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Comic Book / The Woods

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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 Woods is a comic book series launched by Boom! Studios and written by James Tynion IV and Michael Dialynas. After a high school is suddenly transported to an alien moon, six teenagers try to find a way home while battling various obstacles and creatures living in the woods. The comic focuses on seven main teen characters: Adrian Roth (smart-alec who thinks he's above it all), Karen Jacobs (a girl Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life), Maria Ramirez (a take-charge Go-Getter Girl), Sanami Ota (resourceful Deadpan Snarker girl), Calder McCready (Class Clown always getting into trouble), Issac Andrews (anxiety-prone theater geek) and Benjamin Stone (a Gentle Giant of a teenager nursing a crush).

The comic is also notable for featuring quite a few LGBT characters and themes and won the 2017 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comic.

The series concluded it's run in 2017 with issue #36. Syfy began production of a film adaptation of the comic in 2013, but the project is in Development Hell.

Contains examples of:

  • Aliens in Cardiff: Bay Point High School is in suburban Milwaukee before getting teleported to another planet.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Adrian and Isaac, who die physically but have their minds uploaded in the malevolent AI for eternity.
  • Ambiguous Disorder:
    • Ben and Isaac both show signs of anxiety disorders, and Maria likely has obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.
    • Adrian exhibits signs of borderline personality disorder and/or narcissistic personality disorder. YMMV on how many of these traits are actually him and how many were only brought up because of his corruption by the AI.
  • Adults Are Useless: Maria sure thinks so. For the most part, she isn't wrong. The teenagers are the only ones getting anything done, at least until they meet the older society.
  • Big Bad: While the Final Boss of the comic is a malevolent AI that (Actually isn't a crapshoot), the Big Bad is none other than Taisho.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The kids finally make it back to Earth, but not without suffering tremendous loss: four of the main seven Bay Point characters are dead, Ben was forced to kill Issac, and a lot more of the Bay Point students are dead as well. However Sanami was able to get the word out about the incident to avoid a government cover-up, Issac and Adrian's essences were uploaded into the AI to prevent another Bay Point incident, and Karen and Sander had a Relationship Upgrade to Official Couple.
  • Body Horror: To be expected in a comic about man-eating aliens. Some highlights include a pod of pollen bursting out of Calder's arms and two different people being seemingly torn apart.
  • Big Brother Bully: Calder's older brother Casey who's a complete troublemaker and lets his brother take the fall for his crimes. Calder mainly does this so that Casey would stay away from him.
  • Bury Your Gays: Downplayed, there were a few LGBTQIA+ characters that did die, namely Adrian and Isaac, but the body count is mostly heterosexual.
  • Dysfunction Junction: All of the main characters have tragic backstories, are mentally ill, or both.
  • Cast Full of Gay: Four out of the Bay Point main cast are LGBTQIA+: Ben, Sanami, and Issac are gay and Adrian is asexual. Sander, who joins the cast later, is a transgender boy.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Adrian isn't about to let Isaac get hurt, nor will he hurt Isaac himself.
  • Five-Token Band: Of the main characters; five are guys and three are girls. Maria is Latina, Sanami is Asian, Ben is black, and Sander is mixed raced Indian and white. Also, there are five characters on the LGBTIA spectrum; Issac, Ben and Sanami are gay, Adrian is asexual and Sander is trans. Tropes Are Not Bad, however as the story doesn't feel like a Very Special Episode.
  • Flashback: How most of the cast's backstories are revealed. This can cause things to get confusing due to there being two time skips.
  • Foil: Adrian acts high and mighty while really being less than skilled, whereas Karen is considered the screw-up but is extremely skilled at most things. Yet both of them are the ones who end up saving the world.
  • Freudian Excuse: Adrian outright states that until Isaac, no one has ever cared about him. His mother encourages him to manipulate people for his own gain, and she often hits and berates him.
  • Gayngst: Played with; Ben tries to hide his homosexuality from his father, not due to homophobia but because he has a gay older sister and there was pressure on him to be the straight one to get married to a woman and have grandchildren.
  • Granola Girl: Sanami tries desperately to keep people from believing she's this because of her family.
  • Hereditary Homosexuality: Ben was reluctant to come out to his parents, due to his sister being gay as well and he was looked at as the kid who would be straight.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Ben has a big-time crush on Issac but Issac is too hung up over Adrian, despite the Incompatible Orientation.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Issac is completely devoted to Adrian, who is not only asexual but shows absolutely no interest in Issac romantically.
  • Jerk Ass Has A Point:
    • Adrian is borderline abusive to most people, but he was actively trying to get everyone home safe, and he justifies many of his more questionable disorders.
    • Much of the faculty, specifically the principal and coach, fall under Jerkass territory, but they aren't wrong in pointing out that Maria is no more skilled to run a society than any other student.
  • Killed Off for Real: Principal Beaumont, Adrian, Maria, Calder, Issac, Casey and countless unnamed characters. Adrian and Issac do however live on as part of the AI's programming.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Adrian's introduction involves him believing himself to be smarter than everyone else. However, he doesn't know quite a few basic facts, and has to be corrected a fair number of times. However, it's stated he has high test scores, so his skills likely lie in math or reading instead of history and science.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Sanami and Calder both vie for Karen's attention, but she's on and off with Sander.
  • Love Martyr: Adrian treats Issac pretty awful at times, but Issac can't help but stay in love with him.
  • Manly Tears: Most of the male characters cry at some point.
  • Mood Whiplash: The panel can go from hilarious to nightmare fuel pretty quick.