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Review: The Woods #2

“The Woods,” a high concept fantasy/science fiction comic, makes a fair improvement in #2 from the first issue, leaving me far more satisfying in the end. This comic made a few crucial mistakes in the first issue, coming in a little too hot and a little too quick. But in issue two, this “LOST” in the woods concept evens the pacing for a much more realistic and relatable read.

3867019-02WRITTEN BY: James Tynion IV
ART BY: Michael Dialynas
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: June 4, 2013

REVIEW BY: Bree Odgen

Although the concept of this comic has remained outstanding all across the board, the first issue of “The Woods” didn’t quite succeed in execution. It seemed everyone was more concerned with interpersonal relationships than the fact that they had suddenly and inexplicably been transported to a different planet, possibly in an unknown solar system. And those who weren’t concerned with themselves were unrealistically aware of their new dire situation, adopting Rambo-like personalities. No matter how fantastical a setting or storyline may be, the characters and their motives must stay planted in reality or the reader will have a hard time relating to the story.

And that’s exactly how I felt last month. So issue #2 was a pleasant surprise as it slowed down and tempered the characters. This issue focused on the realistic human emotions and reactions to tragedy. While Adrian and crew tough it out in the woods on his hastily-planned idiot mission, Maria and her student council fight back against the apathetic teachers who feel more inclined to sit around talking about their situation rather than work out any immediate problems (rationing food, for example).

This book is fairly heavy on stereotypes. The teachers are all evil and punish the students for actively trying to solve problems, the “theatre nerds” immediately dress themselves in tribal gear or wear Star Wars t-shirts (one of the most obnoxious stereotypes), and the student body president is a raging bitch while the kid who applied to MIT somehow understands an ancient alien rock. Like I said, heavy on stereotypes. I’m truly hoping that those are softened as the comic continues and a deeper exploration of the characters is implemented.

Overall, this is not a bad comic. It’s a fun science fiction read with some great action/adventure themes. It’s also very appropriate for a general audience of younger teens, which is a difficult thing to find in the majority of creator-owned comics right now. With each issue it seems to work out the kinks from before, so I definitely look forward to seeing where this comic is headed.




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