Winx Club Forever
Werewolves in Shady Hill is the ninety-first issue of the Winx Club Comic Series.
The Winx and Specialists have decided to travel to Earth to celebrate Halloween by attending and participating in a Halloween Festival at a place called Shady Hill. Just as they are about to enjoy themselves, Flora, Helia and the fairy pets cannot shake off their unease and all of the festival-goers are attacked by a sudden pack of werewolves! To make matters worse, none of the Winx can transform to defend themselves! As the only ones left, Bloom, Flora and Stella search for their friends as they try to figure out a way to set them free. During their search, they run into Feras, a man that can combat the werewolves, but Flora cannot bring herself to trust him. The three fairies are also chosen by Gaia to become her newest defenders as Earth has been thrown out of balance thanks to its restored magic bringing back mythical creatures from the depths of humanity's fears. Flora takes it upon herself to confront the werewolves in order to restore this balance.
The story opens up in the middle of the night, where Flora is wandering through a deep, dark forest, wondering what she should put her powers to the test. Just then, a wolf-like creature charges at Flora but she ends up laughing instead!
As it turns out, the wolf-like creature was Helia dressed as a werewolf. He was trying to scare Flora but she found his costume to be rather silly instead. Soon, Bloom and Stella catch up to Flora and Helia, wondering why he is dressed so silly for a Halloween Festival. Stella offers to help Helia by pulling his hood down and Helia hopes that they do not overdo it. He insists that his costume is fine but, thanks to Stella, he cannot see where he is going and bumps into a nearby tree. Helia wonders why they could not just go on a nice boat trip instead, only to be met by three angry fairy pets glaring him down. Stella embraces Ginger as Flora reminds Helia that he was the one who was insistent on coming with them to Earth. She wonders if the atmosphere is making him nervous and she herself starts to sense a weird feeling. Bloom urges them to hurry so they do not arrive too late but Flora is still wary, believing that nature is trying to warn her of something or someone.
Soon enough, the four of them arrive at a totem pole where many people are dancing and Musa, Tecna, Aisha and their fairy pets are waiting. Musa asks about why they came so late and Stella explains that it took a while for Helia to get into his costume. Aisha tells them that it is almost their part to perform and Bloom asks where the rest of the Specialists are. It turns out that the guys are already around the totem pole on Shady Hill performing. Tecna explains that the boys will be playing the part of the werewolves protecting their sacred sanctuary and the girls will be playing the part of the werewolves' prey. Bloom notices that Sky seems to be taking his role as a werewolf rather seriously and Flora is lost in thought, still worrying about what the trees are trying to warn her about. Suddenly, Riven and Timmy leap from behind the Winx and chase them towards the totem pole. Others look on, impressed by everyone else's costumes.
At the totem, Sky swings an axe into the ground and proclaims that they will perform a ritual that will allow them to communicate with Gaia. Flora recognizes Gaia as the magical spirit of nature and wonders if she is trying to warn her. She notices that Helia and the fairy pets are still nervous and concludes that there must be an incoming threat somewhere.
Suddenly, the group is ambushed by another pack of werewolves, who trap everyone except Bloom, Flora, Stella, Sky, Brandon, Helia and the fairy pets in nets. One of the werewolves, possibly the leader, lands at the top of the totem and accuses them of defiling their sanctuary. Stella believes that they may be special effects until Sky claims that this part of the celebration was never planned. Flora deduces that these are real werewolves and the leader leaps from the top of the totem, tearing up the ground around him once he lands. Helia rushes to their side but is blocked by another one of the werewolves. He binds them down with his glove as Bloom rushes to Stella's aid. Sky tries to make sure that she does not fall down the crevice herself and the werewolf rips off the ropes from Helia's gloves, setting himself free. Bloom urges the girls to transform in order to fight back but, when they try to go into their Believix, nothing happens. One of the werewolves conjures up a sword made of bones and charges at Bloom but, luckily, Sky is able defend her. The werewolf is surprised that anyone would dare to challenge the Black Wolf Pack and Sky says he will once they take off their "ridiculous costumes." Insulted, the werewolf swipes at Sky as he takes Helia hostage. The other werewolves run back into the forest with everyone else held captive. Bloom demands for all of the people to be let go and asks the remaining werewolf why they are doing this. He claims that the ritual calls for everyone at the Halloween Festival but they still do not understand. Bloom then asks Flora why they cannot transform and Flora explains that nature had warned her about this as the werewolves can somehow cancel out their magic. Flora uses a small bit of her magic to bind the werewolf in vines as they cannot attack the werewolves directly. The two of them then go to help Stella out of the crevice and they are successful but do not have enough time to react as the werewolf quickly frees himself.
Before the werewolf can attack the three of them, a mysterious man appears and fights it back, demanding that it stay back. The Winx watch in awe as the man is able to fight the werewolf back with such strength and he pulls out a pendant from his shirt. The pendant shines furiously with the light of the moon, which causes the werewolf to flee. The man also seems to have taken damage as he falls to the ground, losing his grip on the pendant. Bloom rushes to his side, asking him if he is okay and he quickly hops to his feet. He apologizes for looking so unpresentable and introduces himself as Feras. He claims that he could not help himself because he finds Bloom, Flora and Stella to be very beautiful and magical, to which Bloom clarifies that they are fairies known as the Winx Club. Feras claims that he feels like only those protected by Gaia can use their magic within the area and points out that Flora was able to do so. Flora points out that Feras also did not have problems with the werewolf and Feras explains that he is a park guide who recently found out that he can use magic that can counteract the werewolves. Bloom is surprised that the werewolves are real as she thought they only existed in legends but Feras claims that, just like in legends, mankind's fears have become reality with the assistance of magic. Flora wonders if they should feel ashamed or thankful that magic is back on Earth but Bloom insists that they never thought this would happen once they brought Earth's magic back. Stella picks up the pendant and admires its beauty until Feras warns her about how the pendant holds a great magical power against the werewolves. If used in the wrong hands, the pendant could become a danger to anyone around it. The girls realize that they are now safe thanks to the pendant and Feras snatches it away, telling them that it is made out of silver: the only metal that can injure a werewolf. Flora wonders how Feras is so knowledgable about werewolves and Feras claims that he picked up on it as he lived in close harmony with nature. BLoom then asks if Feras would be able to help them find their friends, to which Feras accepts, claiming that he will tell them why their powers are in harmony with the forest and the Earth along the way. Stella asks if he knows where any of the boys, Brandon or their fairy pets may have gone.
Meanwhile, in another part of the forest, the fairy pets are all by themselves. Ginger notices the moon shining brighter than before above them and it begins to envelope them. The moonlight lifts them from the ground and carries them away.
As Flora, Bloom, Stella and Feras wander further into the forest, Feras explains how Gaia is the answer if they wish to defeat the evil that threatens nature. Flora remembers that one of the werewolves called themselves a guardian of Gaia but Feras claims that they cannot possibly be a guardian since Gaia is the one who chooses. Stella falls to the ground and asks if they can take a break because her feet are starting to hurt, but Bloom and Flora insist that they keep going so that they can rescue their friends. Stella claims that her feet are howling with pain and a loud howl can be heard coming from the trees. Flora suspects that the howling is not coming from Stella's feet but incoming wolves and Feras specifies that the howling is coming from werewolves. Just as Feras suspected, the four of them are attacked by werewolves.
Feras urges the girls to use their magical powers in harmony with nature but they still do not know how to do so. Bloom thinks that her powers may not be able to work because they come from the Dragon's Flame, however, her mental powers allow her to read the auras of living beings. Just then, Flora unleashes her Plant Growth spell in an attempt to bind the werewolves down but is unsuccessful. Stella tries to figure out what she should do but is too frantic to focus. Bloom tries to tap into her mental powers and manages to see the auras of everyone around her; noticing something surprising. It turns out that Feras' aura is very similar to that of the werewolves'! Just then, two werewolves charge at Flora and Stella, who cannot get away in time, but a sudden burst of light shines behind Stella, scaring the werewolves off. Stella realizes that she activated a light shield around her instinctively and suspects that the moon may have helped her. Flora advises that Stella stay on-guard as more werewolves are charging at them. Feras reluctantly pulls out the pendant again and Bloom is swept up into the air by a sudden gust of wind. As she is being blown away, roots and vines sprout from below the werewolf and bind his feet down. Bloom is dropped onto a bush that is a safe distance away from the werewolf and Stella suspects that nature is listening to Flora's wishes.
Another werewolf attacks Feras which causes him to drop the pendant. Once it lands, it unleashes a powerful burst of moonlight which causes the werewolves to flee. Flora thanks Feras since they were able to defeat the werewolves due to the advice he gave them. Feras believes that now is the time they defeat the Black Wolf Pack once and for all but he is interrupted by Stella calling out Ginger's name. As it turns out, the fairy pets managed to find them! Feras urges them to hurry as the leader of the Black Wolf Pack will run away once he is warned of them but Bloom asks him about why they need to do so since Feras promised to help them find and save their friends. Feras claims that they will all be in danger if they do not find the leader and urges them to follow the tracks the werewolves left behind. Flora decides to make contact with the trees and she learns that their friends are located somewhere else; that they should not follow the werewolves. Feras decides to go in alone and tells them that they may bump into each other again. Flora tries to stop Feras but she is held back by Bloom, who tells her that she felt the same magical nature in both Feras and the werewolves when she tapped into her power of aura-reading. Stella is confused by this back it would mean that Feras is a werewolf, but he helped them fight against the other ones. Bloom suspects that he is only helping them so that he can take down the leader as Flora kneels down to pick Coco up. Once she does so, Flora is able to hear nature speaking to her clearly. Suddenly, surges of magical energy flow through the fairy pets and Flora as she realizes that nature has chosen her to become a Guardian of Gaia. Now that she is one, she will have to face off against all of the legendary monsters that threaten Gaia.
Bloom asks if Flora also heard the strange voices and Flora confirms that she has, specifying that it was a cry for help from Gaia: the Spirit of Nature. The moon has bestowed the power to the fairy pets who, in turn, gave them Gaia's blessing, in order to defeat the evil that plagues Shady Hill. Bloom asks if Flora is sure that she wants to go in alone and Flora believes that she needs to do so because Gaia has chosen her. She tells Stella and Bloom that they need to find their friends as she needs to hurry before said evil affects the destiny of Gardenia and, possibly, the whole planet.
In another part of the forest, the leader of the Black Wolf Pack is begging to the moon, asking for it to give him a sign as to where his pack has gone. Suddenly, someone shouts from behind the werewolf leader Garont, claiming that he no longer has a pack. He turns around and finds Feras, readying himself for an attack as he tells Garont that he is not worthy to lead the Black Wolf Pack. As Feras approaches Garont, he slowly becomes a werewolf himself. Garont tries to tell Feras that he cannot overturn the moon's decision but Feras is confident that he can because he appeals to the law of the ancestors. Feras is able to defeat Garont quickly as he claims that he will become the leader of the new Black Wolf Pack once Garont is gone. Garont tries to stop Feras as he is being dragged up a cliff, telling him that their pack will be doomed into exile since Feras was not chosen by the moon either, but Feras believes that, under his guidance, the werewolves will inherit the Earth as they follow Gaia's will. Just as he is about to do away with Garont, Coco hops on his shoulder. When Feras turns around, Flora is right behind him and she tells him to leave because he is not welcome in this place.
Now enraged, Feras orders Flora not to meddle in affairs that do not concern her, especially after she refused to help him defeat Garont. He claims that werewolves have lost their honor and courage, which has made them become weak. As he speaks, Garont tries to flee but Feras catches him. He stomps on Garont's back, telling him that he needs to stay and watch as the moon chooses him until he is interrupted by Flora, who claims that Feras does not know anything. She and Coco begin radiating their magical energy as Flora proclaims that nature has chosen her as its new guardian. As she does so, a silver sword of moonlight forms in her hands, which causes Feras to panic. Once it has fully formed, Flora slashes at Feras, causing him to fall from the cliff.
Garont, barely being able to get up, thanks Flora as she was able to end the entire feud. He tells her that he respects her for being able to wield the sacred sword and apologizes about having his pack attack her and her friends. Flora insists that Garont has no need to apologize because they did trespass on their territory and promises that Shady Hill will be officially recognized as theirs. However, she advises Garont that he and his pack will have to live in harmony with nature and all living beings. To thank Flora once again, Garont allows her to take the pendant as it is a sign of Feras' betrayal. Coco scurries up to Flora with the pendant and tosses it into her hands as Garont explains that Gaia wants her to keep the pendant as she will need it very soon. Flora promises to keep the pendant with her as now the fate of her and the Winx has been sealed...
- Power of Gaia - Used by the lead werewolf to tear up the ground.
- Plant Growth - Used by Flora in an unsuccessful attempt to bind down the werewolves.
- Throughout the issue, the small hair at the top of Flora's head goes missing in some panels.
- Throughout the issue, the black decorations of the Winx's fake wings tend to disappear in some panels.
- On page 7, Brandon is seen as one of the 6 characters that were not captured by the Black Wolf Pack but 4 pages later, on page 11, he is seen being dragged away with everyone else who was captured in the nets.
- On page 13, as Feras is fighting back the werewolf, his blind eye switches from being one the right side of his face to his left. However, it remains on the right side of his face in the rest of the issue.
- On page 23, as Flora begins to hear nature speak more clearly to her through Coco, her eyes are pink instead of green.
- The Winx
- The Specialists
- This issue is the first out of three others in the Hallowinx mini-series.
- Coincidentally, this issue is similar to two episodes in the sixth season of the animated series: "The Curse of Fearwood" and "The Magic Totem."