As Yorik and Thorn wait for their chance to flee, Wynd comes face to face with the Bandaged Man! Is this the end of his journey? Find out in Wynd #5 from BOOM! Studios.
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Michael Dialynas
Letterer: Aditya Bidikar
Editor: Eric Harburn
Publisher: BOOM! Studions
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: October 28, 2020
Previously in Wynd: He, Oakley, Yorik, and Thorn flee Pipetown by way of a boat through the sewers. Oakley’s mom was supposed to be leading them, but she had to put Oakley in charge, and we don’t know her fate. Outside the city they find themselves in the wild, where Thorn’s knowledge of plants – and Sprytles – helps them. Their mysterious contact is Lady Gwendolyn, a winged Faerie who tells them something of the world outside their home city. Meanwhile, the Bandaged Man can track Wynd by the smell of his blood. By the time the young people reach Southport, the Bandaged Man is already there with his troops. Lady Gwendolyn’s ship is offshore. She decides the only thing she can do is fly them out, one at a time as the Bandaged Man comes closer to finding them.
Wynd #5 begins on top of the hill where Yorik and Thorn are waiting. Wynd ran off at the end of last issue to draw off the Bandaged Man’s soldiers. Yorik, who was a jerk all last issue, suddenly realizes that this means Wynd could die, and he starts thinking about all the other people who could die from helping him. Thorn is a good enough friend to be honest with him, and to tell him that yes, that can happen and that he should stop being so horrible to other people. It’s kind of fun to see truth being spoken to power.
The Bandaged Man steps away from his patrol and slips into the woods, where Wynd is, and asks him to come out. This is not what I was expecting. Wynd does confront him. He may be afraid, but he is not afraid to die, if it helps his friends – and if it prevents him from becoming the monster he keeps seeing in his dreams. Instead of killing Wynd, the Bandaged Man reveals himself as a Vampyre. It turns out that King Yossar hired him to kill the Weirdbloods in the kingdom. He looks at this as merely a job, and his job is keeping people in their places. Wynd lets it slip that they talked to a Faerie, and that gives the Bandaged Man the information he needs to get Yorik back.
He shoots Lady Gwendolyn down and gloats that he will be leading people to burn down the Faeriewood. Her dying words are, “Long live Esseriel United.” Yorik sees this and actually tries to attack him, then Thorn steps in. But the troops surround Yorik, and Thorn has to surrender. Then the Bandaged Man threatens to kill Thorn.
Wynd, desperate for some kind of help, runs into the woods and calls upon the Sprytles who land on him and infuse him with magic. He transforms, but not until the wolf-monster of his dreams. When Thorn is pushed off the cliff, Wynd flies up and rescues him. Thorn calls Yorik to jump, and Yorik gathers his courage and does, and Wynd escapes with them both to the ship. Yorik gathers his courage, acknowledges that Wynd saved their lives, remembers everyone’s names, and promises to make it up to him. And there is just the sweetest hint of romance.
It’s a charming end to the chapter. I like that Wynd has some control over his destiny, and that his friends do accept him as a Weirdblood, as Oakley always has. I like that Thorn can be frank, even with the Prince, and that Yorik actually thinks about what he hears and sees and tries to step up as best he can.
ACCEPTING THE MAGIC
The art of Wynd #5 continues to be solid and expressive. I like the concept of the Bandaged Man. He is literally bandaged all over, like a stereotypical mummy, and that gives him a look that is both mysterious and sinister. His outfit has the same colors as the troops he leads, but it has its own flare, including a jagged, stand up collar that frames his face. I like how much expression he has even though we mainly see his eyes with only a suggestion of the facial features underneath. When he reveals himself as he talks with Wynd, momentarily he seems more like a person, right up until we see how dispassionate he is about killing people. To him, it’s just a job.
The books closes with a glorious epilogue that bookends with the beginning of the first issue. Wynd is asleep and dreaming of his change under the moonlight. But this time instead of the monster and the nightmare, he dreams of his wings and he dreams of flying. It is joyful and exhiliarating, and the rainbow colors are perfect.
BOTTOM LINE: GRACEFUL ENDING
Wynd #5 ends the first arc and gracefully sets up the next chapter. The characters are approachable; they have their flaws, but they’re good at heart, and sometimes you need a book like that. Despite being a fantasy world, the underlying issues, both bit and small, relate well to real world experience.
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Can Wynd and his friends escape before the Bandaged Man finds them?