Review: Wayward #6

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Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Jim Zub
Art, Cover: Steve Cummings
Colours: Tamra Bonvillain
Lettering: Marshall Dillon
Alternate cover: Takeshi Miyazawa
Alternate cover: Edwin Huang
Alternate cover: Max Dunbar

Wayward is back with a second story arc. The first saw Rori Lane, an Irish girl with a Japanese mother, move to Tokyo to study; there, she discovered to have some very peculiar powers. She ended up creating a group of reluctant superheroes with spirit eater Shirai, cat-girl Ayane and powerful Nikaido. Issue #5 ended with Rori’s mother, who also had superpowers (although Rori ignored this fact), murdered by the man-demon Nurarihyon and his four kitsune (man-fox) allies, and all the young “superheroes” presumed dead.

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This issue #6, set three months after the facts that took place in issue #5, opens with a new character being introduced: Ohara Emi. She is “a proper Japanese girl” (so she is defined by her father), serious and studious, who loves to read Manga and met Rori only once, at school. Her path, her future seems set before her, although hearing about Rori and Shirai (who are believed to have gone on a murder spree before committing suicide) fascinates her.

Jim Zub opens this arc with a surprise, then: no Rori, none of the characters we met before. Will Wayward be a “collective comic”, showing us the stories (or part of the stories) of several different characters, who may have or not have superpowers? Or will Ohara have some kind of connection with the main characters from the first five issues, besides having seen one of them once? Sure the story in this issue #6 is already fascinating. Sure, the readers are left wondering – a lot. But of course, we will find answers soon.

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The detail in which Japanese culture is depicted in Wayard is fantastic. For those of us who don’t know much of that world besides what we may have read here and there, this issue (like all of the previous ones) includes a fascinating essay by Zack Davisson, an expert of Japanese culture having lived in that country for quite some time and married a Japanese woman.

The art (by Steve Cummings) is also spectacular and not very Manga-like: the characters look… well, like real people, the backgrounds are incredibly detailed and a pleasure to watch; and Tamra Bonvillain’s colours only add to this.

Wayward is back: do yourself a favour and start reading it.

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