Sander is one of the characters in the ensemble cast of The Woods comic by James Tynion IV and Michael Dialynis. He comes from the town of New London, which was transported to this mysterious world two centuries ago. He is the son of Cassius, a hunter by profession, and Corinne Kendrick, a member of town’s Parliament.
Sander seems to follow in his father’s footsteps regarding being a hunter. At one point Sander tells of the story of his first hunt at age 7 to several of the teens from Bay Point Prep. He relates his pride in his father for showing compassion to several starving members of an enemy group whose plan to attack the town has been horribly thwarted. The simple act was a courageous one since he could’ve had his license to hunt and to provide for his family stripped from him by the town’s ruler. Sander understood that one should always do the right thing even if doing so may come at great risk to you and your loved ones. Sander also has some medicinal/ healing knowledge taught to him by his mother, as revealed in a scene in which Sander mentions using techniques to ease troubled Bay Point teen Calder’s withdrawal from the “gazer root” drug. While he has admiration for his father, Sander is also unafraid to speak of his disappointment with his father’s decision on a matter that will definitely affect the people at the Bay Point camp.
Visits to the camp are frequent as Sander develops relationships and interacts with the Bay Point teens and he volunteers to help with various projects. In some ways he acts as an unofficial ambassador. He’s also fallen hard for Karen Jacobs, who seems hell bent on ostracizing and punishing herself for her actions to end a crisis that climaxed in issue #12. Her guilt is too great and she rebuffs Sander’s concern and love for her in a way that cuts to his core.
Sanders is transgender. Readers are given clues, notably in issues #14 and 15 (vol 3) before his gender identity takes center stage during a meeting in which some of the Bay Point teens are trying to figure out how to deal with a new harsh situation they find themselves mired in after the older MaCready brother creates an alliance with the militaristic, fascist Horde ruler. Sander’s passionate speech about the fear for his life and the lives of two Bay Point trans teens is as real as the fears transgender people face while navigating their lives in the real world. The reactions of some students in this scene and in issue #14 suggests that Sander’s gender identity was neither a secret or a big deal to these students though many other students were unaware. The existence of other trans or queer people and their terrible fates at the hands of the Horde are also alluded to by Sanders. While Sander’s parents are supportive, it’s easy to imagine him observing how accepted Sanami, Kayla, Ben, and Isaac are by their peers and wanting to experience that for himself since it’s unclear how understanding New Londoners are.
By the end of the horrifying events of volume 5, Sander is firmly committed to fighting with the Bay Point teens. Sander can be considered an activist for this decision to help in general and in particular with the two trans teens.
This profile is based on volumes 3 – 5 of the series and will be updated after reading further volumes. Or feel free to give us relevant info!
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Created by James Tynion IV and Michael Dialynis.
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