Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Woods Volume 2: The Swarm (James Tynion IV)

The Woods Volume 2: The Swarm
(The Woods series, Issues 5 - 8)
James Tynion IV, illustrations by Michael Dialynas
BOOM! Studios
Fiction, Graphic Novel/Horror/Sci-Fi

**** (Good)

DESCRIPTION: Deep in the deadly alien woods, six students from the displaced Wisconsin high school have encountered wonders and terrors, weighted toward the latter. Computer geek Adrian continues following the alien call from the arrow-stone, regardless of the cost to his companions Karen and Calder, while Sanami, Isaac, and big Ben Stone find themselves captured by strange humans. Just where have they come, and why have they been brought here - and will any of them survive, or is Adrian right that the only way to succeed is to stop thinking of others altogether?

REVIEW: Intercut with flashbacks to a school play one year ago, this issue creates more character depth even as it raises the overall stakes. The school itself is largely left behind, save for the flashbacks, as the wayward teens become the driving stars - or possibly villains, in the case of Adrian, who has all the amoral earmarks of a sociopath. More strange sights and dangers await the explorers, with odd touches of humor even as the violence continues to escalate; the series earned an M rating. So far, it remains interesting and intense enough to keep me reading. (Plus, at least the next volume is available via Hoopla - free's usually a good price.)

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