means setting expectations sky high. Fortunately, the comic more than lives up to the stories it namedrops.

Bolero #1 follows Devyn “Dagger” Dagny, a tattoo artist that gets her heart very, very broken—shattered, even—by Natasha, the person that Devyn will go through a whole multiverse to either get back with or forget.

By multiverses I mean literal multiverses. Devyn is given the opportunity to travel precisely 53 universes using a mother key, given to her by a very curious and cuddly creature, that allows her to move between them. A set of rules comes with the mother key, all which are basically set up to be broken later on. These range from not speaking to the being that offers the key to not traveling beyond the number of universes agreed upon.

Kennedy, who scripts the story, takes most of the first issue to lock the emotional hooks in place for Devyn’ multiversal journey, in which she’ll experience the different possibilities and forms her relationship with Natasha could take. The jumps in time, space, and bodies the comic promises is in short supply in this first entry, but the premise is well put together and shows no signs of letting up on the emotions-shattering rollercoaster ride Kennedy hopes to take us on in future issues.

Bolero #1

Vecchio’s art possesses a dream-like quality to it that lends itself perfectly to the type of universe-hopping experience Bolero is aiming for. Characters move across the comics page with a floaty sense of rhythm that imbues the storytelling with a kind of musicality to it that makes everything come together beautifully. Moments of bliss are magical, whereas moments of pain feel like someone is prodding inside you with a cold and indiscriminate medical apparatus without anesthesia. Vecchio’s work is quite simply a marvel to behold in Bolero.

The art is given an extra bump in the magic department with a similarly dreamy and light approach to the lettering, made possible by Brandon Graham. Dialogues unspool like memories one plays over and over again in their mind after a particularly bad breakup. Graham takes the concept and applies it with a careful use of hazy lines and unstable word balloons that capture the raw emotions that hang over every word. It’s a highlight of the book and it shows deep consideration for the vision of the story.

Bolero #1 is a primer on love, pain, and loss that prepares readers for a deeply intimate and rough story that is sure to connect on many levels. It’s a world of possibilities I can’t wait to dive into, no matter how hard things will most definitely get for Devyn and Natasha as they go through 53 variations of their doomed relationship.

Story: Wyatt Kennedy Art: Luana Vecchio Lettering: Brandon Graham
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy along with a box of Kleenex and a bucket of ice cream.

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Pre-order: comiXologyTFAW

Early Review: Bolero #1

Bolero #1

The elevator pitch for Wyatt Kennedy and Luana Vecchio’s Bolero goes something like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind meets Locke & Key. If that doesn’t sell a comic, what does? But to lay claim to that comparison means setting expectations sky high. Fortunately, the comic more than lives up to the stories it namedrops.

Bolero #1 follows Devyn “Dagger” Dagny, a tattoo artist that gets her heart very, very broken—shattered, even—by Natasha, the person that Devyn will go through a whole multiverse to either get back with or forget.

By multiverses I mean literal multiverses. Devyn is given the opportunity to travel precisely 53 universes using a mother key, given to her by a very curious and cuddly creature, that allows her to move between them. A set of rules comes with the mother key, all which are basically set up to be broken later on. These range from not speaking to the being that offers the key to not traveling beyond the number of universes agreed upon.

Kennedy, who scripts the story, takes most of the first issue to lock the emotional hooks in place for Devyn’ multiversal journey, in which she’ll experience the different possibilities and forms her relationship with Natasha could take. The jumps in time, space, and bodies the comic promises is in short supply in this first entry, but the premise is well put together and shows no signs of letting up on the emotions-shattering rollercoaster ride Kennedy hopes to take us on in future issues.

Bolero #1

Vecchio’s art possesses a dream-like quality to it that lends itself perfectly to the type of universe-hopping experience Bolero is aiming for. Characters move across the comics page with a floaty sense of rhythm that imbues the storytelling with a kind of musicality to it that makes everything come together beautifully. Moments of bliss are magical, whereas moments of pain feel like someone is prodding inside you with a cold and indiscriminate medical apparatus without anesthesia. Vecchio’s work is quite simply a marvel to behold in Bolero.

The art is given an extra bump in the magic department with a similarly dreamy and light approach to the lettering, made possible by Brandon Graham. Dialogues unspool like memories one plays over and over again in their mind after a particularly bad breakup. Graham takes the concept and applies it with a careful use of hazy lines and unstable word balloons that capture the raw emotions that hang over every word. It’s a highlight of the book and it shows deep consideration for the vision of the story.

Bolero #1 is a primer on love, pain, and loss that prepares readers for a deeply intimate and rough story that is sure to connect on many levels. It’s a world of possibilities I can’t wait to dive into, no matter how hard things will most definitely get for Devyn and Natasha as they go through 53 variations of their doomed relationship.

Story: Wyatt Kennedy Art: Luana Vecchio Lettering: Brandon Graham
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy along with a box of Kleenex and a bucket of ice cream.

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Pre-order: comiXologyTFAW

Bolero is Sci-fi Romance Coming in January 2022

An all-new sci-fi/romance begins in the upcoming Bolero by rising stars Wyatt Kennedy and Luana Vecchio. This visually-stunning five issue miniseries will launch from Image Comics in January 2022.

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. 

A fantastical, emotional journey featuring a beautifully diverse cast of characters.

Bolero #1 will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, January 12:

  • Cover A by Vecchio – Diamond Code NOV210047
  • Cover B by Jim Mahfood – Diamond Code NOV210048
  • Cover C by Maria Llovet – Diamond Code NOV210049
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