I've made up my mind. The Woods, from BOOM Studios, created and written by James Tynion IV, with art by Michael Dialynas and colors by Josan Gonzalez is overwhelmingly impressive. I am in awe of how magnetic this series is. I mentioned in Part One of my catch-up review, that I came across issue #9 of the series last Wednesday and decided to buy all of the issues for a binge read. Now that I'm all caught up, I can excitedly talk about my view on issues #5-9.
With so many characters, it can be a bit hard to connect with each of them on an emotional level. However, Tynion had a solution for that in a few of the recent issues. Issues 5, 6, 7, and 8 alternated between one night a year ago, when everything was normal, and snapped back to present day chaos. Each issue gave a bit of background story for one out of six of the main group of characters in The Woods. As a reader, I felt that this was a clever use of flashbacks. It was done well and most of the time, the characters internal struggle from their past was being expressed in a similar way in the present day scenes. For example (without giving anything away), in issue #7 we get to see Ben's story and how he had to keep a personal secret from his father. When we snap back to present day, Ben finally gives in to his feelings, which results in an extremely heartwarming emotional moment.
I want to talk about Adrian's character for a bit, because it's impossible not to. We have known from the first page of the series that Adrian was going to be special because of the way Tynion has set up the plot. He has had this weird cryptic connection to the arrow shaped glowing stone, and talks to himself (or The Woods) like a lunatic. I have so many questions! Why him? Is he some type of chosen one? I mean obviously he is because he can call out to these awesome purple and blue dragons, and ride off into the sunset like a wacky super villain.
So we've met the society of Viking-esque people that kidnap, Ben, Isaac, and Sanami, but what seemed like an impossible situation for a few issues, quickly became something I would have never expected. Once Adrian goes bonkers, the children are taken to a place called New London, and that is what issue #9 centers around. It doesn't focus on one of the six, but still alternates between past and present by focusing on a moment in history on the planet they are currently trapped on. I hope that in upcoming issues, we will learn about the rest of the six. However, I am quite intrigued by everything that is revealed in the most current issue. We get to see the Viking-esque people in their natural state, and we get to meet their families.
I will have to say, I agreed with Isaac's characters perspective on New London when reading this issue. Sure, it's all very good and well that the children are safe, but it's not good to avoid the fact that they are still stuck in a strange place and have no idea if they'll be able to return home. I mentioned in my part one review that the scenes that featured the school were a bit boring, but now I'm thinking after five issues, it's time to check in. While I adore looking at Dialynas' breathtaking landscapes, we need to throw in some lockers and more of that stuck up student council president, Maria.
One thing is for sure though…this story is captivating, imaginative, and terrifying in it's own special way. I can't imagine being in their shoes, but that's what makes the story so addicting. It's impossible to not be anxious about what's going to happen next. Tynion drops a lot of clues to the reader that give us knowledge that trouble is ahead, and we have to suffer and watch the characters go about their day unknowingly. What a fantastic binge read it has been. I'm so glad that I discovered this series, even if I was way late to joining The Woods fandom. I can't wait to see what happens next.
Christine Marie is a Staff Writer at Bleeding Cool, and bibliomaniac with a love for all things creative. She hopes to one day be a Superhero/Disney Princess/Novelist. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @AWritersWay or on her blog writerchristinemarie.wordpress.com.