Picked this up because I saw the artwork and was intrigued by the fact that this takes place in Japan (because of course I’m biased). A little shaky, confusing, and too many character intros that are too short, but I do like them Japanese demons and the art is phenomenal! Will pick up the next two volumes at some point.
WAYWARD (VOLS 1 and 2)
by Jim Zub, Steven Cummings (Illustrator)
Image Comics, 2015
Fantasy, Graphic Novels
Rated: 4 / 5 cookies
Rori Lane is trying to start a new life when she reunites with her mother in Japan, but ancient creatures lurking in the shadows of Tokyo sense something hidden deep within her, threatening everything she holds dear.
Can Rori unlock the secrets of her power before it’s too late?
Jim Zub (Samurai Jack, Skullkickers), Steve Cummings (Legends of the Dark Knight, Deadshot), and John Rauch (Invincible) team-up to create an all-new Image supernatural spectacle that combines the camaraderie and emotion of Buffy with the action and mystery of Hellboy. This volume collects the first five issues of the acclaimed comic series, Wayward.
I picked this up because it reminded me a whole lot of Persona 5, which I’d been playing up until recently. I mean, come on, it’s about a girl who moves into a new school and finds out she has superpowers, and suddenly joins a group of rebels against society. Only, the demons here are yokai, Japanese spirits from folktales. And it’s great.
The story in the first volume follows Rori Lane, a half-Japanese, half-American girl who moves permanently into Tokyo with her mother. As far as Japanese standards go, she does stand out, and even when she tries to lay low, people already make negative assumptions about her. But this becomes a minor inconvenience, because the minute Rori starts exploring the streets and alleyways of Tokyo, she gets attacked by gangsters. That turn into demons. And she’s saved by a ninja. And her army of cats.
And shit just keeps on going down the rabbit hole, but turns out Rori’s got powers herself, and she has to spend most of the first volume determining what exactly that is.
What I loved about this is that it’s looking like a bunch of teenagers with powers to fight the forces of eeeeevil, and for the most part, I like these spunky teenagers, even in their weirdness and uh, awkwardness. I like the idea of a team of misfits in Tokyo just trying to, well, get through life as they figure out what they want from it.
Also, a lot of the monsters are based on Japanese folklore, and weirdly enough, some of my favorite parts of the volumes are the end bits, where the author goes into more detail about the history of the monsters that show up in the story.
Couple the story with the fantastic artwork, and this is definitely a series I want to follow. I swear, Image Comics hasn’t let me down yet!
4 out of 5 cookies!