BOOM! Studios knows what they’re doing with regards to Wynd’s release schedule. I just reviewed the first collected volume when it came out a few weeks ago, and now the series is back in floppies with issue #6. The series got off to a great start with James Tynion IV and Michael Dialynas showcasing their talent for crafting stories with fun fantasy imagery and likable, troubled gay kids. Does this first issue back keep up the high quality?
The most notable aspect of issue #6 may be how little time it devotes to the core cast. Between extended scenes depicting the current state of the Last Empire’s royal family and a flashback to Wynd’s infancy, it’s not until over halfway through that we actually return to the heroes’ journey that began back in Vol. 1. The flashback doesn’t really add any information we didn’t already know, but background elements do contribute to a lingering mystery regarding black winged beasts that Wynd’s been seeing in visions.
The scenes involving the royal family and specifically the King’s uneasy alliance with the Vampyrium aren’t particularly interesting. The problem (which feels almost like too strong of a word, but nonetheless) is a combination of information, flair, and placement. While we do technically get some nuggets of new information, the details don’t feel important; we knew going in that there would be some antagonistic force chasing after Wynd and his friends, and though we find out who here there’s no real surprise or excitement to the “Why?” The pages look nice visually but again, all of this takes place before we ever return to the protagonists whose adventure Book One endeared us to.
Of course, this isn’t an inherently poor structural decision, but in actual execution there’s so little of note revealed that it might leave one asking “What’s the holdup?” That’s not to say that these scenes are bad; the characters depicted are distinct, their dialogue is well-written, and the plot is technically moving forward. They probably just read a bit more disappointingly in single issue format than they will collected, since in this context they’re the first taste of Wynd we’re getting after the break between arcs.
We do eventually get back to Wynd and his friends, and these short bits are the best parts of the issue. Wynd and Oakley have a very cute dynamic, and the core four are still endearing as a group. Wynd himself is particularly likable; there are a lot of layers to his personality and his circumstances that are all navigated well and make for an enjoyable read any time he’s on panel. Yorie and Thorn still haven’t had much page-time, but the attention they do get makes me intrigued to hopefully see their characters develop further in future issues.
Of course, I can’t wrap up a Wynd review without taking the time to appreciate various specific aspects of Dialynas’s art. The colors are lovely as always, especially the soft blues of the sky and ocean in the latter half of the issue. Character-wise, Wynd has a fantastic amount of variance in his facial expressions, helping to make him all the more endearing. I also love the design choice regarding the placement of his wings. They seem to sprout out from his lower back, rather than his shoulder blades or upper back as is the case with several winged superheroes like Archangel and Hawks. The difference helps distinguish Wynd from such characters, making him more unique among the relatively plentiful ranks of winged protagonists.
Wynd #6 is a decent issue but not a home run. These characters are still lovable and the art impresses, but the plot itself isn’t particularly intriguing. There’s just a lot of page-time devoted to supporting characters and antagonists who don’t have much depth as of yet. With that said, I still look forward to reading more.
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