Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Jim Zub
Art, Cover: Steven Cummings
Colours: Tamra Bonvillain with Brittany Peer
Lettering: Marshall Dillon
Alternate cover: Tom Rainey
In issue #12 of Wayward we discovered that the Tsuchigumo, the spider-like entities who have been helping Rori Lane and the other (unwilling?) heroes, have a personal agenda: their leader (I suppose that’s what she is), who looks like a woman with a huge spider on her head, took control of Rori, the leader of the group. Meanwhile, Ayane captured Inaba, a shape-shifter who fought against her before deciding to defect to the stronger side. And she brings some interesting intelligence.
Issue #13 opens with a heated debate between Nurarihyon, the leader of the Yokai, and Genkuro, who leads the Kitsune. The latter accuses the former of having failed his campaign against Rori’s group – but Nurarihyon defends himself stating that he has taken under his wings young Segawa. Who is as yet untrained. Genkuro doesn’t seem convinced.
As usual in Wayward, Japanese mythology and a modern super-hero story collide, proving that the two things aren’t so different after all. And if you need some clarifications about the mythology part – at the end of the issue you’ll find, as usual, a very in-depth (but very clear) essay by Zack Davisson, who in this book also penned a very touching memory of Sensei Shigeru Mizuki, the manga genius who passed away in December.
The story here becomes more and more complex. What is moving the Tsuchigumo? If Yokai and Kitsune clash, will it be good for Japan and the world? Is Inaba telling the truth, or is she a double-agent? All those subplots will eventually become clear, but meanwhile there is action, questions being asked, doubts being sown… Jim Zub is a master at catching the interest of the reader and not letting it go. And the art is fantastic, too.
So, if you like adventure, battles, mythology, mystery, humour, magic, tradition, manga, thrillers or even only one of those things, give Wayward a try. The only people who should avoid it are those who really, really hate comics. But they wouldn’t be reading this review, right? So, check Wayward out.