The second issue of Wayward, the intriguing new fantasy comic book series from writer Jim Zub (Skullkickers) and penciller Steve Cummings (Legends of the Dark Knight), is just arriving. Published by Image Comics,Wayward focuses on Rori Lane, a half-Irish/half-Japanese teen girl who is trying to start a new life in Japan, only to find herself confronted by the ancient creatures that lurk in the shadows of Tokyo.
As Wayward #2 (“Chapter Two”) opens, Rori arrives home late, after a night of craziness in Tokyo, in which she encountered monsters with swords and a warrior-girl. Now, she has to get ready for her first day at school, which she knows will be difficult. How difficult will that first day be? One of her classmates has a secret for which he is willing to kill.
THE LOWDOWN: After praising Wayward #1 around the beginning of August, I was a bit concerned that I would be disappointed in Wayward #2. Writer Jim Zub sent a PDF copy of #2 to the Bin, and I approached it with trepidation. I didn't need to worry because #2 kept #1 from being a fluke. So far, Wayward does indeed look to be one of the year's best new comic book series and one of the best fantasy comic books period.
Advertising copy and promotional material describe Wayward as Buffy the Vampire Slayer for a new generation. That may be true, but it is certainly a damn good comic book for any generation that can read. It has the kind of intrigue and sense of mystery that permeate Mike Mignola's Hellboy universe, and it crackles with the kind of magic that fills Harry Potter. I imagine that quite a few comic book readers will be eagerly awaiting each new issue.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Readers looking for urban fantasy and for magic and mystery will want to go Wayward.