Wynd is a delightful new fantasy series from James Tynion IV and Michael Dialynas that has an important message about those subjugated in the world today. Even though the series’ villain, the Bandaged Man, looms, there is still a sense of positivity and life in the fantasy elements in the series. That largely goes to Dialynas who draws a great book (read the preview here) and told me on the AIPT Comics podcast what went into creature design. In the second issue, out this week, Wynd and the prince must make a difficult decision.
This is a classic example of a plan coming together nicely. This issue pumps the gas a bit on Wynd’s predicament with the Bandaged Man looking for any excuse to kill a magical creature like Wynd. Further, it begins to show us who the Bandaged Man is and his past. Ultimately it’s not really about why the Bandaged Man hates fantasy creatures, but rather it’s about Wynd being different and being unable to live a normal life in the town he grew up in.
I suspect many kids and young adults will relate to Wynd’s situation. So often in life, we feel like our only option is to escape, and Tynion crafts an interesting situation for the character who has few options but has a strong friend in Oakley. The call to action is swift and like much other great fantasy series, they must escape in the night.
I continue to think BOOM! Studios made the right call to switch this from an OGN to single issues. Each issue is extra-long and it lets the story breathe a bit more than the typical single issue. The pace is a big part, as well as Dialynas’ art that renders rooms wide open and free. The book isn’t stuffing a lot of panels on the page, but taking its time. Still, though, the pressure is on for the characters to flee and you gather that from the fear, anger, and frustration on their faces.
You see that in many scenes, some more obvious than others. In one, a character was just beaten and interrogated, the bad men leave and he’s speaking to his son about what happened. In a well-placed panel, he says to his son he’s been loyal his whole life, but in a moment of doubt says, “He…he must know that.” You feel for this character as you can see behind his eyes the order in the world isn’t what he thought and he’s now in danger even though he always served loyally. It’s in little moments like this that the book truly shines.
The larger story seems to be about adults and parental figures thinking they know best for their kids and pushing them away, only for the kids to react as individuals and do what is right for them. Through that, I think many will feel inspired to do the same in their own lives when they relate to Wynd’s situation. Don’t pass on Wynd — it’s a breath of fantasy fresh air.