Written by: Jim Zub
Art by: Steve Cummings
Wayward started off with an absolute bang; Issue 1 was amazing, and Issue 2 seems like it’ll continue the trend. The key here is that Wayward is about Rori first and the setting second. Characters are the cornerstones of good fiction, and Jim Zub knows that.
The first half of Issue 2 is mostly Rori’s internal thoughts, both on what happened in the last issue and what her future in Tokyo as an exchange student will hold. Issue 1 introduced a shock, but it was one of monsters; Issue 2 introduces a shock of culture, and it’s hard-hitting. Japan is a different place, and both the reader and Rori learn this very quickly when a teacher suggests Rori dye her naturally red hair to black or brown to match those around her.
Early on, Rori has a panic attack, and how she deals with it is both shocking and wonderfully interesting. I don’t want to spoil what happens though, but a lot is said about her in two quick panels. There’s a divide she faces in Tokyo, being of Japanese descent yet also being a complete outsider now that she’s in Japan, and how she expresses that is somewhat beautiful when you get over the shock of it.
I want to know more about her.
Like the first issue, Rori is hit with certain visions where pathways show up, and like before, she continues to follow them to “connect the dots.” As far as superpowers go, this isn’t as flashy as talking to fish ala Aquaman, but it’s really interesting. There’s something passively utilitarian in being able to see what others cannot, and that makes Rori an interesting hero when it comes to fighting the oddities plaguing Tokyo.
A new character is introduced this time around, a boy named Shirai. I’m not quite sure what role he will ultimately play, though he has his own strange powers to him. I’m sure they come with a turbulent past as well. My worry is that he’ll become some kind of love interest and Wayward will devolve into teen romance. That worry is probably unfounded, but it is there.
There was more bang in Issue 1 than Issue 2, but Issue 2 is continuing the trend of building and following a character worth reading about. As a reader, I can’t ask for much more than that.