Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Jim Zub
Art, Cover: Steve Cummings
Colours: Tamra Bonvillain
Lettering: Marshall Dillon
Alternate cover: Ken Niimura
In issue #7 of Wayward, the demon Nurarihyon – who killed Rori’s mother – meets some of his peers to justify his partial failure in a mission that is still unclear (but it has to do with “weavers”, whatever they are). He blames his misadventure on the intervention of something external, something coming from out of Japan. He doesn’t say it, but… well, we know that Rori was born in Ireland, from an Irish father.
Meanwhile Ohara Emi, the quiet, “proper” girl who was introduced to the readers of Wayward in issue #6 where we (and she) discovered that she can change any man-made material just by touching it, keeps developing her powers and fighting monsters along with cat-girl Ayane and Nikaido, who controls emotions. At the end of the issue, Ayane asks the spirits, on a very special day, to contact Rori for her – but she gets no answer. This means, according to her, that she is still alive.
And issue #8 opens with the sudden, unpredictable return of Rori. She falls from the sky, through a maze of the “ribbons” she weaves, along with Shirai. They are in the garden of a remote temple, where they meet a kind, elderly lady who takes care of a number of cats. She asks to be called “Auntie Ayane”. Which might mean something… or maybe not.
Wayward gets more complicated – and then, later in this issue, there is a pretty big reveal. That of course gives way to more doubts. The relationships between the characters are also developing in a great way, becoming more and more interesting.
The art is, as usual, stunning, with the city, the temple and the ruins where the impromptu group of unwilling heroes meet and fight the demons becoming more and more like (minor) characters in the story, supporting and displaying some of the feelings that the main characters can’t or won’t express with their own words.
At the end of the book there are two essays by Zack Davisson, one about cats in Japanese culture and the other about the Neko Musume – that’s what Ayane is. Or rather, what both Ayane are. As always, Davisson’s articles about Japanese culture paint the events in Wayward in a new light, clarifying what we have seen and giving us an idea about something very few knew (unless they have a particular interest in Japanese culture, that is).
Wayward remains a beautiful series, amazing in its art and equally awesome in the stories, and this eighth issue doesn’t disappoint.