I never got around to reviewing the last issue of The Woods, but damn it was good. I tried to even work it in on my end of the year list and it honestly came in just behind Mind MGMT which should tell you a little something about the quality of this series. In the last issue (which I would score a 5/5 if you were asking me and I assume you were) Adrian stole the show with his full on craziness and power hunger. He tapped into the moon and discovered that it was all one big weapon. Suddenly he was controlling the animals and the forest itself. Pretty damn awesome!
The one and only problem I have with this issue is that we pick up two weeks after the events of issue eight. At first I felt like I had missed an issue, but I soon figured out that time had passed since we last saw our characters. Which was okay because man on man did they develop more personality in that time. They’re like new characters, which works with this first story in the arc because it’s very much a first issue and not a ninth.
That works, but then also doesn’t. I think it’s great that new readers are being given an honest jumping on point. You could have missed the other eight issues and started here and you would know everything you need to know. The problem is that for regular readers it’s a little boring at times because we already know what’s going on. The issue is very much like a roleplaying game that forces you to check in with all your supporting characters before going into a final battle. Sure it’s cool to hear what everyone has to say, but the real meat and potatoes are at the end which is definitely the case in this issue.
The art is fantastic and if I rated it on its own it would continue to score perfect. Dialynas’ facial expressions are so vivid and lifelike that it’s hard not to be sucked in to their personalities. The biggest change comes from Isaac. Oh man would his dialogue fall flat if it weren’t for the artwork. His dark and crass nature is a complete 180.
My favorite part was when the story checks in with Wally’s mate. My god did it pull on my heart-strings and I secretly suspect that Dialynas’ and my own sadness created this second creature wearing a wonderful scarf. Oh if only Wally could come back! If Tynion kills this bird I will be pissed.
Overall this issue is really good. It’s solid and lays the foundation for the next arc just like it’s done before. The landscape has changed for sure, but in a way the story takes too large of a step forward without the reader. Maybe if there were Saga like gaps in the release schedule, then it would work, but this team is cranking it out. It’s good, but not perfect… but the art is. I could stare at the art all damn day and so I’ll definitely not be quitting this series any time soon.
Writer: James Tynion IV Artist: Michael Dialynas Colorist: Josan Gonzalez Publisher: BOOM! Studios Price: $3.99 Release Date: 1/7/15 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital