Rating: 5/5 – A Strong Cast of Characters Thrust into a Weird Alien Situation.
by ComicSpectrum Reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
I’ve really enjoyed a lot of what writer James Tynion IV has been doing lately. After partnering with Scott Snyder on the Batman books, Tynion was able to head out on his own with his work on Red Hood and the Outlaws, and the underrated Talon series from DC. Now he’s branching out (no pun intended) with his creator owned work on The Woods. The Woods number one is published by Boom! Studios and tells the story of a high school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin vanishing without a trace. The entire school, including all the students and faculty are transported to a mysterious and alien world without any clues as to why.
What immediately stands out in this book are the amount of characters introduced. Tynion presents the reader with at least six characters in this opening issue that already felt real and fully fleshed out to me. They’re in a strange alien environment and it’s all about how each one reacts to being in that situation with a sky that is not their own, strange landscapes, and alien lifeforms (which could have been a bit more frightening or eerie but that’s a small complaint).
We have Adrian, who plays the role of the brains of the group. There’s the head of the student council Sanami who feels the need to lead when their world changes for the worse. And then there’s Calder, who is just all sorts of crazy. These are just three characters that we get to meet, each feeling as genuine as the next. Tynion does such an amazing job with the characterization in this first issue, that all the mysteries and horror aspects involving the story’s central plot come second. And by having the whole school be transported to this world, there are many many more characters that Tynion can explore as they react to the new status quo. Michael Dailynas handles the art chores on the book and I loved his work here. His style reminds me a bit of Jeff Lemire’s, but with more detail. The great characterization mentioned above would not be a strong without Dialynas’ work.
With the strange situation and all the different characters introduced in this debut issue I found the story open and interesting when it could have been confusing. Tynion gave each character introduced a different voice and Dailynas was able to give each one a unique and characteristic look. The Woods has the potential to really turn into something special. This first issue does everything the first issue of a new series should, and I can’t wait to see more.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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