REVIEW: ‘Wynd,’ Volume 1

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Wynd Volume 1 - But Why Tho?

Wynd Volume 1 is a collection of issues 1-6 of BOOM! Box’s eponymous series written by James Tynion IV, illustrated by Micahel Dialynas, and lettered by Aditya Bidikar. Wynd is a high-fantasy series about a boy with magic blood, a prince who would usurp his kingdom to protect magic-blooded folks, and a world that has shunned and killed all things magic for generations.

I loved this book. Full stop. It’s a beautiful story so far and I’m terribly excited for its next volume to begin in May. Tynion and Dialynas, through their script and illustrations, have created characters totally endearing and a world absolutely intriguing. Wynd has had to hide who he was his whole life. His adoptive mother Molly and sister Oakley have only ever wanted to keep him safe, but it’s meant an isolated life. Prince Yurik can relate. He’s been living under his father’s thumb but his only friend, Thorn the Gardener’s son, loves him unconditionally. When The Bandaged Man comes to Pipetown to kill any weirdbloods in hiding, they all must escape to the north where the prince’s exiled uncle waits to take the throne and end the evil Blood Laws.

The epic world Wynd Volume 1 builds feels well-developed as the story gives pieces of its history, magic, and laws over its six issues. There are a lot of familiar elements, fairies, and magical forest spirits, but a lot that feels unique too. Particularly, there is the world’s forgotten wind gods and the mystery behind the world’s magical creatures.

I also absolutely love Wynd and Yurie. They’re both really similar in their view of right and wrong while impossibly different in their personalities. Wynd is lighthearted and bubbly unless he’s angry in which case he can be fierce, while Yurie is moody, brooding, and deeply loyal under his veil. I would love to know Oakley and Thorn better in the next chapter, but in the meantime, I hope Wynd and Yurik get to become close, and without having to endure a frustrating love triangle between them and Thorn. It’s clear Thorn is pining over the prince and that Wynd is pining over Thorn, but it’s not entirely clear whether Yurik is queer too and how he sees his relationship with Thorn. Regardless, I’m here for the romantic entanglements, but I would very much be uncomfortable if Wynd doesn’t quickly find somebody his own age to love.

Regardless, I absolutely appreciate that there are multiple queer characters because it helps make clear that magic blood is not a heuristic for queerness in any way. It’s just also great that they’re all heroes and I get the sense that these characters are going to get to have all the love they deserve without enduring any of the classic pain queer characters so often have to go to before they get to enjoy that.

The art is beautiful in Wynd Volume 1. It is filled with gorgeous vistas and a very fully realized city. The character designs are all great, save for perhaps Thorn’s very generic buff build. I especially love the magical creatures and their colors, as well as Yurie’s getup and vibe in general. The royal family has this cool, blue facial makeup or tattoos that really compliments his broodiness. Additionally, the numerous flashback scenes in the book are drawn in completely different styles from the main story, impressively helping ensure they are distinct from the ongoing tale.

The lettering is a very standard fair that only occasionally feels like it’s taking up too much space, but that is balanced by a great number of panels or full-page spreads with no words at all. The way that different characters have different shaped or colored speech bubbles help to give distinct voice or timbre to certain characters.

Wynd Volume 1 is an excellent volume in a captivating new story. Its characters, setting, and art are all thrilling and I am absolutely looking forward to where this story goes next. It ends on a great cliffhanger that promises to bring an entirely new direction to the next volume while expanding on the world we’ve already been engrossed in.

A hardcover, limited edition of Wynd Volume 1 is available now at physical booksellers. It will be available digitally May 11th.

Wynd Volume 1
5

TL;DR

Wynd Volume 1 is an excellent volume in a captivating new story. Its characters, setting, and art are all thrilling and I am absolutely looking forward to where this story goes next. It ends on a great cliffhanger that promises to bring an entirely new direction to the next volume while expanding on the world we’ve already been engrossed in.