Story: Jim Zub
Art: Steve Cummings
What They Say:
IMAGE’S SUPERNATURAL SENSATION CONTINUES! Tokyo is a battleground and blood will be spilled. COVER A is part four of a five-part panorama by STEVE CUMMINGS & TAMRA BONVILLAIN. Buy all five issues of this story arc to fit them together into a massive WAYWARD illustration.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The second arc for Wayward felt like it started to come together a bit more in the previous installment simply by bringing Rori back into play. While it certainly wasn’t bad without her, the follow-up to the first arc had everything feeling disconnected since it moved on in time and removed a few characters for awhile. That gave Emi a chance to shine as the new character, so we can see events and the others through her eyes as a “proper” young Japanese woman, which was radically different from that of Rori. But now that the paths are getting closer to crossing, the dynamic between those two already feels like it’s about to clash in a huge way, potentially to the point where you can see them becoming enemies.
The book starts with a little material in the past, but that’s just more stage setting for the scale of events and how the tengu worked back then to achieve their goals. in the present, we largely have two stories taking place. the first has Emi, Ayane and Nikaido all getting to know the earth spider emissary better, now that it’s kind of adopted Ayane and wants to ally with the kids against the larger threat. There’s some good analysis of the situation from the spider, but it’s listening to Emi’s internal dialogue about it as it unfolds that’s really interesting, since we see her being ignored again overall and a plan being put together that mostly favors what Ayane wants to do with Nikaido generally agreeing to it as well. Emi’s views on things certainly paints her as feeling disconnected from the group, and that will likely grow as more pieces come into play.
The other main story is one that has Rori making her back back into the city after all that happened, and now she’s like someone else. Having suddenly mastered her weaving abilities, she’s gained what seems like new abilities and is using them with cold confidence to achieve her goals, mostly because she views it as necessary for survival with what’s coming together. That said, as she storms Emi’s apartment with Emi’s family there, she pretty much comes across as the villain and disconnected from who she was. Which could be interesting. But in her quest to make things easier for Emi’s family, she causes them to forget who Emi was, using her weaving ability to change the fabric. We see that having a couple of ripple effects, but damn if it’s not a cold moment that will set Emi against her in the near future. And rightly so, if it cannot be fixed.
Wayward’s moving in some interesting directions here and we’re seeing the cast take shape in new ways due to all the pressures being applied to them. Emi’s going along with things for the moment, but it’s easy to see her breaking path with everyone in the near future if certain events come to light. What’s worse though is watching what Rori is doing as she’s basically drunk on her own power and not putting into consideration the ramification of what she does. Some of that is age, some of that is the threat they face, but her sense of empathy and compassion have suddenly disappeared and she’s become someone very different. How that will play when everyone is back together is where the real sparks might fly.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Image Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: June 24th, 2015