Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artwork: Michael Dialynas
Lettering: Aditya Bidikar
Release Date: 17th June 2020
This week sees the reunion of the creative team behind the GLAAD Media Award-winning The Woods as James Tynion IV and Michael Dialynas combine forces on eagerly-anticipated fantasy series Wynd. Originally planned as a graphic novel, the story has been given the series treatment, and this oversized first issue does a really great job of setting the tone early.
This opening chapter establishes a world where any hint of magic is punishable by death, and introduces us to our main protagonist, a young boy called Wynd who finds himself having to keep his true identity – not to mention his pointy ears – a secret from everyone else in the town where he lives.
Tynion IV does a great job with the world building, filling us in on the details of Pipetown and its inhabitants gradually without slapping us in the face with a massive unwieldy exposition dump. Wynd himself is a fairly likeable leading man – a little bit quirky and mischievous, and plagued with the sting of unrequited affection in addition to the aforementioned secrets he’s constantly forced to keep.
Dialynas has been one of my favourite artists for a while now, and while I’m a massive fan of his work on IDW’s ongoing TMNT series, it’s safe to say that the Greek artist really shines when he has the opportunity to sink his teeth into a world of his own creation, and that’s exactly what we get here.
From the tense, horror-tinged opening to the eye-catching architecture of Pipetown to our first look at the “plague” of magic in the form of a Sprytle, everything here is beautifully designed and brought to the page with a real flair. It also doesn’t hurt things that Dialynas is colouring his own work here, and with a soft palette heavy on blues and greens this book is truly a feast for the eyes.
There’s a ton of great stuff packed into these 44 pages, and while this is ostensibly an all-ages fantasy affair with a cast of colourful characters, the underlying themes of having to keep who you really are secret to avoid persecution are likely to resonate with a great many readers. There’s also more a tinge of darkness at the corners here, with the cruelty of a world that sees magic as something to be feared and culled.
An impressive opening then, with the creative team – which includes the dynamic-yet-unobtrusive lettering of Aditya Bidikar – working together seamlessly as they take full advantage of every inch of every single page to tell their story. A story of magic, secrets and the fear that goes hand in hand with being true to yourself, Wynd is a new series which comes highly recommended.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]