Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Jim Zub
Art, Cover: Steven Cummings
Colours: Tamra Bonvillain with Brittany Peer
Lettering: Marshall Dillon
Alternate cover: Superlog
While issue #18 told us, through Dermot’s words, the true history of Ireland before the Tuatha dé Danann arrived, only to conclude with Ayane passing out due to an injury while the party is ambushed by a group of ghosts, this issue #19 opens with one more flashback, to the first days of Rori’s life with her parents, when Dermot performed some obscure ritual on her – with his own blood. Something for protection, apparently. Then we go back to Japan, that we had left at the end of issue #17, in the aftermath of the battle between Rori’s (former?) team-mates and the Japanese Self-Defence Force persuaded by Nurarihyon the Yokai to move against the heroes.
The story gets more and more complicated, with this aspect not helped by the fact that it seems to be developing in two completely separate locations and environments (a rural area of Ireland and the Tokyo metropolitan area), with separate characters including Dermot Lane, Rori’s father, who debuted on Wayward in this very story arc (fine, fine, he appeared in the last page of the previous one). Something that was left suspended at the end of #17 is finally solved here in a very unexpected way but the issue #18 cliffhanger remains pending, probably to be wrapped up next month. This bouncing between locations and characters is fascinating, but waiting two months for the resolution of a cliffhanger can be unnerving. But it’s always been worth the wait in Wayward.
The art is as always impeccable, very realistic even when depicting fantastic characters, and the colours do nothing but exalt it even further, helping set the tone of every scene.
As usual, at the end of the issue there is an article about an aspect of folklore – or, occasionally, history – that came to play in the story; being this book set in Japan, it is Zack Davisson’s turn (Ann O’Regan is in charge of Ireland). This time we also get a pronunciation guide for Japanese names – maybe it could have been added at the start of the series. But anyway.
Wayward is a very pleasant series, very entertaining without ever being dull or excessively simplified; history, mythology and of course Jim Zub’s own creations merge seamlessly in a fascinating story, with great characters.