James Tynion IV keeps the focus on the group traveling through the woods in The Woods #7. They and their captors are facing the swarm, a voracious group of bat/bug monsters eager to eat whatever they come across. Adrian starts showing his connection to whatever alien artifact is on the planet, and Ben works to keep Isaac alive. The flashback this time focuses on Ben as he remembers a difficult night—the night of the play—in his past on Earth.
Tynion continues to deepen the mystery of the planet as he develops the horror elements of his tale. The place has already revealed some truly vicious wildlife, and this issue reveals more about the artificial elements of the landscape. This in turn leads to further questions about the “natural” life there: Is the wildlife the group has encountered so far truly native to the planet? Or has it, like the students, been brought there? And why? How many other groups are there? Tynion also continues to tease with references to The Midsummer Night’s Dream, another (less bloody), tale of transformation and strange encounters in the woods. I do hope that the mismatched group that captured the students will have the chance to have an actual conversation with the kids or each other; ominous hints and mutterings increase the suspense for a time, but after that, one wants some explanations.
Michael Dialynas continues to portray a diverse group of individuals and to have far too much fun drawing wicked, toothed beasts. Panel shape and placement helps tell the story as overlapping events, or events that happen too quickly to process are conveyed. Josan Gonzalez uses color to help differentiate between the time periods and places, between the mundane life of the school and the super-saturated, evening world of the woods.
BOOM! has committed to a 36 issue run of The Woods, so Tynion has plenty of time to develop all the complexities of place and people (there are over 500 from the school, plus at least one group of earlier arrivals) that he wants. Settle in to enjoy this complex, curious tale of getting lost in the woods at night.
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Michael Dialynas
Colors: Josan Gonzalez
Letters: Ed Dukshire