Review: The Woods #9 by James Tynion IV and Michael Dialynas

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Review: The Woods #9

Published by Boom! Studios
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Michael Dialynas
Coloured by Josan Gonzalez

The Plot

The story begins with a flashback from 200 years ago. A woman named Lydia Cole claims to have read the stones and some men believe that she is a witch. They are establishing a town called New London and invite a mysterious tribe to join them, but they seem to decline just as the situation with Lydia begins to escalate. In the present day a few weeks have passed since the previous issue, Calder and Karen are in New London doing some shopping and are having some difficulty with it. They see Nigel who is trying to tend to one of his animal/dinosaur things (he’s one of the individuals that they encountered in the woods during the previous issues). Sander (son of Cassius) shows up and he inadvertently seems to rub Calder the wrong way. Meanwhile Sanami and Ben are talking with Coach Clay who they believe went out on his own to explore the woods. Isaac is with Gideon and is still stewing about the events of the previous issue. At dinner, they are bringing Cassius, etc. up to speed about what’s happened back on Earth over the past 200 years. Isaac continues to be a little nuisance and the next day, they finally have an audience with the Duke. Meanwhile Cassius secretly objects to what the Duke’s real plans are for the students back at the school and discusses this with Nigel and Gideon. However, they find that their conversation did not go unnoticed. Flashback to the past with Lydia, which mirrors what’s happening with Adrian in the present.

The Breakdown

Another damn good issue of this title. It’s a busy busy week on my end and really didn’t have that much time for a review, but this is a series that I just had to quickly write about.  The flashback was really effective at helping to confirm what we pretty much already know with Adrian. I’m interested to see what the “Africans” will bring to the table later on with the students. They didn’t have a large role in this issue, but their introduction left me to believe that they’ll have some important insight into what’s going on. There were some more interesting dynamics that were focused upon in this issue (Calder and Karen, Ben and Isaac, Coach Clay and everyone) and I’m looking forward to seeing how a lot of these subplots will play out in the future. This is one of those types of books that I could see being very decompressed. However, this book has been moving along at a good rate and I feel like I know everyone quite well due to the strong characterization work of the writer. I’m anticipating seeing how everything plays out with the Duke’s plans. The part when Cassius and his friends were discussing his plans made me laugh because I noticed that they also call the little creature Doctor Robot now. The cliffhanger with Adrian was decent as we are able to see a bit more about what’s going on. We learn a bit more about everything overall, but are left anticipating and wondering about the true nature of everyone’s disappearance and relocation. There is a teaser about history repeating itself, but this particular group of kids seem to be more resourceful than other groups that have been abducted in the past. The efforts of the creative team just make this book work. The writing, art, and colors just complement each other very well and really suit the story. Another solid month.

BUT…

Isaac is well written in this issue as someone who is going through rejection/abandonment issues. However, he’s annoying me and I’m starting to hope he bites the dust at some point. Mind you the way his relationship with Adrian was written last issue it’s easy to understand why he’s venting so much right now. I was confused as to who Cassius, etc. were at first because I thought his eyes were pink (they looked like they were in previous issues). I was able to figure it out pretty quickly, but initially it was a bit confusing (I can’t remember if their names were provided or not in previous issues either). I’m facial haired impaired (I tried growing a moustache/beard once and it was slow and incredibly patchy), but Coach Clay’s beard seemed to grow awfully fast. I could be wrong, but that thing seemed pretty full and bushy. This is only a partial gripe, but I’m wondering what’s going on with the group back at the school. I hope that there’s some sort of surprise with them. I would be disappointed to see everything status quo with them after all this time. I’m not complaining yet because it could be well worth the wait to see what their status is.

Buy It, Borrow It, Shelf Read It, or Ignore It?

Buy It. Buy this series now. This title is so good and is my favorite title that Boom is currently publishing. The characters are so well done that it makes the overall human story much more engaging. As soon as I put each issue down I’m immediately anticipating the next one. It’s extremely early in the year, but at this rate The Woods might end up being my favorite title of the year. There aren’t any throwaway or filler issues and the pacing is excellent. I highly recommend this title.

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