Written by: James Tynion IV
Art by: Michael Dialynas
Published by: BOOM! Studios
I wasn’t sure about The Woods at first and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I couldn’t see how the characters were going to fit together, who they were, or why they were that way. Series writer James Tynion IV has done an amazing job of fleshing these characters out with each successive issue and this installment is by far the most powerful. Flipping the pages of “The Woods #8” is like riding a great roller coaster as you soar to emotional heights, only to be punched fiercely in the gut.
Great characters can carry a slow moving plot when they have to and that’s exactly what the characters of this series are doing. The overall story hasn’t moved too much in the last several months, but wonderfully composed flashbacks and tense scenes in the woods have made these characters come alive, which makes the plodding pace more acceptable.
Artist Michael Dialynas has not missed a beat with this series. He has nailed every issue, making it ring true to the emotional tone set by the script, while also adding a flare of explosive action. The creativity the fantasy element of the story has allowed him with the visuals makes each new issue good for at least one or two cool panels that demand an eyebrow raise of admiration. A shift in setting away from the namesake of the series would do the art some good though, as the setting has looked a little repetitive of late.
The atmosphere and tone of The Woods shifts from scene to scene. Sometimes a light-hearted, jovial narrative drives the book forward, while at other times dire and dark scenes push the story into a different realm. Oddly, these contrasting elements don’t confuse and, in fact, mix quite well together. There is little doubt that Tynion IV and Dialynas are a creative team working in simpatico.
I’ve already mentioned that the pace of this issue is a little slow and that’s the major weakness of this installment, alongside a cliff-hanger that is only mildly exciting. It’s a net positive for this installment to be sure, but this series won’t be this exciting indefinitely if we don’t spend more time exploring the ramifications of the incredible event that occurred midway through this comic.