Wynd continues to be a delightful fantasy story with a symbolic angle on coming out and growing up in a world that seems to hate you. The series has done well to draw out its story, unfolding on its terms with more pages per issue. In the fourth issue (read my review of issue #3), the characters are rushing to escape Pipetown, the Bandaged Man is likely on their tail, and finding a new life is all that these characters may have left. Things, as they say, come to a head this week.
I continue to marvel at the maturity of the story here by James Tynion IV and Michael Dialynas, especially in the subtle nature of how the story is told and how characters feel things and speak clearly. When a character feels shame for putting their friend in a position, they speak their mind, explaining they don’t blame them and can’t help them as they are dealing with their worry and stress. Elements like this will help younger readers understand how they might act if in a similar situation. At other times, when Wynd is attempting to connect with a boy he has a crush on, their conversation is incredibly real and understandable. It’s not over-the-top, or rushing to get to a destination, but natural and believable.
This issue delivers on plot progression and action, too. There is a boat chase sequence, exciting interactions with some fantastical creatures, and a smart setup for an escape that may go sour. Again, the book feels mature in its approach when the characters realize bad guys are present, such as in a double-page splash where they aren’t drawn obviously or with big circles around them, as we might see in past books. Instead, we must get up close to the book and look around. If you’re familiar with fantasy novels and stories, maps are a big part of the experience, and the same effect is done here. You will wander over this little harbor town, allowing you to soak in Dialynas’s details.
There is incredible character work here present in the art and dialogue. The characters are actively doing things, and in these acts, they speak to one another in opportune ways to reveal themselves. By the end of the issue, you’ll feel like you know them all much better, which brings you into their journey in a real way. That also includes new characters. Ultimately, this book is excellent at capturing the heart and faults of the characters. More importantly, everyone seems to listen to one another, and there’s a good sense of respect in ways you don’t see in every story.
Wynd #4 continues to be a delight to read. Its characters are wholesome and real, and the approach is mature in more ways than one. Wynd is filled with adventure, light romance, and the kind of mature suspense that tells a story on multiple levels.