[Review] The Woods (Series)

I came across the comic series The Woods via my Hoopla library app while browsing their excellent selection of comics for something new to read. The cover to Volume 1 (a crop of the picture above) called my attention enough to click on it and read the blurb:

On October 16, 2013, 437 students, 52 teachers, and 24 additional staff from Bay Point Preparatory High School in suburban Milwaukee, WI vanished without a trace. Countless light years away, far outside the bounds of the charted universe, 513 people find themselves in the middle of an ancient, primordial wilderness. Where are they? Why are they there? The answers will prove stranger than anyone could possibly imagine.

The premise sounded solid, so I downloaded it, and started reading that same night. I. Was. Hooked! The fact that the story starts in Milwaukee, where I lived for over a year, made me connect with it immediately, while the sci-fi/survival thriller/high school drama combination made me like the series from issue one.

The Woods, created by writer James Tynion IV and artist Michael Dyalinas, and published by Boom Studios, ran from 2014 to 2017 for thirty-six issues, now collected into nine volumes of four issues each. Unlike most comic titles which are ongoing and move in and out of storylines, The Woods is one story told from beginning to end, which makes it a satisfying read when you’re done. Yes, you’d like to know what happens before and after, but that’s just cause the story is so good that you want more.

I’m not sure how to talk about the story of The Woods without ruining it for those who haven’t read it. If you were to read the blurbs of all nine volumes you’d get an idea of what happens, but it’s in the details that The Woods shine, in the quiet moments between characters when they open up to each about the day-to-day crap teenagers everywhere face, even if they’re on a planet light-years away from Earth. The Woods is funny, tender, smart, exciting, intriguing, and unflinching from start to finish, and despite the tragedies that occur along the way, an uplifting and positive series when all is said and done.

Aside from the DC titles, most of Hoopla’s catalog is composed of smaller comic studios, which is great because they feature titles that I normally would never have heard about having been out of comics collecting for so long. The Woods is definitely one of those titles I would’ve otherwise missed, and that would’ve been a shame because I very much enjoyed the whole run. If you can track it down via your library, or just plunk down the cash for the nine volumes, I hearitly recommend it.