The Woods Volume 1
Writer(s): James Tynion IV
Artist(s): Michael Dialynas
Publisher: Boom Studios
From James Tynion IV & Michael Dialynas comes The Woods, what begins as a normal day at Bay Point School quickly turns into a nightmare for the students and faculty as they are transported to a strange and mysterious alien world with no explanation.
Tynion creates in these opening issues a great sense of tension and mystery after the abduction, you instantly feel uneasy along with the characters at the surrounding they find themselves in, building on this to create a palpable sense of horror when it is revealed that they are no longer on earth and this new world they find themselves in isn’t exactly the nicest of places to be.
Whilst the world is almost a character in itself and we can talk about the rich and vibrant world that Tynion & Dialynas have created for us to explore, the core of this book is with the characters. Spending a lot of these first few issues juggling a pretty large cast, their differing personalities and as is expected with this story their angst. The characters are all instantly likeable and relatable as whilst they are in this strange situation many of the issue that plague day to day high school life the world over are still there creating a wonderful juxtaposition meaning that this book will go from funny to creepy to tension filled with each panel. This can in some cases make the story seem unfocused however, the strengths of Tynion’s characters and writing shine through to make this wonderful to behold as you barrel through a tension action filled sequence, only to yanked back to a quiet character moment.
Dialynas’ art in this book adds to the tension and mystery to this book creating an immensely creepy world that has a charm and an instant sense of wonder to it. You actively want to explore this world and with every panel wonder what lurks further in the woods almost willing the artist to give you a glimpse between the trees. Each and every character is wildly distinct and as this is drawn in a more cartoonish fashion their facial expressions leapt of the page when shocked or angered, even in the quieter moments when merely conversing you can tell the artist puts his all into bringing these characters to life.
The colours by Jason Gonzalez do great wonders in adding to the overall sense of mystery and creepy nature of this book, opting to display the world in primarily shades of red and purple. Add in the heavy use of shadows and the effect is complete however, the alien creature’s then leap off the page especially a bear like creature that is luminous green create great contrast.
Having only been familiar with Tynion’s work with Scott Snyder on Batman I was curious to check this book out. What I found was a wonderfully crafted story that instantly grabs you and refuses to let you go, add in the great character work established in these opening issues and this book is the complete package.
By Matt Deery
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