Posted May 16, 2014 by Alvin Minon in Comics


The Woods #1

Created and Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Michael Dialynas
Colors by Josan Gonzales
Letters by Ed Dukeshire

Judging from the covers, The Woods #1 would initially seem like some apocalyptic survival story with teens taking the center stage. There’s chaos, there’s creepiness and a lot of action to expect. After reading the issue I’m not sure whether I got it exactly right. But what I do know is I liked it and I’d look forward for more.

James Tynion IV knows how to spark curiosity in the readers. He starts the story right in the middle of the crisis, where we see a stern-looking genius-type character named Adrian Roth staring at a glowing arrow-shaped stone while another panel describes the mayhem that’s occurring. Then the readers are taken back to the start where everything seems normal. From this point Tynion pieces everything together up to the scene we first see – the characters, the setting and everything else. He’s able to start with a bang then go back and build it up to satisfy that curiosity sparked by the first few pages. Evidently, The Woods would be about survival, like other stories where people get stranded somewhere and work towards salvation, only this time the victims are schoolchildren and the place’s a lot freakier.

The author immediately gets done with the introduction and from the start we have an idea of what kind of story this is and what character stereotypes the kids will be assuming. All throughout the book readers are reminded that the story would be dealing with a lot of horror and despair with a touch of sci-fi action. As for the characters, there’s the genius, a wimp, a student council-type, a wallflower with hidden talents and so on. Tynion knows the importance of these traits as he labels them for the readers. Sure the author knows how critical the labels are as they will play a big role in how the story will go later on.

As for the art, Michael Dialynas hit the right spot and worked really cohesively with the author’s task of labeling and setting the premises. The designs reflect the roles the kids assume and even without the descriptive texts, readers would be able to realize what kind of highschooler a character is. They’re stereotypical, yes, but it helps really much with allowing each character to be distinct. Dialynas art also works well with Josan Gonzalez‘s colors: bright when needed but grim during the horror parts. The art plays a big part in how well the book’s written as this starting issue’s a mix of light-hearted highschool setting with gory, violent horror. Gonzalez’s colors are able to shift from the light towards the purple hues and reds by the end of the book when everything seems to be much awful for the fates of the characters.

Something happened that brought the whole high school somewhere else. Danger lurks just outside the school walls and they have to get back and find their way home. There’s a lot left to explore. There’s a bit of scientific feel so whether the comic would lean more towards that or towards the grim setting, I’m not sure. Though hey, there’s some extreme gory casualty already in this starting issue so there’s bound to be more of that in the latter issues.

There’s a reason behind all that has happened, and there’s bound to be more action and traveling to happen, more things to look forward to like how the kids would grow and survive. The Woods #1 seems to be a new dish in my plate coming from Boom! Studios. This time it’s filled with real human emotions and interactions in the face of danger. There’s humor and fun bits but it’s survival and despair that’ll take the spotlight.

Alvin Minon