For the next stop on my ongoing James Tynion IV hype train, I’m taking a look at issue two of Wynd from BOOM! Studios. This is a bumper-sized issue which gives Tynion and the rest of the creative team lots of room to develop this world.
I can’t help but be impressed by Tynion’s impressive grasp of multiple genres, and honestly, just his name being on the cover makes me want to pick up Batman again after the poor taste Tom King left in my mouth.
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Michael Dialynas
Letterer: Aditya Bidikar
Editor: Eric Harburn
Release Date: 22nd July 2020
Before I start with the recently released issue two, let’s take a moment to get on the same page. In issue one we met our lead character Wynd and Molly, his adoptive carer. Her child Oakley has a wonderfully accepting and nurturing relationship with Wynd. The city has a royal class and a healthy heart of working class people manning the utilities of the city. This is where Oakley works, and we are shown many great panels of eye-catching industrialised workings which sharply contrast with the other, more pastel settings.
Wynd himself is shown to be a bit of an oddball, being the only character with pointy ears. In the second issue we delve into some of the implications of his magical heritage. The other side of the plot revolves around the royal family and ties in to Wynd’s world through both bloodlines and romantic connections. The important takeaway from issue one is the prejudice and fear towards the magically inclined.
Issue two expands upon the back story of Wynd, his new family and the city itself. The art by Michael Dialynas carries a lot of the weight, saving us from what would otherwise be a solid mass of text. Honestly, Brian Michael Bendis could take a hint here for his Young Justice title. Anyway, the palace scenes serve as a polar opposite to the diner or waterworks we commonly see Wynd’s family in. The story forks into a tail of two families, interweaving plot points from the opening issue.
The royal family, headed by the dying King, is currently facing the turmoil of the decisions he made during his reign. These decisions were very two-dimensional, showing the limited thoughts of a King who chooses to do things by the old ways as opposed to creative and bold decisions. This gives his son, Yorick, a brighter future in which to shine and for the story to grow around him. Yorick is not like his father, and the King is very negative and dismissive of him, but also expects him to follow in his footsteps.
During the King’s rule a racial divide has grown in the kingdom. There are characters of all creeds and colours which helps add to the scaling of the city, but the “blood law” imposed by the King prevents mixing of the magical and mundane races. While Yorick clearly disagrees, he yields to his father’s wishes.
This issue picks up the pace of the story with some well-timed threats. The bandaged man seeks out those imbued with magic and slays them with no mercy and no respite. He will cleanse the city of all magical ‘threats’ as well as those who protect them, which is bad for Molly and her family. The bandaged man is explored in a narrative between Wynd and Molly where Molly explains the height of the risks associated with being magical. During this interaction we explore a little Wynd’s backstory. This is all set up strongly for Wynd’s foundations to presumably come crumbling down for issue three onwards.
Once I read issue one I was left wanting more. Not solely because the story itself was so well developed, but because the world was so immersive and likeable. This issue capitalises on the momentum of the first, but throws some much needed threat into the proceedings. Going into issue three I want to see the implications of the dying king and the journey Wynd is taking. The bandaged man and the other dangers of the divided world are now apparent, and I expect big things as this series unfolds.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]
The writer of this piece was: Mike Chandler
Mike Tweets from @mike_moans