The Woods Year One – A WTF ride of fun!

When I first got the press release from BOOM! Studios about The Woods from James Tynion IV and Michael Dialynas I thought, this might be interesting. Then that first Monday came when I got my press copy and I was like ‘oooh, very intriguing‘. Now a year later and I am like ‘Damn! This is a good book!‘.

Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Michael Dialynas
Colors: Josan Gonzalez
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
On October 16, 2013, 437 students, 52 teachers, and 24 additional staff from Bay Point Preparatory High School in suburban Milwaukee, WI vanished without a trace. Countless light years away, far outside the bounds of the charted universe, 513 people find themselves in the middle of an ancient, primordial wilderness. Where are they? Why are they there? The answers will prove stranger than anyone could possibly imagine.
Published by BOOM! Studios.

 

“Think of it kind of like LOST only on a deadly alien planet and way better!”

If you’re not familiar with The Woods, you should definitely check it out. The second collected edition just came out. The Woods follows the story of a high school that gets rip from planet Earth and transported to an unknown planet. Here the students and faculty must try to survive amongst a world that seems to want nothing more than to kill them. At every turn they are confronted with more mysteries and dangers.

Mr. Tynion IV has really put together a story that is extremely captivating and partly nerve wracking. I could feel my heart start to beat faster as things would get revealed in the book. You can almost feel the anxiety the characters are feeling. Think of it kind of like LOST only on a deadly alien planet and way better! There’s a lot happening on this planet the author has sent these poor kids too.

Tynion immerses you into the mystery surrounding these kids from the first panel. He gives us great action mixed with some seriously intense drama. One thing borrowed from Lost is the flashback story-telling. Mainly, it seems the flashbacks are used to help give us backgrounds on each of the many characters. Some parts of the high school drama that ensues may be somewhat cliche. However, no more than any other teen centric drama I see these days.

Going to take a moment right here and salute James Tynion IV for his gay characters. Every one of his gay characters (and a few of the hetero ones) I could sit and say ‘That is so…[add my friends name here]..” As a gay man, I can say that I usually am not a fan of gay characters in comics or the way they are written. It constantly feels forced and I can never relate. That’s not the case here. My favorite character in The Woods is gay. Thank you for that, Mr Tynion IV sir. It’s been a while. The bad ass I am talking about is on the cover image to your right.



Visually, this book is perfectly matched with Michael Dialynas’ form. He captures the drama and action well. Dialynas brings the land to life and gives each character a truly distinct feel that grasps the characterization that Tynion I think was trying to convey. Reaction panels of the characters could go over the top from time to time. Michael Dialynas gets the point across with his artwork showing us the horrors of The Woods.

After 3 issues of The Woods, I stopped reading. The thirty day wait was killing me. So I actually waited nine months till issue #12 was out then started at the beginning again and read all twelves issues in a few hours. Then, since there was a huge sale at my comic shop, Corner Comics for Free Comic Book Day (and my press copies are digital), I picked up the first trade collection and a copy of every single issue they had. All in hopes that I can add them to my autographed library some day.

I going to be bold and give The Woods 5 out of 5 on the Banana Scale. I have been drawn in by the mystery and awesome character development this book has. Hopefully Year Two follows suit.

Your thoughts?