With barely time to think about it, Wynd and Oakley escape from Pipetown with Thorn and the Prince in tow. What waits for them in the outside world? Find out in Wynd #4 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: September 23, 2020
Previously in Wynd: Oakley takes Wynd into the underground world beneath Pipetown where there is a secret outpost of people affected by magic, and the doctor from the North who is studying these people and trying to help them. Oakley has saved up her money to buy Wynd a chance to be “normal.” The doctor, Myr, barely has time to start talking to Wynd and look at a sample of his blood before the Bandaged Man arrives with troops and attacks the encampment. The young people flee, running home, where they find Molly with Yorik and Thorn. Molly has plans to guide the three young men to Southport, right up until the time that the Bandaged Man shows up at her restaurant, and she must send Oakley in her place.
LOSS AND CHANGE AND GROWTH
Don’t let the price of Wynd #4 dissuade you from reading the book – the issue has at least 40 pages of story, so you can settle down with it and enjoy it for a good amount of time. As we rejoin Wynd, he is in a boat with Oakley, Yorik, and Thorn. They’re slowly bobbing along the graffiti filled tunnels below Pipetown, trying to blend in. This isn’t easy for four people who don’t know each other. Oakley is the only one who knows where they’re going and how to handle a boat, and she is distracted by worrying about her mom. Yorik is both highly anxious and still operating like royalty. Thorn plainly was sent along to help Yorik cope, while Wynd feels guilty about being the cause of all their trouble.
And their trouble isn’t over yet – the Bandaged Man can track Wynd by his blood and he is soon hot on their tail. Yorik starts to panic; Wynd asks where the side pipes lead. Oakley sends the boat on and orders them all to jump out, and the Bandaged Man follows the boat. The pipe leads them outside to a richly verdant marshland, and now we see Thorn’s knowledge come into play. They go almost no distance and run into a bunch of Sprytles who are attracted to Wynd. They’ve all learned that these are horrible creatures, but they’re all so cute and curious.
And then they meet their contact, Lady Gwendolyn, who has come on behalf of Prince Yorik’s uncle, the Duke. She is Faerie, and over a few panels the young people are told several more things that run contrary to their beliefs. This is an underlying thread that I just love seeing, the exploration of people confronted with the possibility that their reality is not the whole truth. And now they’re all thrust into the outside world where humans are simply not of much consequence.
They reach Southport to find it full of the King’s Men. The Bandaged Man is already here. Gwendolyn’s ship is an hour offshore. Gwendolyn has a plan to take them there one at a time – she can fly, but she cannot carry more than one. Oakley is first; not only does this trip give her a sense of how big the world beyond Pipetown is, but in talking she reveals her fear of change. Back on land, Wynd and Thorn have time for a little heart-to-heart, and agree to have dinner together. Yorik warns them of the approach of the King’s Men, and Wynd, understanding that he is the one they can track, decides to go off on his own to lead them away.
A RICH, BROAD WORLD
There is a lot of flavor in the art of Wynd #4. This is a world that is more mechanized than the typical fantasy setting, so there are some interesting modern touches that are stylized to fit right in. The graffiti in the opening sequence is a case in point. There are directional signs painted on the wall, but also depictions of the monsters outside, drawings of fish and sea monsters, and so forth. This is a town where the people don’t really know what the outside world is, so their imaginations fill in where facts are lacking. Think about that for a second. It’s a very human tendency.
Leaving Pipetown, the world has become much bigger, and we see so many glorious new things. Lady Gwendolyn is fascinating. She has an armored carapace and six wings. She is approachable and understanding even while Wynd and the humans are in shock, not quite knowing what to think of her. She knows quite well what they must think of her, but she takes the time to talk with Wynd, and later with Oakley, to make connections.
BOTTOM LINE: SO WHAT IS THE TRUTH?
Wynd #4 continues to grow in depth and complications. With so many pages, there is a lot of time to get into the characters which makes them feel more real and less like simply caricatures. And the quiet romantic moments this book has are so sweet, it’s just delightful.
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Wynd and Oakley reach the outside world with Yorik and Thorn – but not before the Bandaged Man can cut them off!