The highly anticipated Wynd #1 is here. Originally the series was announced as a graphic novel but in an interesting pivot, it’s now being released as oversized single issues before being collected. The story takes us to a fantasy world and a city that’s the last bastion of humanity. Humanity is defined as people not touched by magic. The debut is a fantastic start delivering some subtle and not so subtle LGBT themes.
Written by James Tynion IV, it’s hard to not immediately think about how those who are touched by magic must remain hidden. It’s a clear allegory of those who aren’t able to live freely as themselves and seen as abominations by conservatives. While it’s easy to see the story as LGB, the fact that these magical beings transform into something else makes it hard to read this and not think of it as a trans narrative. But even if you don’t want to accept that allegory, Wynd is a gay lead. He’s in love with the son of the royal gardner Thorn, who might be gay himself. While Wynd’s interest is clear, Thorn is hinted at.
Beyond all of that, what’s set up in the first issue is really enjoyable. The plot is full of royal conspiracies and fear of an invading force and a Prince who rejects the fear mongering of their father. It can be enjoyed just on that level as well but it’s clear Tynion is going for more than that.
Along with artist Michael Dialynas and letterer Aditya Bidikar, Wynd #1 delivers a world full of detail. Not quite “steampunk,” there’s an interesting mix of fantasy and technology that at times is very creative and original. A scene in a bar is something that feels fresh and new as meals are lifted up to the table to those who ordered through a lift system. It’s a small detail but it establishes a lot as to what this world is like technology wise. It also makes the series not quite just fantasy but infused with something more. Like the mysterious “threat and enemy,” the world is so much more than simple swords and armor. The designs are all fantastic giving the series a youthful exciting feel about it all. I want to explore the world and see more of it and in that way the comic is a bit frustrating too.
Wynd #1 is fantastic. I wanted more of it and can’t help but think how much better it might be to be able to read it in one go. The end of the first issue feels a little anticlimactic. There’s such a build to the mystery it leaves you with the reveal as opposed to a bombshell for you to be excited about learning more in the next issue. Again, it’s not bad but misses an opportunity. The series though is a great start of what feels like the next great young adult fantasy series. It’s one to get excited about and a journey to see where it all goes.
Story: James Tynion IV Art: Michael Dialynas Letterer: Aditya Bidikar
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.65 Overall: 8.15 Recommendation: Buy
BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review