Story: Jim Zub
Art: Steve Cummings
What They Say:
The second arc ends. The future revealed. Welcome to the next level.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Wayward did a lot in the second arc as a whole in expanding our view of what’s going on, both in terms of the cast and the setting/scope of the storyline itself. The previous issue filled in a lot of the blanks to a certain extent and brought the scale into a whole other dimension with the man that ended up basically being sealed away and treated with reverence due to his connection to the gods. But at the same time, it also kept things very personal and small in a way, with characters like Emi and Rori really toplining things. This arc in particular has been interesting and challenging at the same time with the way it shifted Emi to the forefront while Rori was given a minimal role until recently.
With the concluding installment of the second arc, the series focuses mostly on action now that events are coming together. With those from the elder side of the equation looking to further cement their position while planning and plotting for the future constantly, the shift is there now that people like Rori have stepped onto the stage. Which is why they tried to stop them early on and in a hard way, yet only to fail thanks to the youthful recklessness. The result is that we get a strong push by them through Rori that it’s their time now to take the stage and chart the course of events. But it’s one littered with complications as well, as some of those elders are ones that you can feel some sympathy and understanding towards, such as the tengu monks that have long protected their true treasure.
The action aspect of the book is certainly strong enough as Cummings provides a chance for Emi to really go at it, but also a chance to add some creepy tones to it with Tuschigumo and the spider in her ear that’s egging her own and nudging her without outright controlling her. She’s proven herself extremely capable over this arc and having her believing that she’s truly determining her path is fun to watch, even if it’s all part of the spiders’ bigger plan to gain control. Bringing Rori into the mix while not dealing with what happened last time around just delays the inevitable, but it works well because she comes across as the hardened seasoned warrior/statesman type that’s establishing that she’s fully in control. it’s uncertain how the group will react once the dust settles, but they’re all aware that things have most certainly changed.
Wayward finishes out the second arc on a hell of a cliffhanger and also heads into a hiatus until November in order to provide breathing room to do it all how they want to. Which is good and I’ve appreciated that view of the process during the first hiatus. This issue is one that brings a lot of things to a culmination point without going into the heavy results and fallout phase of it, rather it puts us at the cusp where things are about to be either radically altered or the cast is going to get smacked down hard and then really struggle. I’m loving the overall arc for Rori and her changes, difficult as some of them may be, and looking forward to seeing how Emi is really going to fit into it all. And more spiders please. More spiders.
As a side note, the book again continues to bring some great background material and information relevant to the story at hand as a backup feature from Zack Davisson. A lot of it is material I’m long familiar with from years of being involved in anime, manga and Japanese culture and society in general, but they’re a real treasure to read through, refresh and educate for new and old fans alike.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Image Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: July 29th, 2015