By the beginning of The Woods Vol. 3, the students from Bay Point have finished their first year on their new world. The school itself has become a viable colony, and several students live there, though some have moved to the city. Life almost seems normal—almost. This makes The Woods #14 mix of private soap operas, teenage drama and darker mystery.
James Tynion IV mixes his plots, shifting from point to point and register to register. At the school, Casey is using his manipulative abilities and ruthlessness to try to gain control of the student population. Maria is trying to keep things running on an even keel and to create, by sheer force of will, a civilization. The people of New London are clearly keeping some sort of secret, and Karen is about to find out why it is better not to go into the woods alone. All of these plots lead, as is Tynion’s wont, to yet more questions: Is the mystery Karen stumbles onto connected to that of whoever brought everyone to the woods in the first place? Why were they brought to the woods? What is Calder doing? Will Isaac ever really find happiness? All mysteries and questions, big and small mixed together, because of course we don’t leave the small, personal things behind when bigger troubles come, and Tynion knows this.
Dialynas and Gonzalez continue to create the bizarre near-nightmare world. They do get a stretch this time, adding a drug-induced view to an already strange world. The woods themselves appear to have two aspects: Dark and darker. Only the school has a smidge of normality, and the sight of students washing their clothes in the stream only highlights the strangeness of everything else.
The Woods #14 is out today from Image Comics.
Created and Written by: James Tynion IV
Artist: Michael Dialynas
Colors: Josan Gonzalez
Letters: Ed Dukeshire
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