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Ben Stone & Isaac Andrews

Ben, or Benjamin, Stone and Isaac Andrews are two characters featured in The Woods, a series written by James Tynion IV and drawn by Michael Dialynas that is equal parts horror and sci fi. They’re ordinary students at Bay Point Preparatory High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Ben strives to maintain his wallflower identity and has turned down requests from the football coach to join the team. Isaac is shy and has ambitions to be cast in a role for any school play and settles for being part of the stage crew. Isaac considers Adrian Roth to be his best friend and truth be told, he’s also got a serious crush on the boy. Adrian is too occupied with brooding to attempt to be a good friend and he’s straight and simply unsympathetic while being very obsessed with fulfilling what he believes is his destiny.

Life for both boys may have been angst ridden but it was more or less normal until one school day when their lives and everyone’s at school is upended when the entire school building is inexplicably transported to an alien world. Ben and Isaac become part of a small group of students who decide it’s better to learn what they can about this new world. As they venture out into the strange woods near the landing site they discover the landscape is full of strange and often hostile animals, unknown elements, strange beings, and soon encounter other groups of people who were brought to this world in times past yet somehow remain unaged. Adrian’s behavior becomes erratic and authoritarian which gradually serves to isolate him further from the other students and Isaac.

A flashback in issue #7 focuses on Ben. Ben and his best friend Kayla have arranged to see the school’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and hope to crash the cast party afterwards where they believe Isaac will be since he’s in the stage crew. Kayla is shocked and upset when Ben introduces her as his date to his chaperoning father. You see, Ben has confided to Kayla he’s fallen for Isaac and she’d been his emotional support while also trying to encourage Ben to come out to his father. As Ben learns, secrets have a way of being found out.

Anxiety and physical stress from the bizarre and frightening circumstances in which the group finds themselves finally gets to Ben. When Isaac’s life is endangered Ben throws all caution to the wind and rescues Isaac and then kisses him. Perhaps for the first time in his life Isaac experiences feeling wanted and ironically finds himself being unable to reciprocate love. Over the next few days Isaac struggles to cope with Ben’s love, vacillating between rejection and acceptance. In Isaac proclaiming “Like, what am I supposed to do? Kiss him? Try to be his boyfriend? I can’t think about stuff like that…” he essentially echos the sentiment Adrian expressed to his mother shortly after Isaac confessed his love: “I don’t know what he expected. I never once encouraged him. I never gave him the slightest indication I was interested! I mean, I don’t like guys!” A short while after his outburst Isaac allows himself to be vulnerable to and open with Ben, enjoying a hug and sharing feelings which is then followed by Isaac willingly leaving with a maniacal Adrian who’s suddenly reappeared to fulfill his quest. Adrian’s literal effort to keep Ben away from Isaac only serves to strengthen his love for and determination to rescue Isaac.

These profiles are based on reading The Woods volumes 1 – 3 and may not reflect current information about the characters. An update is coming and you can also get in touch to share more information. Check your local comic shop for trades or buy them in print or digital from Amazon.

Ben and Isaac first appeared in The Woods #1. Clues to the boy’s sexuality are given here and there throughout the first half dozen issues, notably in a panel focusing on the boys’ hands touching while Ben carries an injured Isaac. Ben’s sexuality is shown in #7 and Isaac’s is arguably confirmed in the same issue though mentions of his confession to Adrian appear in #8.

Created by James Tynion IV and Michael Dialynas. All rights reserved. Used without permission.

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