Wynd has survived by hiding the traces of his magical background, but now that he’s older, what will happen to him? Find out in Wynd #1 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: June 17, 2020
Previously in Wynd: Wynd is a young boy with shaggy hair and pointed ears – ears that he must hide at all costs. He lives in Pipetown in a kingdom that fears magic and anything (or anyone) with magical blood. Life is good – he has friends, he has a job he like, and he has a mad crush on the son of the castle groundskeeper. Little does he know that his life is soon to change.
WELCOME TO PIPETOWN
The opening to Wynd #1 really pulls you into the story. It’s night and we see the title character, Wynd, asleep and apparently having a nightmare. His eyes pop open, and suddenly he starts turning into a monster. He sprouts wings and feathers, he loses several teeth and as his friend Oakley pops in to check on him, he finds he has lost the ability to speak. Oakley attacks him, mistaking him for a creature that has hurt Wynd.
And then it’s morning and Oakley is shaking him awake. She’s dressed in boots and overalls, ready for a day at work on the pipes. She does not have pointy ears like Wynd, and she reminds him to keep them covered, which the shaggy hair is good for. She runs off to work and he goes downstairs to his job helping at the family restaurant serving the hungry workers, dressed much like Oakley, who have come in before their shift. And then one of the men talks about the latest rumor – the Bandaged Man has been called to their town by the King to weed out Weirdbloods. Miss Molly (Oakley’s mom) deflects this, but a look of worry crosses her face. This news makes her more concerned for Wynd.
It’s plain there is a lot of fear and prejudice in town related to people and things which may be magical. As the book progresses, we see that it is right at the middle of many of the conflicts we see among the other characters we meet as well.
On his morning break, Wynd climbs up buildings, tanks, and pipes to where he gets a good view of the town below. He has his eye out for Thorn, the muscular son of the castle groundskeeper. As he imagines himself talking to Thorn, he sees someone step out of the shadows to talk to the young fellow – the Bandaged Man. This encounter shakes Thorn up, as we see when we zoom in to meet him. Thorn’s father fills us in with more about magic. Among his plants, he has one that has been growing wild, and it now has a baby magical creature living in it. It is utterly adorable, a lot like a little Pokemon, and we can tell that Thorn thinks it’s cute. But his father explains that they can kill people, and he kills the little creature.
A man from the castle arrives with a message that Prince Yorick, wants to see Thorn and we transition yet again, after Thorn’s father gives him the lecture about how Yorick may be King someday, but Thorn will always just be a groundskeeper. The King is ill; the court is quiet; and Thorn is brought to the Prince who is young and looks miserable. He’s not interested in politics, and he’s in conflict with his father for not wanting to burn down the Faeriewoods.
Right from the open, the art in Wynd #1 is dramatic and engaging. We don’t know the dream is a dream until it ends, so what we see is the sheer terror of a young boy turning into what looks like a monster, and then not being recognized by his friend. The lettering here is terrific – Wynd starts out speaking a few words we recognize, but as he transforms, so do his utterances. When he tries to talk to Oakley, he’s speaking an unintelligible language. Only because we’ve experienced the whole thing can we see his desperation, which Oakley does not recognize. It’s a dark opening.
So when we get to the story proper, the contrast is stark. This is a bright and busy fantasy world with some industrial style touches. Pipetown is Pipetown because there are water pipes running everywhere. Water power makes restaurant orders pop up so Wynd can serve them. Canals run through the town, large enough for serious boats. I like the way this sets the world apart.
BOTTOM LINE: CAN YOUNG PEOPLE CHANGE THEIR WORLD?
Wynd #1 is setting up to be not just a coming of age story, but a story where there are problems in the world, and young people have a new attitude about then that isn’t shared by their elders. How wonderfully timely this is, and I am looking forward to their adventures. This book costs a little more, but it is a solid forty-six pages that introduce us smoothly to the world and the characters.
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