“The Woods” #3 fish-out-of-water cosmic horror story continues to chug along at a decent pace this month. All of the conflicts set up in the first two issues are beginning to take shape now. We’ve got two distinct storylines; Maria and her struggle against the oppressive and clueless school faculty juxtaposed against Adrian’s ragtag adventure group exploring “The Woods” in search of answers.
WRITTEN BY: James Tynion IV
ART BY: Michael Dialynas
PUBLISHER: BOOM! Studios
RELEASE: July 2, 2014
Reviewed By: Torbin Chimners
Now incarcerated within her very own school, Marie has her hands full. The principal is just a puppet preaching the gospel of Coach Clay. He’s aiming to rule this school like a totalitarian regime with the jocks as his personal army. His true motivations are still fuzzy at this point; it seems he making this power play now because of a twisted ideal of what’s right or to capture a glory he never could in his past life on Earth. Either way brutality is already creeping its way into the school, which is sure to become a warzone in coming issues.
On the opposite side of the spectrum are the free kids comprising Adrian’s expedition. They’ve got much more immediate, life threatening, concerns. Their story picks up promptly in the middle of the chase that started last issue. The kids are close to being torn limb from limb by the fluorescent green alien bear-dog and if that wasn’t enough Calder’s arm isn’t looking much better.
Both of these groups are heading in such different directions. The school is clearly the stronger plotline right now with Coach Clay in a position to do some real damage. It’s the ultimate high school nightmare of your teacher’s suddenly and forcefully taking real charge of your life. It’s tense and unsettling even more so than the group in the woods. Sure, Adrian’s group in the woods have a fair amount of physical threats but those aren’t as engaging to read about as the sociological and political threats Maria is facing.
The art is at its best with Adrian’s group. Michael Dialynas really gets to let go on this fantastical and florescent other world. The perfect blend of familiar and alien bring the woods to life in a way the school just can’t compare. Not to say the school looks bad, far from it. It’s just by virtue of being a familiar setting that it’s not as spectacular.
The Woods #3 is going through some growing pains but the overall creative concept is still incredibly promising. This is a book that’s either going to blossom or putter out in the next few issues. I’d like to see where it’s going but at this point I’m still not 100% sold.
Torbin Chimners AKA Torin Chambers is a rad dude from the nineties who does film stuff or something. Thomas the Tank Engine is his favorite transformer. Find him on Twitter@Vulgar_Rhombus