ADVANCE REVIEW: “The Woods #5” Or How a Made-Up Language Saved My Life

Written by: James Tynion IV

Art by: Michael Dialynas & Josan Gonzalez

Published by: BOOM! Studios

$3.99

ADVANCE REVIEW: "The Woods #5" Or: How a Made-Up Language Saved My Life“The Woods #5” serves as a great jumping on point for BOOM! Studios latest indie hit by James Tynion IV and Michael Dialynas. I know this because this was my first issue of the series and I was able to follow the story with little difficulty and, more importantly, was able to connect with the characters. Dialynas’s art is very expressive and looks really great. The visuals are at their best when we’re in the woods, but the exposition scenes in the school look really great, as well.

I never recommend reading a story or watching a movie at any place that isn’t the start. I don’t care if it’s a slow burn: that’s just how to read a story. This week didn’t offer too much to review in advance of release, so I broke one of my few rules. But I’m glad that I did. I’ve now discovered a series I know I will enjoy going forward and can seek out the first trade paperback to add to my collection. “The Woods #5” provides enough drama to compel new readers to stay with the series. Namely, Tynion and Dialynas craft a beautiful picture of a teenage friendship, something that we can all relate to. High school is a tough time when so many people feel alone or isolated from their families for whatever reason, and this series captures that angst and channels it into something charming and empathetic.

Dialynas composes consistent quality in his art and colourist Jason Gonzalez adds a major sense of atmosphere to the two distinctly different settings this story takes place in. The two settings complement each other and allows you to appreciate the quality of each through their contrast. Some books can get bland without a radical shake up with the art every few pages and “The Woods #5” does an excellent job of switching between the two settings.

There are so many great creator-owned comics on stands right now, but there is definitely room for a series of this calibre. The Woods is a work of exceptional heart and details and yet it’s deftly balanced with dark fantasy and horror set pieces. This is like that movie you loved in high school or the teenage-led romps that were so common in our recent past.

Verdict:

Perhaps the best praise that I can give to Tynion IV and Dialynas is that they have convinced me, through this excellent issue, to continue reading the series and to track down the first trade paperback collection so that I can come at future issues with all of the knowledge necessary to fully appreciate the story. The art and story really jive well on this book and nothing seems neglected or out-of-place. This is indie comic books at their finest: great characters, rad artwork, and a compelling plot rife with danger and the unknown.

“The Woods #5” earns 7.7 / 10