WYND #2, available now from BOOM! Studios, follows Wynd and his friends as they plan their escape before the King’s life ends and the Wildblood purge begins. James Tynion IV’s writing is brimming with deep, emotional character moments, and Michael Dialynas’ art style personifies characters that look the part.
Tynion’s IV’s tale of Wynd, and his need for acceptance on multiple levels, spends a great deal of time with character development in this issue. There’s not a lot of action but a huge amount of setup for the adventure to come (whatever that may be).
The King is sick, and it’s assumed among all the characters that his dying wish will be to uphold Pipetown’s safety against any Wildblood presence. Wynd is forced to make plans for escape before the King’s wish is made and he gets caught up in a ruthless purge.
The strongest elements of Tynion’s story are the flashbacks to the Bandaged Man’s and Molly’s past that bring the reader up to speed, including how Molly came to “adopt” Wynd in the first place. What’s not clear are the same lingering questions from the first issue (read our review here): Are the Wildblood’s a threat to Pipetown? Are the stories of death and destruction from the last war accurate? And the most obvious of all, why doesn’t anybody notice that Wynd is a Wildblood? He’s blue. Not light-skinned. Not lacking a good tan. He’s blue. That kills the “hiding in plain sight” motif with each issue, and I hope the creative team finds a way to address it.
Dialynas’ art continues to refine and build on this “Pipe punk” world with rich detail. There’s a fairytale quality in Dialynas’ work that meshes beautifully with the grounded aesthetic of pipes and rust.
What stands out most is the character detail, both in anatomy and voice. By voice, I mean that every character looks like the person you would imagine by the words they speak and the tone they use. Ash is written as a sort of hunky gentle giant that continually cares for his father, and he looks the part. Wynd is an unsure and confused teenager(?) that hasn’t quite come into maturity, and his reactions to Molly’s command to leave are perfectly reflected in his face, his demeanor and physical presence. Dialynas demonstrates a rock solid ability to create the character design based on the voice.
Dialynas’ coloring evolves from good to great in this issue. The “Pipe Punk” setting lends itself to a mixture of brown hues reminiscent of toil and rust, but Dialynas’ had an opportunity to show off some filtering techniques in flashbacks. The memories are adjusted through a flat filter to give the page a newspaper print quality “feels” old. It works very well to intuitively move the reader through the time jumps.
Aditya Bidikar’s lettering excels in the use of word bubble border variations. Again, this issue is all about the setup for the next issue with character development and emotion. As the reader moves from one scene to the next, Bidikar uses wavy line borders to indicate weakness and sickness in the speaker to rounded corner rectangles for quiet one-word responses. It’s a nice bit of execution to see how the word bubbles border can be varied to express volume and timber in the speakers voice.
WYND #2, available now from BOOM! Studios, is a solid, character-building issue. The art team is firing on all cylinders and Tynion IV’s writing really uses every panel to build depth. If the team can address some of the lingering questions sooner rather than later, this will be a satisfying series.