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Wayward #18 Review

4 min read

wayward-issue-18-cover“These are the days of Irish legend.”

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

What They Say:
The creatures of Ireland are drawn to Rori and Ayane. What is Dermot hiding from them?

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
With Wayward working two different stories that you know will connect sooner rather than later, what with the pace this book operates under, this installment focuses on the events in Ireland. Which is something that works well for me as I like that we’re stepping to a smaller cast here yet at the same time expanding things with the lore of the land. It’s also an opportunity for Steve Cummings to be able to change thing sup a bit and work some different locations and character types, something that he hands quite well here to make it all feel within the same world but very different. Zub and Cummings have definitely figured out how to work with after this many issues and combining that with Bonvillain’s color work, well, fans of the series will have no problems with this issue.

Part of me wishes that we had an issue devoted just to Sanae and Dermot’s relationship rather than giving it to us in flashback as the shorter nature of it keeps it from really flowing well and connecting, particularly with the mild twists coming into play. His attempt to get her to stay here by proposing to her, which she accepts, while also having him whisper under his breath that he damn well better not fall in love with her is pretty blunt for the reader. We know things didn’t work out but still aren’t clear on how to view Demot, something that this chapter doesn’t make any clearer since there’s obviously the potential of being faked out by what he does in the flashback here. The man clearly has an agenda and it’s one that is hard to discern, making for an intriguing yet frustrating time for the reader.

The present day material is a bit all over the place as we’re slowly making some progress, what with Dermot and the girls heading off into the woods. Before that they have to deal with the mysterious magical creature that has ensnared Rorii and is giving Ayane a hard time with how it sways them, but it’s a quickly dealt with event that in turn forces Rorii to realize that stories of the past in Ireland may be just as real as the stories in Japan about yokai. This has Dermot going on for several pages of exposition, beautifully illustrated, about the far back history of the land and this area with what walked the earth before man did. It’s a lot of background material to setup what’s to come and Zub and Cummings bring it to life well even though there’s no central figure to it but rather a larger theme. It’s something that you can see having a bigger impact, especially if we do stay in Ireland for a while, but I’m wary to be too invested at this moment in it.

In Summary:
Eighteen issues in and I’m still definitely enjoying Wayward, though I’ll admit that I’m being a bit more uncertain of its future at this point. The series is doing some fun things but it’s also coming across as just a little too sprawling at the moment and without enough of what feels like a defined goal, especially after the last arc. I get the main story beats and I’m enjoying the return to Ireland and all that it represents, knowing it’ll have a bigger impact as it gets further in, and I’m also enjoying the smaller focus on just a couple of characters. But it feels like it’s still missing that really human material that it needs for me to feel invested in these characters since they’re always on the move, always fighting. The opening issues made them accessible but we haven’t made them fully realized yet.

Grade: B

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Image Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: November 23rd, 2016
MSRP: $3.99