Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Jim Zub
Art, Cover: Steven Cummings
Colours: Tamra Bonvillain with Brittany Peer
Lettering: Marshall Dillon
Alternate cover: Kamome Shirahama
Alternate cover: Djibril Morissette-Phan
Wayward is back. In the first three story arcs, all set in and around Tokyo, we saw young Rori Lane discover she is a weaver – a conduit for the strings of fate and destiny. Assisted by some young Japanese heroes, she waged war against the Yokai, the Japanese spirits, who killed her mother and attacked her. But in issue #15 the Japanese Defence Force attacked her and her friends, forcing her father Dermot, who had flown to Japan from his native Ireland looking for his daughter, teleports her home – and Ayane, the cat-girl who had become one of Rori’s closest friends and allies, follows them.
Issue #16 opens with a flashback: we see Dermot meeting for the first time Hashimoto Sanae – Rori’s mother. Back to the present, he gets the news of her death. Quite obviously, he breaks down in tears.
With the move to Ireland, it looks like most aspects in the story will get a fresh start. Even avoiding spoilers, I can mention the fact that some things that we saw happening in Japan seem to be different now, so some of the characters will have to learn to somehow change their ways.
For what concerns the style and the wonder, Wayward picks up where it left us: mysterious events, captivating characters, lots of local lore (only, now it’s Ireland instead of Japan) and an incredible plot with tons of twists and of details to discover. The art remains the same: absolutely outstanding, with amazing colours to help highlight every touch. And at the end of the book there is a very interesting, very detailed article by Ann O’Regan (replacing Zack Davisson, who did the same about Japan) describing and clarifying some of the aspects of Irish tradition and mythology mentioned or hinted at in the story.
In 2015, I had defined Wayward the best ongoing series published by Image Comics (at least amongst those I have read). In 2016, my extremely high expectations about it are not being disappointed. Don’t miss it; this issue is a good place to pick it up (there is a pretty good summary of what happened in the past, too).