Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Jim Zub
Art, Cover: Steven Cummings
Colours: Tamra Bonvillain with Brittany Peer
Lettering: Marshall Dillon
Alternate Cover: Ilya Kuvshinov
In Wayward #14 we saw the Nurarihyon, the leader of the dangerous Yokai, lead Segawa, who has power over any kind of network, to a machine that can map (but not influence) the “strings of fate”, asking him to “hack” into it. The Nurarihyon also seems to have reached some kind of agreement with the Minister of Defence. Meanwhile Rori Lane, the girl who gathered around her the group of unwilling teenage heroes at the centre of Wayward, is completely under the control of the Tsuchigumo, the dirt spiders, whose real aims haven’t been made explicit yet. Also, Rori’s Irish father Dermot is being detained by the immigration police as Rori, having being involved in a battle against the Yokai at Tokyo Tower that caused some serious damage to the structure, is suspected of being some kind of terrorist.
This issue #15 opens with the Nurarihyon holding a meeting with his allies the Kitsune, during which he suggests what looks like a brilliant plan: turning modern society against their enemies, the group of heroes led by Rori Lane. Meanwhile, cat-girl Ayane and reformed Kitsune Inaba have decided to take the fight to the Yokai, but they run into a very unpleasant surprise.
This is the end of another fantastic story arc for Wayward, in which Jim Zub changes everything. Again. The balance of the forces in this series is very, very fluid. And every character… no, I can’t say more.
Art and colours are just perfect, too. All creatures, real and legendary, and all environments look perfectly realistic, as if Steven Cummings had copied them from a photograph. Which is fine when we are talking about a teenage girl, a Japanese police agent, a cat or a temple near Tokyo – a little less when what Cummings depicts is a shape-shifting demon or a spider-woman (completely unrelated to the Marvel Comics Spider-Woman – capital letters).
For those who may doubt the plausibility of certain situations involving real-world institutions (sorry for the convoluted sentence, but it is the only way to avoid spoilers), Manga translator and former resident of Japan Zack Davisson wrote (as usual) a brilliant essay explaining how a certain fact that happens in the story is actually possible.
Now: Wayward is good. I mean, really good. Should you start reading the series from this issue? Well, for once, it is relatively easy to understand what happened previously – but still, I’d suggest to start from the beginning of this arc (or, even better, from issue #1).