“Wynd” Issue 1 Review: An Impressive Beginning to a Queer-Led Fantasy Series
Wynd Issue 1 offered a very exciting start to a new fantasy series from writer James Tynion IV, artist Michael Dialynas, and letterer Aditya Bidikar. Published by BOOM! Studios, I hope this queer-led story finds a supportive audience.
Recently, in May of this year, I talked about Wynd and what it will offer. Since then I have been eagerly looking forward to getting a copy as soon as the debut issue became available. After reading the 40-something-pages-long first issue, I’m glad to share I wasn’t disappointed. I need the rest of the story ASAP!
Wynd takes place in Pipetown. As the name states, it’s a town made up of a lot of pipes. Apparently, it’s one of the few (if not the only) places where normal humans live. That’s why there’s a lot of pride in being pure of blood. Turns out, in this fantasy world, magic has a way of tainting humans. People who have magic in them are called Weirdbloods. The magical infection makes them grow thorns, flowers, etc. all over their bodies.
Wynd Issue 1 opened with our titular young hero experiencing a nightmare. I loved how the panels immediately let the readers know that something is up with Wynd. He doesn’t fit in Pipetown and fears being consumed by the magic inside of him. Luckily for Wynd, he’s got his friends (adoptive family?) looking out for him. But he still has to be careful and hide his pointy ears with his unruly hair.
The first few panels offered information about the world Wynd and the rest of the characters are living in. I liked how the information was provided through conversations that felt natural. During a conversation we got to know that the King has brought in the Bandaged Man to help weed out Weirdbloods. So, Wynd has to be extra careful.
But, young Wynd’s (understandably) worried about other things. As a kid, he’s trying to figure out his place in the world while experiencing feelings for a certain someone. The panels showing him waiting to catch a glimpse of his crush were very cute. However, the cuteness quickly turned into horror when Wynd noticed the Bandaged Man.
Being the introductory issue, after sending a bit of time with Wynd, the narrative shifted to his crush (named Thorn Cherrywood). He’s the son of the Palace’s Gardener and as far as I can tell, he’s a very kind young man. The scene where his father killed a Sprytle was, in my opinion, the most impactful in the entire issue. The humans aren’t joking about not wanting any kind of magic inside Pipetown. Kudos to Dialynas for creating such a moment with his artwork.
Through Thorn, we got to learn about some of the political matters in the Kingdom. The King isn’t feeling well and his son (Prince Yorie) is next in line to the throne. However, there’s an Uncle (living in a distant land) who seems to have something sinister planned in order to lay claim to the throne. And yes, Thorn has a one-sided romantic crush on Yorie even though Thorn’s father has warned him about dreaming too high. Yori’s the next King while Thorn will remain a gardener.
Wynd Issue 1 made it clear that there’s a lot the creative team wants to explore with the fictional fantasy world they have created. There’s hatred between magic and non-magical folk, themes about morality, political tension, and budding queer love. While the issue ended on a weak cliffhanger, in my opinion, I’m still looking forward to reading what will happen next. I can’t wait for Wynd and Thorn to properly meet each other!
Have you read Wynd Issue 1?
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Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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