Wynd lives a quiet life in Pipetown — working at the local tavern, out of sight in the secret rooms beneath the floorboards, often stealing away to catch glimpses of the son of the castle’s groundskeeper as he works. But Wynd also has a secret… magical blood betrayed by his pointed ears, forbidden within the city limits. His shaggy hair has obscured them for most of his life, but now that Wynd is a teenager they are growing too unwieldy to hide. Joined by his best friend Oakley and Thorn, the groundskeeper’s son, Wynd’s strange dreams and an encounter with the city guard send him on the most dangerous adventure he could imagine, where Wynd will discover the magic in the world around him and, most importantly, the magic within himself. The GLAAD Award-winning team of writer James Tynion IV (Batman, The Woods) and artist Michael Dialynas (The Woods) present a new young adult fantasy series about learning to spread your wings no matter the dangers that life puts in your way.
Anyone who know me knows that although I play DnD, when it comes to comics I’m pretty much and out-and-out superhero fan.
My subscriptions read like a who’s who of DC, Marvel and BOOM! heavy hitters with the odd curveball thrown in the mix.
But when I first read about James Tynion IV’s Wynd I was was instantly intrigued. His writing style has always sat well with DC’s characters and so I wanted to see what magic – quite literally – he could work with an original property.
Wynd definitely sits outside my comic book comfort zone but sits within the periphery of my geekdom and so plenty of the book’s elements feel familiar. Tynion, along with illustrator Michael Dialynas, have crafted a well developed environment for these characters to inhabit.
From a world-building perspective, Wynd #1 feels less like an introduction and more like a new adventure in a well established world. What it doesn’t do is overwhelm the reader by bringing in too many elements right out of the gate. Instead Wynd #1 is an expertly balanced mix of story, exposition and intrigue.
The issue opens with our lead, Wynd, in the middle of a nightmare in which he becomes an equally nightmarish character. It’s a great hook to get the reader’s attention and made sure that I stuck with the story, even as the pace dialled itself back.
In a matter of pages we learn that Wynd lives with Oakely and her mother, Miss Molly. Miss Molly runs a local tavern which is also inhabited by new chef Titus. Wynd is a little different from the rest of the town, visualised by his pointy ears which he hides under a mop of hair.
Wynd works shifts in the tavern’s kitchens and in-between he spies on the object of his affections, a hunky gardener called Thorn Cherrywood who lives and works on the grounds of royal castle. But Thorn has his eyes on Prince Yorie, with whom he has a close friendship.
Betwixt all of these characters there are plenty of insights in to the world of Pipetown. As the use of the world pipes would suggest, Pipetown is inhabited by plenty of engineers who work for the Engineering Corps, including Oakley.
When the Corps descend on Miss Molly’s tavern for breakfast we learn that the town has little tolerance for magical creatures. Through simple dialogue we learn that this is the last, human only town and the groundwork is laid for some racial commentary moving forwards.
Tynion backs this up during the scenes between Thorn and his father. Father and son discuss managing the greenery of the city, which includes ridding the flowerbeds of magical creatures like the incredibly cute Sprytles.
Wynd #1 is peppered with seemingly small but vitally important details about the world we’re watching. But most important is the arrival of The Bandaged Man, brought in by the King to help ensure that magical creatures do not invade the land of Pipetown.
Much like its mysterious opening, the issue closes as Prince Yorie begins to confide in Thorn that there is more going on that meets the eye. It rounds out a near-perfect opening to the four issue story.
The artwork in Wynd, provided by illustrator Michael Dialynas is the perfect accompaniment to the story. Often I find that stories set in magical realms lean in to a heavily prescriptive level of artwork. Heavy lines and heavy colours with an intense level of detail. That is not the case here.
Instead Wynd features lighter, brighter colours which really open up the landscape of Pipetown. Characters all have individual personalities and environments are detailed but never distracting.
Dialynas perfectly accompanies Tynion’s story and elevates it to a whole new level, leaving Wynd‘s opening issue feeling like a well rounded and well executed piece of art.
James Tynion IV and Michael Dialynas have crafted a beautiful entry point in to the world of BOOM! Studios Wynd, introducing us to heartwarming characters and the beginnings of an important cultural story.
Wynd #1 is published by BOOM! Studios, written by James Tynion IV with illustration by Michael Dialynas. Grab your copy now where all good comics are sold!