Review: Wayward #10

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Wayward10-cover

Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Jim Zub
Art, Cover: Steve Cummings
Colours: Tamra Bonvillain
Lettering: Marshall Dillon
Alternate cover: Hanzo Steinbach

In issue #9, we had left Ohara Emi, Ayane and Nikaido marching to battle against a temple suggested as a target by their new allies, the Tsuchigumo (dirt spiders). But a huge spider, called The Spinner, seems worried about something despite the reassurances received by a mysterious, soul-sucking woman. Meanwhile Rori, accompanied by Shirai, has been discovering more and more about her powers – and has used them, for some obscure reason, to make Ohara Emi’s family forget about her.

Issue #10 of Wayward opens with a flashback on some monks building a wall that will forever trap one of their fellows, who has been asked by the Yokai (powerful creatures and spirits) to undergo Nyujo in order become a  Sokushinbutsu – to practice self mummification – apparently in order to maintain order in the world. Then we go back to the present, where the battle between the three young heroes of this story and some creatures defending the temple begins.

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This issue concludes the second story arc in this amazing series – and trust me, you won’t believe what you’ll read at the end of this book. To call it a surprise would be a huge understatement. And I really can’t even start to imagine where author Jim Zub is planning to take Wayward now.

Zub’s ability in creating a great story is matched by artist Steve Cummings’s skills. The epic battle that takes place in this issue does really gain epic scale thanks to how he represented, and every thought that goes through the characters’ heads is reflected in their facial expressions.

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Like in all the previous issues, in this tenth issue of Wayward we encounter some aspects of Japanese culture and mythology that can be quite obscure to the average western reader, and that the author wouldn’t be able to explain in the story itself without deviating from the plot. That’s where Zack Davisson’s essays, at the end of each issue, are precious.

Wayward is a great series. Obviously I can’t advise you to start reading it from this issue, as it is the conclusion of a complex story arc. I’d rather suggest whoever wants to get into the world of Wayward to wait for the collected edition containing this arc – or rather, to read the first story arc and then wait for this one: Wayward – Ties That Bind that will be released within a couple of months.

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