Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. Every week he is going to attempt a mini review of his favourite one, with potential minor spoilers.
I’ve been gradually trying to pick up more creator-owned titles as they tend to have more original and interesting stories than the usual superhero comics I pick up (which doesn’t mean I’m getting sick of superheroes, it just means I’m cutting down on food to afford more comics). The Woods wasn’t really on my radar until I saw Scott Snyder tweet about it (odd considering I’ve chosen it over his latest issue of The Wake as my favourite comic this week). It is a new creator-owned title written by James Tynion IV, with art by Michael Dialynas, colours from Josan Gonzalez and letters by Ed Dukeshire, published by Boom! Studios.
The Woods takes place in a seemingly innocuous American high school in Milwaukee, allowing us a brief but effective introduction to our key players in the story in the form of tiny captions that tells us all we really need to know about them. Suddenly a flash of light transports the entire school to a world drenched in an oppressive darkness, surrounded by a thick wooded area and populated by various frightening beasts that begin to terrorise the unsuspecting students and staff. Everyone panics, most try to hole up inside the school, but a rag tag group decide that the only way to survive their predicament is to head into the woods to look for answers as to what happened to them and why they are there.
All I’ve read from James Tynion IV so far has been his work on Talon, the backups in the main Batman series and recently the new weekly series Batman Eternal, all of which I enjoyed. The writing here is really engaging. It is easy to care for all of these characters fairly rapidly, as the gravity of the situation sets in and the more headstrong try to deal with it as best they can. The art team does a great job creating a dark and terrifying environment too, and the fear is palpable. The double page splash in the middle in particular is gorgeous.
I’m really interested to see how this series develops and what lies ahead for Karen, Adrian, Isaac, Ben and Calder as they venture into The Woods. I especially liked how the mysterious first page takes on an intriguing meaning as we approach the end of the issue. I’ll definitely be keeping up with this series, and I suggest you do too. Check it out at your local comic book shop or digitally.
Score: 9 Hockey Sticks out of 10
*It was a tough call to review this or the equally excellent ‘The Wake’ issue 8 from Scott Snyder, Sean Murphy , Matt Hollingsworth and Jared K. Fletcher (which you should also definitely buy). I ended up choosing The Woods because it is new, and I’m almost certainly going to do a full review of the whole of The Wake when it comes out in trade paperback.