Well, this is awkward. I'll be the first to admit, I'm not well-versed in the seeming dream team of James Tynion IV and Michael Dialynas. I haven't read The Woods, I'm super behind on Tynion's Batman run, and have only picked up a few of his DC Comics collaborations, mostly with Scott Snyder. And yet even I am very much aware of just how much hype is behind Wynd, Boom's latest record-breaking creator-owned comic and the latest creation of the Tynion/Dialynas dynamic duo.
But after reading through Wynd #1 twice, the best I can say is that it's just okay.
A lot of that comes from the usual struggles of being the first issue of a brand-new series. The fantasy world of Wynd is clearly huge, and Tynion has 46 pages to introduce us to the characters, the town they occupy, discrimination towards anyone with magical abilities, a love triangle, a young man's internal struggle with his identity, and a prince's fractured relationship with his father and magical plant pruning (which, somehow, makes for the most powerful scene of the issue). While it all gets covered, there's not much room for story beyond a few crumbs of feeling.
That's not to say there isn't a lot of promise present here—there's a ton, and Tynion shows it off in outstanding fashion through well-crafted dialogue—but he's definitely not in any hurry to get the ball rolling. You'll literally find yourself ahead the story here just by reading the pre-release synopsis.
As for the story itself, we see the titular teenager Wynd dealing with the fact that he was born with magical heritage in a kingdom where that's punishable by death. Meanwhile, his crush, royal groundskeeper Thorn, is dealing with his own secret relationship with Prince Yorie, who looks like he's about to go on the run due to dangerous power grabs within the royal family.
The art is pretty excellent across the board. Pipetown, a steampunk-ish town where every building is connected through an intricate series of pipes, makes for a awesome setting I want to see more of. I also like the small details Dialynas adds to every character design and background. The scratches, scars and smudges give the fantasy world a "lived in" feeling, and I'm already in love with the design for the mysterious Bandaged Man.
Overall I'd recommend this comic—not so much for what issue #1 brings, but for the promise the rest of the story still has.
Published by Boom! Studios
On June 17, 2020
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Michael Dialynas
Letters by Aditya Bidikar
Cover by Michael Dialynas