I count five factions in the current plot: There is Adrian and his monsters, the city duke and his followers, the students who left the school for the city, the students who stayed at the school, and the city residents who want to help keep the students from being conscripted. The coach and the army he is leading still count as the duke’s followers, but that may not remain true (the coach is not the most stable individual). Each of these factions contains its own mix of unrequited love, thwarted plans for the future, fears, and decisions. Attitudes and beliefs on all sides are influenced by past events—some two centuries past, some less than a month ago when the school was on Earth. It’s going to take a chart to keep track of all of the alliances, plans, and plots. Not that I am complaining: Tynion can add all the twists he wants so long as he keeps the story interesting—and he has. The central mystery, “Who brought everyone here and why?” remains tantalizing and the unfolding interpersonal crises are addictive. Also, I really want to know what has been happening at the school while everyone else has been traipsing through the woods and learning about New London.
Dialynas and Gonzalez keep this world alien and off-putting. Even the friendly, domestic animals are a shade too bright and rather too spiky looking to feel truly domesticated. The contrasting coloration between the inside and the outside makes it clear why people stay in the warm, safe, and almost Earthlike New London rather than venturing out into the woods and starting their own colonies.
The Woods #11 is a compelling addition to Tynion’s ongoing, creepy saga. It is out Wednesday, March 4.
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Michael Dialynas
Colors: Josan Gonzalez
Letters: Ed Dukeshire