Review: The Woods #3

This is the book of the week right here folks. Wow this story continues to be incredible and the artwork is right there along side it. What’s really impressive about this story so far is the characters; it’s not just the dialogue, but also the body language as well. They talk like real kids, they move like real kids and those two things combined snatch you right into the story. I think this is only an eight issue mini-series if memory serves correct and if it continues this course it’s going to be heartbreaking when it ends. The issue opens with the Principal giving a speech that far surpasses his abilities; waiting in the wings is the gym teacher wearing a sinister look on his face. It’s pretty clear who’s actually in charge especially with how the last issue ended. We find out what happened to Maria as she’s been locked in the equipment cage. Her friend Katie has gotten inside the room to feed her information, but two of the discipline community members find her. One of them Corbin seems particularly unhinged and is enjoying the power that he’s been given. You wouldn’t think it, but the school is quickly becoming one of the most interesting aspects of the story.

Our group in the woods is running for its life, but with the addition of Sanami they may just last a bit longer. They jump into a river and she commands all of them to scrub themselves. She takes a look at Calder’s arm and sniffs it. He’s apparently giving off pheromones which is attracting the larger predators. Adrian becomes particularly cold as he says to leave him; unfortunately they’re not given the option to decide as the skin on Calder’s arm explodes and pheromones coat the entire group.

What a great issue. In particular I like Adrain, very few characters in a leadership role actually make a tough call like “leave them”, but he doesn’t hesitate. He’s a cold-hearted fuck for sure. Karen is still my favorite character and I love the back and forth between her and Sanami as they come across as true friends. Ben obviously has a crush on Isaac who has never noticed him, but chances are that’ll change after this issue. I’m going to refrain from talking about the school aspect because this review will get really spoily and it wouldn’t serve any purpose other than giving me an outlet for my enjoyment. Previously it was the weakest aspect of the story for me, but now I can’t wait to get back to it.

Woods_003_coverA copy 2James Tynion’s writing is superb on this issue. Really his writing has been great on the series thus far, but it’s definitely elevated to the next level with this issue. The characters are more familiar and so Tynion plays off of that relation that the reader has to them. He also paces the story with action and plot development, giving it a strong back and forth that keeps the reader from being burnt out on one or the other. Again his dialogue shines brightly in this issue and I can’t wait for more.

Much of the emotion and delivery from the character comes from Michael Dialynas’ artwork. They each have their own nuances when it comes to emotions. They’re all terrified by the animal stalking them, but each has their own facial mannerisms to show it. It’s easy to forget a character’s name in a comic, but when the art and story combine so wonderfully you can’t help but remember the entire group and all its diversity.

I’m excited for the next issue and if these first three have shown us anything, it’s that we’re in store for even better issues as it goes on. I don’t know how this story will end, but I don’t see a super happy ending in store for it which only makes me more curious. We’ll have to see what the creative team has in store for us next time. In the meantime this has jump to the top of my read list.

Score: 5/5

Writer: James Tynion IV Artist: Michael Dialynas Colorist: Josan Gonzalez Publisher: Boom Studios Price: $3.99 Release Date: 7/2/14 Format: Mini-Series, Print/Digital