In a world where magical heritage is punishable by death, a young boy named Wynd must keep his true identity – and pointy ears – a secret from everyone in Pipetown, even if it means he’ll never have the normal life he wants. But when his secret is threatened, Wynd is forced to leave his home behind to embark on a dangerous quest that will put him at the heart of a royal conspiracy beyond his imagination.
Wynd #2 finds our titular character at a crossroads. It appears that oppressive anti-magic forces are closing in on him and other magical beings in Pipetown. The dying king orders his son to continue enforcing the oppressive “Blood Laws” that target and destroy all magical creatures. The head enforcer, known only as The Bandaged Man because of his appearance, can identify magical creatures by smell and is on the hunt.
The prince, however, has other ideas and is hurriedly conducting plans of his own with the Royal Gardener’s son in tow as protection. The very same Royal Gardener’s son that Wynd has been romantically admiring from afar.
Wynd’s guardian and mother-figure Miss Molly has intuitively — and rightly — deduced the oncoming storm and has secretly made plans to smuggle Wynd to the safer shores of Northport.
What happens next is pretty surprising but not unexpected and what I believe makes the case that BOOM! Studios made the right call in making this a monthly.
In a graphic novel, these few pages would have melted into the rest of the narrative; just another complication in Wynd’s inevitable journey. But having it in a single issue where moves are made, characters fleshed out and very little else, it has a sense of sincere emotional gravity.
Scenes stand out where their subtlety would be in danger of getting overlooked in a rush to the finish (or the action) of the graphic novel. What Wynd — the series and the character — is grappling with is not just a plot point, it’s an earned grievance.
The adolescent Wynd is looking down a particularly familiar barrel: the one aimed directly at the beginning of adulthood. Wynd is overwhelmed with a charged awareness of his burgeoning sexuality, a rise in deeper, complex, emotions mixed with exhilaration, confusion and fear.
That line that Joker says to Two-Face in The Dark Knight? “I’m like a dog chasing cars. I wouldn’t know what to do with it if I caught it!” That’s puberty.
There’s a reason why Wynd #1 started with Wynd having a dream (nightmare?) of turning into a ferocious creature: this isn’t just a hero’s journey, it’s a coming-of-age story as well.
One of Wynd’s greatest conceits is that, since the story has already been written, it can confidently take its time letting the story unfold. Sometimes it’s the spaces between the notes in music that make the most impact, and writer James Tynion IV does an excellent job in understanding that concept. There’s no rush from panel to panel and the monthly format lets each issue sit and endure scrutiny. Yup, this is a title that rewards revisits.
I also can’t stress enough how well the art and colors by Michael Dialynas compliments the story. Dialynas’s sublime palette provides each character with emotional nuance through soft, pastel hues and highly expressive features.
Wynd is turning out to be a title that I’m really looking forward to reading. It’s boldly intimate, yet hinting at bigger worlds to come — and we’re only at only issue number two. Every player in this story is setting themselves in place for all factions to collide, and — in Wynd’s case specifically — evolve.
Wynd #2, BOOM! Studios, released July 22, 2020; Written by James Tynion IV, art by Michael Dialynas, cover by Michael Dialynas, variant cover by Peach Momoko, letters by Aditya Bidikar, edited by Eric Harburn with assistant editor Gwen Waller.