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Wayward #8 Review

4 min read

Wayward Issue 8 CoverThe weave of it all.

Creative Staff:
Story: Jim Zub
Art: Steve Cummings

What They Say:
Ayane’s strange feline origin is revealed in the most unlikely of places. Cover A is part three of a five-part panorama by STEVEN CUMMINGS & TAMRA BONVILLAIN. Buy all five issues of this story arc to fit them together into a massive WAYWARD illustration. Cover B is a variant by acclaimed illustrator KEN NIIMURA (I KILL GIANTS).

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The second arc of Wayward has admittedly been a little awkward as it got going since it took some of the characters, ostensibly the main character in fact, and took them out of the picture for a bit to focus on the new character of Emi and eventually drawing back to the others. After the big fight that happened before and the way things ended, you really wanted more of what happened there as opposed to the shift we got. But this issue starts to bring things back into play from before, with some resolution and a look at moving forward, that helps to bind things properly. It may be a traditional route taken in storytelling that sometimes doesn’t work, and as frustrating as it was at first, it does work here.

The events focusing on Emi has her, Nikaido and Ayane trying to figure out what to do next as they get ready for the Obon festival and the way their days will change there for a bit with school being out. Emi and Nikaido are playing it smart in that they want to understand where all the creatures are coming from and why so they can deal with it, whereas Ayane just wants to deal with it without knowing why they’re coming. It’s a familiar character trait and it provides the necessary tension, causing Ayane to split for a bit in her cat-like way. What it does offer is a chance for Emi and Nikaido to talk a bit, and it hits with them both making clear they find the other unfortunate; she doesn’t think it’s good that he’s pushed down all emotion because he believes it will just lead to more problems, and he’s not exactly on board with how deferential she is to her parents. Simple stuff, but it helps to clear things up. Amusingly, the two have to be like parents themselves with what Ayane eventually brings back in the last page, which should be amusing to watch unfold if we get it next time around.

The part of the book that really had me engaged is one that takes place at Myoneko temple, a place where an elderly woman named Ayane lives as she takes care of whatever cats randomly visit, of which there are many. She has her own secret that’s glimpsed along the way, and it feels like it’s setup for something else in the future. What really draws here though is that this is where Rori and Shirai ended up popping out of after the big event previously, and she has to deal with helping Shirai recover. it turns out his wounds from the battle are worse than expected as there’s a supernatural infection of some sort that she can see with her lines/weaving ability. It’s one of those decent desperation moments where she has to use her abilities in new ways to save someone, but it offers up a couple of pages of beautiful artwork, first where we see both Shirai and Ayane’s pasts, and then to the larger weave of so many characters from the series in the past, present and future. it’s hinting at some of what’s to come, but coy enough that outside of a scene or two you’re hard pressed to really place it.

In Summary:
With Wayward getting us back to the story of Rori, I’m definitely pleased by it and what it represents in nuding the larger storyline forward again. While what we get is a rest and recuperation installment, it does provide Rori a chance to learn something new about herself, and others, and it puts her in a newly re-energized mode that’s ready to go. Similarly, we get some good time with Emi and Nikaido that brings out more of their own personalities and what defines them while also bringing it out into the open alongside Ayane just being her usual easily insulted self. Ayane definitely looks like she might be bringing in something weird the next time around, but that’s what you get with cats and what they drag home, right? It’s a solid issue all around that expands on things, hints at the future, and brings back the characters I wanted to get some answers about.

Grade: B+

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Image Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: May 27th, 2015
MSRP: $2.99

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