After a three-month hiatus, Image Comics' Wayward returns to comic book stores this week. Wayward is an intriguing new fantasy comic book series that launched at the end of last summer. It is the creation of writer Jim Zub and penciller Steve Cummings. Wayward focuses on Rori Lane, a half-Irish/half-Japanese teen girl. Rori is trying to start a new life in Japan with her mother, Sanae, only to find herself connected to the magic and ancient creatures that lurk in the shadows of Tokyo.
Wayward #6 (“Chapter Six”) apparently opens three months after the events depicted in the issue Wayward #5. The story introduces Japanese school girl, Ohara Emi. She is an ordinary girl from an ordinary family, and she is the “quiet,” “obedient,” and “proper Japanese school girl.” However, changes come into Ohara life when she overhears her classmates gossiping about the “missing students.” Then, strange things start happening to her.
THE LOWDOWN: I got a reminder that Wayward was returning when writer/co-creator, Jim Zub, sent out an advanced review PDF copy of Wayward #6. I like the introduction of a new character, but I think I spent most of my time reading this issue waiting for Rori. Zub and Cummings have created magic with Wayward. This comic book is like one big enchantment that draws me into the story. I guess I am not the only reader who wants to live in the world of this series.
Still, I'm excited about the beginning of the second story arc. As a reminder, Wayward's first story arc, “String Theory,” is being released as a trade paperback the same day as Wayward #6 will be calling to you in your dreams.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Readers looking for high-quality, Japan urban fantasy will be happy about the return of Wayward.
[Wayward #6 contains another engrossing essay, “Tradition and Japanese Society,” by Zack Davisson (@ZackDavisson).]