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Wayward #14 Review

4 min read

Wayward Issue 14 CoverNew plans shift into motion.

Creative Staff:
Story: Jim Zub
Art: Steve Cummings
Colors: Tamra Bonvillain

What They Say:
Tokyo Tower burns as mayhem takes hold of the city.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
As Wayward moves further into the large and tangled plot that it has, it’s doing a lot of fun things and I’m continuing to dig it overall. But issues like this one remind me again that the series is just so compressed that it’s like trying to do an hour show in a thirty minute slot. It hits all the right points and it knows where to pause to slow things down but it also burns through some juicy material far more quickly than it needs to. I had hoped this side of the series would ease off the throttle a bit after it got a good run of issues under its belt and felt like it had found its audience, but at times it seems to want to ramp it up even more. The positive is that we get some good stories and events going on but the downside is that it’s hard to feel any real connection to most of the characters.

Case in point is Nurarihyon, who even after this many issues I still have a hard time remembering his name since he’s essentially nameless in the book. I love his approach here of bringing Segawa and his interface/information abilities into his employ because it means he’s embracing the modern world in a way that he hasn’t. Introducing Segawa, and the reader, to the loom that exists and the weave of the world feels like it should have been an entire issue on its own, as well as Segawa’s time interfacing with it. But it’s a means to an end more than anything else as we see how he’s using it to get to the top members of the government in order to shift the war that’s underway in his favor. After centuries of avoiding working with humanity, he’s now inclined to use them in an open way. Of course, he backs it up with some power and there’s a thrill in those ending pages here.

Similarly, events back at the shrine are compressed in a way that really takes savoring the moment out of it. The Tsuchigumo has definitely worked to push its view in this fight and has done it in a creative way, pushing the various members to their limits as they fight for it without realizing the level of control that Rori is under. Where it takes a turn that should really be expanded is when Shirai leaves the shrine for a bit out of frustration and reveals to Emi what happened to her parents. It’s a big scene but is undercut by the brevity of it and its impact before it turns to a yokai that’s attacking them, which is easily dispensed with. But it took has its weirdness in that upon killing it, Shirai absorbs some of its spiritual essence and he now understands all the webs and designs that the Tsuchigumo has put into place. It’s a great moment and the concepts are rock solid, but it’s at such a breakneck pace that it loses its meaning.

In Summary:
Wayward continues to be an enjoyable series that does a lot of stuff I like and covers a great number of story points I like, particularly from an anime/manga point of view. But I’ve also laid out my frustrations above. Luckily, Steve Cummings artwork really does make this all come to life in a fantastic way and I can’t help but to be drawn in by it all, in essence sanding down those rough edges with its character designs and some really great layouts. The two-page fight spread here alone is fantastic. This issue also has a great text piece at the end from Zack Davisson that is so on the nose about the police in Japan that it’s frightening that someone would put it down in print with their name attached to it. Be careful, Zack!

Grade: B

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Image Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: February 24th, 2016
MSRP: $2.99


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