Wynd and Oakley have discovered a secret magical society, hidden deep in the tunnels under Pipetown, that may hold the answers they seek. But if the Bandaged Man and his army have their way, no one – not even Wynd – will survive…
Wynd #3 opens up the story’s world and mythology by explaining the origins of how the magic-based “weirdbloods” were created. It also starts the titular character on his journey as he comes to terms with the seriousness of the threats closing in — both in Pipetown and abroad.
Characters sacrifice themselves in noble ways and one character’s apparent death left me breathless in anger and shock. When I reviewed Wynd #1, I mentioned the story’s potential for social commentary, but I had no idea how much recent events would resonate with Wynd #3’s themes of persecution — through the oppressive blood laws of the land — death and divisiveness. It seems like the timing of Wynd’s release couldn’t have been more prescient — or heartbreaking.
This issue really revolves more around Oakley, the daughter of Wynd’s guardian Miss Molly, than Wynd himself. Oakley is the Samwise Gamgee to Wynd’s Frodo Baggins. She helps him with his wish to be “normal” and protects him when that wish leads them right into the path of the Bandaged Man, a hunter who works for the king and who can find magical creatures by smell. With this issue, he’s caught Wynd’s unique scent.
It’s implied that the lethal and imposing Bandaged Man, with his face and arms covered in swaths of bandages, is a magical creature himself. His meeting with Miss Molly rivals the Christopher Walken / Dennis Hopper interrogation scene in the film True Romance for intensity. Writer James Tynion IV’s timing during this sequence is taut and not a word is wasted. Michael Dialynas’s fantastic art — especially his gift with expressions — expertly conveys the truly insidious nature of the horrors that are at play here and the resilience that comes with the awareness that the only way out is forward.
The most impactful — and absolutely frustrating — scenes in an issue full of them is Wynd coming to terms that there isn’t a way out of him being him. That what he thinks and what actually exists are incompatible.
We, the readers, know that this is impossible for him. We know that he can only be who he is and can easily feel angry at him for his naivete but also angry at the story for proving us right. Seeing these characters understand the high stakes and the true weight of what was waiting for them — while some remain oblivious — is overwhelming.
When Wynd realizes that the world he knew is gone and Oakley realizes the costs that were paid, both weep at different times.
That loss of innocence is powerful, as is the realization that even in the pages of a story as fantastic and as wonderful as this, the heartbreak at the cruel hands of power and fear — the kind that mocks hope and relishes in squashing it — is all too real. For better or for worse, we are on that journey with them.
Wynd #3 released Aug. 26 by BOOM! Studios, written by James Tynion IV, illustrated by Michael Dialynas, lettering by Aditya Bidikar, cover by Michael Dialynas and variant cover by Peach Momoko, designed by Scott Newman, assistant editor: Gwen Waller.