Reviewing The Woods #5

GameStop, Inc.

Woods_005_coverThe Woods #5 splits the timeline showing some of the relationships between students before whatever-it-was took the school to an alien world. It also advances the plot on the world as the students captured in the last issue try to communicate with their captors and Karen, Adrian, and Calder try to keep up and to figure out how to rescue their friends. In the meantime, Adrian is still obsessing with the strange pyramid, suggesting that they go back to it rather than continuing to follow their friends.

After starting off with the action, Tynion is now going back to fill in the blanks on who these people were before they were kidnapped (schoolnapped?). This fills in some of the character blanks that have been present since the comic started: The mystery has been and remains intriguing, but it has been hard to consistently keep track of who these people are. With some background information, it will be easier to care about the individuals as well as the group. Karen, Sanami, and Maria are the focus here, highlighting their earlier friendship and rivalry. Presumably, other characters will get similar attention later on. Adding another group of humans to the mix is also helpful. There are now more people for the students to interact with and more possibilities of learning where they are and how they got there and it indicates that the school’s inhabitants have a chance of surviving on this planet; there must be something edible and drinkable out in the woods.

Dialynas continues to vary people’s heights, body types and mannerisms as he crafts the new group of people. The woods remain a dark, tangled place. He also creates a good contrast between the earthly woods Karen and Sanami used to visit and these alien woods: There may be twisted trunks in both, but the earthly woods have a visible crown and lack the strange undergrowth of the new woods. Gonzalez’ coloring helps here too, contrasting the different after-darks. One is a grey-blue; the other is brighter blue with purple and other, unearthly undertones.

The reintroduction of several characters makes this a good stepping on point. The basic premise: That an entire school has been transported to an alien planet with no explanation is simple enough, and the unfolding difficulties are something readers should be able to catch onto.

The Woods #5 is available from BOOM! Studios as of September 3, 2014.

Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Michael Dialynas
Colors: Josan Gonzalez
Letters: Ed Dukeshire
Cover: Michael Dialynas

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