Wayward #7 Review

Posted April 29, 2015 by Chad Waller in Comic Books

Written by: Jim Zub

Art by: Steve Cummings

Publisher: Image

Wayward as a series is in a logistically complicated spot. Issue 6 introduced a semi-reboot, forgoing Rori Lane and giving us Ohara Emi to explore. I like Ohara, but this switch means we have to build up another character into the overarching story that was covered in Issues 1 through 5. Lest we forget, there are Japanese Demon Mobsters afoot.

Issue 7 of Wayward does the difficult: It gets Ohara up to speed, and while Rori had multiple issues to learn, accept, and evolve, Ohara only has this one. The end result is a somewhat-clunky transition from complete ignorance to powerful fighter.

We start Issue 7 exactly where we left off from Issue 6, with Ohara getting home and disappointing her very traditional parents. She lies, saying she joined a club—not exactly a lie when one thinks about it—and things go back to normal. Even Ohara is disappointed by this lack of drama, feeling like a “ghost” in her own home. Her parents simply don’t care about it her, and that’s tragic.

Perhaps it’s that apathy that sees her meet up with Ayane and Nikaido.

Ohara is asked to show off her now powers, the same ones she developed a day prior. She goes from shock and fear to casual control in the span of a few panels, testing her abilities and already proving herself good with them. It doesn’t logically fit, though when it comes to the overarching plot of Wayward, I suppose I’m glad to see this whole thing sped up.

The following pages are time skips forward, with Ohara, Ayane, and Nikaido going about and killing Japanese-themed monsters. They still don’t know what’s going on, and they don’t know what happened to Rori or Shirari, but they’re all assuming the worst and basically out for revenge.

It’s a strange set of sequences, to be honest. There’s action and spectacle sure, but it all comes off as exposition. Despite all of the well-drawn and colored pages, I’m told of Ohara’s character transformation, not shown it.

The last few pages are quite special though, showcasing a Japanese holiday for the dead and providing some very nice depth to Ayane. Wayward is going to be a series with nothing but complex characters; we just haven’t had the page space to truly delve into all of them yet.

On the art front, the comic looks stunning like always. I love how fluid Ohara’s powers are, how they move, and I’m impressed at these still images can convey their motion so well.

I also want to give a quick mention to the essay at the end of the comic. Like the other six before it, Wayward features a small writeup about Japanese culture/mythology, but this one about Japan’s Obon Festival is particularly compelling and well written. If you’ve skipped these in the past (for shame), make sure to not skip this one.

Issue 7 of Wayward is good and worth your time, but it’s also forced to play some “necessarily evil” role in getting everyone on the same page.

About the Author

Chad Waller

Chad Waller is the cofounder of Dual Wield Software, a two-man video game company that just published The Land of Glass on Steam. You should check it out! You can follow him on Twitter @DualWieldSoft and find his company page on Facebook with a quick search.