Wynd #4 continues the title’s strength: expanding each of the characters without sacrificing momentum while creating a tonally and visually unique fantasy world and mythos.
Wynd, Oakley, Thorn, and Prince Yorik think they’ve found safety from their enemies in the magical lands outside Pipetown. But the Bandaged Man has found them…
Wynd #4 starts right where the last issue left off: with the pointy-eared titular hero and his companions on the run. Their escape from Pipetown has come at a great cost.
Before they’ve even had the time to really process their losses and their situation, they find themselves pursued by the relentless and menacing magic-hunter known as The Bandaged Man. What happens next is refreshing. Choices are made intelligently, thoughtfully, and logically and the story never second-guesses the readers’ intelligence and problem-solving abilities.
Later, a new character is introduced that puts another characters’ journey into perspective in a very lovely way. It’s been hinted that The Bandaged Man is a magical creature himself. Based on an observation by that newcomer, Wynd’s lineage might be more royal than he knows.
I’ve got to hand it to Wynd‘s creators, writer James Tynion IV (who is on fire at the moment, momentum-wise, with his work at DC) and artist Michael Dialynas. They have created a mythology that is visually and tonally exceptional. One where Vampyres and Faeries are at war and humans make laws to destroy them on sight. It’s a story that has real-life resonance and equal parts substance, power and style.
Dialynas’s art and colors are softer and muted, almost like pastel chalk art, but with remarkable detail, shading and clarity. It’s almost like watching 4K underwater footage.
The art, as well as the real-world limitations of the characters (hey, a faerie flying one human at a time for a significant distance is probably going to take an hour) really does feel like we’re inhabiting a unique but grounded fantasy world that didn’t just generically step off of a Magic: The Gathering card. A lot of series rely on bombast and action to generate excitement. Nothing wrong with that. Even Wynd has its own bursts of explosive action at times.
But Wynd doesn’t depend on combat to showcase their characters’ bravery — well, mostly. The story, like the art, is softer but no less sharp. It’s the quieter moments here that pack the most punch: small displays of sacrifice, courage, and nobility. Of the willingness of some of these characters to put themselves in danger — even death — to help someone else live. Sometimes, bravery can be as simple as asking someone out to dinner.
What gives this series its quiet strength is its characters’ honest purity of emotions — even if they are sometimes infuriating. These young characters are yearning and angry and scared and confused and all the while, growing up.
That’s really the most fantastical aspect of this story: that these characters, while racked with very real doubt and pain, still find courage and hope in a landscape where magic exists but kindness and trust seem to be rarer.
Wynd, much like the winter’s rose introduced to him, is blooming in the cold spot of the human heart, as well as his own. He’s more scared of what he could become than the killer on his scent — more terrified of his own pointy ears than The Bandaged Man coming for him.
The last panel of this issue is breathtaking in its exuberance and promise and, again, made possible by a monthly release schedule where the small details don’t fall as easily through the cracks.
Wynd is picking up momentum with each subsequent issue while simultaneously enriching the issues before them. This is a fantastic title that rewards attention.
Wynd #4 released Sept. 23 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, editor: Eric Harburn