On the day Wynd learns he is not safe and must leave town for good, he realizes he doesn’t really want to leave. Can he stay in town with the Bandaged Man on the hunt? Find out in Wynd #2 from BOOM! Studios.
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Michael Dialynas
Letterer: Aditya Bidikar
Editor: Eric Harburn
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: July 22, 2020
Previously in Wynd: We meet several young people in and around Pipetown. Wynd, the title character, has been adopted by Molly who also has a daughter named Oakley. Their family is working class, and Oakley has recently started working at the pipes that bring both water and power to the town. Wynd has the pointy ears of a Weirdblood, someone of magical descent who is seen as the enemy. Wynd has a crush on Thorn, the muscular son of the castle gardener. Thorn happens to be a childhood friend to Prince Yorick, whose father is dying and who does not want to have to take on the responsibility of king. Interestingly, Yorick also does not want to burn down the Faeriewoods and exacerbate the conflict with Weirdbloods.
THE DAY THAT EVERYTHING STARTS TO CHANGE
Wynd #2 costs a dollar more than most books, but it is well worth it – it’s about twice the length. This gives it time to develop and expand. At times the pace seems a bit slow since it has the space to carry on conversations fill us in on history. And this is a thoughtful book.
The issue opens with Yorick meeting unwillingly with his dying father. This is apparently a daily thing with them. The King is not very likeable. He’s critical of Yorick. He’s had his way of doing things for years, and he wants Yorick to carry on the same way. He talks about keeping the Blood Laws, and not allowing people with magical blood to taint their people – clearly a parallel to racism, and when we see this, it makes Yorick’s forced promise to carry on that much more distasteful. And then the King sends him away and asks to talk to the Bandaged Man.
Oakley comes home from a day of work smelling terrible. (There’s often a bit of humor to be found in the sewers.) Molly asks her to stick around with Wynd because she needs to talk to them. A little later, Wynd has to get something from the cellar and he overhears Molly talking with a cloaked man, who turns out to be Basil, the King’s advisor and friend of Yorick. Molly shows Wynd’s ears to him. How much of a risk is this? Whose side is Basil on? Later Molly reveals that her plan is for Wynd to leave town and go to Northport, where he will be safe. (She also gives us Wynd’s backstory and talks about the Bandaged Man, and how he killed not only all the magic-blooded people he could find, but also anyone who helped them in any way.)
Wynd doesn’t want to leave town. He doesn’t want to live in constant fear. He wants to be what he perceives as normal and he wants Oakley to help him stay in the place he knows as home.
By now it is night and across town, Thorn awakens to the sound of men beating his father up. The Bandaged Man is there interrogating him until he tells him about the sprytle in the plants.
Oakley comes up with a plan that apparently means Wynd will not have to leave town. They run off for this on the very night that Molly closes up the restaurant to help Wynd flee, and then she cannot find them. In the meantime, Basil is apparently helping Yorick to sneak out of the castle as Thorn shows up to join them.
THE FACES OF THE WORKERS AND THE RULERS
I like that Wynd #2 features several brown-skinned characters. It makes the setting richer and more interesting. The King and Yorick both have darker skin. While the King is not very likable as a person, I like how he is portrayed. Even on his death bed, he is a big man who seems larger than life. The fact that he is certain he knows what is best for Yorick, even while Yorick can barely hide his resentment, comes through loud and clear. Few of us readers, if any, are royalty, but I think a lot of us understand this sort of family pressure in a family dynamic.
Molly and Oakley also have dark skin but look entirely different from the King and Yorick. While the two men are tall, the two women are shorter and stockier. They look strong, and come across as strong and independent, as Molly obviously is for daring to adopt Wynd despite the threat of the Bandaged Man. I also like their bouffant red hair, and I really love how expressive the two of them are. They have a great affection for each other despite the mother-daughter conflict that we see with them as Oakley is at the age of becoming independent. I also like the contrast between these two parent-child relationships.
BOTTOM LINE: A FANTASY STORY WITH A LOT OF HEART
Wynd #2 establishes several close relationships – of family, friendship, loyalty – among its characters. Those bonds can be strengths or weaknesses, and I think this is setting up to be a story with a rich variety of conflicts. It is a charming read with tantalizing undercurrents of a bigger story to discover.
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