Comic Vine Review

16 Comments

Wayward #1 Review

4

One-way plane ticket to Weird Japan.

The Good

WAYWARD immediately embraces the weird (much like backmatter essayist Zack Davisson notes that Japan itself does), and before the first issue ends, we've got supernatural action. Not hints, not mysteries -- just straight up kappas and a girl who's probably a cat.

And with all of that wild stuff going on? Our heroine, Rori, is trying to focus on connecting the dots in her personal life -- which is having an upheaval of serious magnitude. She's balancing an intercontinental move, a split family, and probably a hefty amount of normal teenage angst plus dealing with sword-wielding turtles. Rich story potential? In spades.

Everything about WAYWARD feels thoughtful and planned. Rori's solitude is emphasized at every turn, from her solo arrival at the airport to her self-directed tour around town, and it makes Ayane's arrival (and sudden departure) feel more significant. Visually, there's an incredible amount of consideration as well -- detailed environments and interesting camera angles make the world feel immersive and drive the action forward.

One thing that's definitely intriguing, even though it's hard to tell how much it'll weigh on the story's direction: Rori is half-Japanese and half-Irish. It's already clear that we're going to see sampling from Japanese folklore, but is there a significance to Rori's Irish roots, too?

The Bad

The ghostly white line art that's used in some of the scenes isn't really to my tastes. It works for the intended effect, but I always get the same sort of visual impact that comes with staring at a bright light and looking away.

The Verdict

WAYWARD is a truly unique offering, even in the already-diverse selection Image has been publishing lately. For now, it's age-appropriate for a wide range of readers, and it explores Japan from a supernatural angle that isn't often seen in Western comics. Zub, Cummings, and team have piqued my interest, and I can't wait to see how a feisty half-Irish teen handles being swept up in Japanese myth.

18 Comments
Posted by CaptainMarvel4Ever

Funny, as soon as I saw the image it took me only a micro second to think "That looks like a weird Shoujo" (not that there's anything wrong with a weird shoujo, that's practically the back bone of Japan's economy) and the title of this review is "One-way plane ticket to Weird Japan" lol :)

Seriously though it looks interesting, great review.

Posted by Fallschirmjager

Hmmm...interesting.

Edited by IDontLikeBirds

Well it's Image, so I'm more or less sold as I've enjoyed almost everything they've put out the past few years. Also I like the premise.

Posted by thenexusrebound

Well it's Image, so I'm more or less sold as I've enjoyed almost everything they've put out the past few years. Also I like the premise, but $5.50 is a bit much to jump into a new series.

It's only 3.50 and it is a pretty fun book so far. Then again I studied Japanese culture in college so that helps add to my interest.

Posted by werst9

The most mangaesqu comic I've ever read and and so far that's not a bad thing. I love the covers

Posted by Fallschirmjager

@werst9 said:

The most mangaesqu comic I've ever read and and so far that's not a bad thing. I love the covers

Agreed. I bought it on a whim. Huge manga feel to it.

Edited by Rixec

I really enjoyed it and it really combines two cultures well. The characters are believable, the art is beautiful, and the city and culture feels so real. I'm glad reviews have been great for it. Except for this one guy who only complained about it being a fetish comic but did not even list any reasons why. He practically mentioned nothing about the comic except minuscule details such as strawberry milk. When I commented on how amazing the issue was, giving long, explicit reasons, and how his review wasn't really a review I found that my comment was gone the next day. Seriously, there is no reason for him to say it's a fetish comic. The characters are appropriately dressed , they do nothing sexual, and are portrayed as real teenage girls. If they had done something like what Catwoman and Starfire did at the start of the New 52 I could understand, but there was nothing remotely like that. The comic is totally appropriate, well made, and fun.

Edited by FoamBorn

I was looking forward to reading this but I find it lacking in something I can't point my finger on. I'll read the next one though

Posted by J_HickmanIsGod

i agree with the whole manga/anime feel to the comic.

aside from that, i agree with the fact this comic had something missing. maybe too little character development or perhaps the script was not up to par with what i come to expect from Image Comics, haha they have me spoiled. But i will be looking forward to the next few issues before i give up on it.

I trust you, Jim Zub.

Edited by WoolHeadedLummox

It's missing something, indeed. The book rushes into trying to set up the story without bothering to properly introduce the character. It tells you she's multi-racial and has moved to Japan, and that's about it. There's no reason to care about or invest in her, and she shows almost no personality to draw interest from. There's some groan-worthy dialog in there as well. The art style is cool, and there's some great ghostly panels. Visually, it's awesome, but I feel like I could have just scanned the panels without reading the words and still not have missed anything.

Posted by fallbrigade

I personally loved it. Been in love with this idea of marrying a sort of Buffy and Japanese mythology/folklore since I first heard about this story. I can't wait to see where it goes. The art looks sleek and wonderful too.

Edited by Thatlyn Yoaeg'ill'rymmin
Posted by J_HickmanIsGod

Visually, it's awesome, but I feel like I could have just scanned the panels without reading the words and still not have missed anything.

i can agree with this statement 100%.

it lacked intriguing and engaging dialogue. But i still think maybe Jim Zub can pull of this idea. i mean its been said he's been building this story up for years now. so i hope he's got things down

Edited by Wyldsong

Awesome series so far. Personally I found it well worth the read.

Posted by MarkAsher

Wayward gave me sort of a persona (the game) feel regarding the artwork, but story wise it probably seems like something special to some people but to those who read manga or watch anime it feels like sort of a mediocre but fun read:)

Edited by IDontLikeBirds

@idontlikebirds said:

Well it's Image, so I'm more or less sold as I've enjoyed almost everything they've put out the past few years. Also I like the premise, but $5.50 is a bit much to jump into a new series.

It's only 3.50 and it is a pretty fun book so far. Then again I studied Japanese culture in college so that helps add to my interest.

I misread the price on the cover initially (which is why I edited my post later). Seem's the price would be justified regardless as it's selling like crazy and for a lot more on ebay.

Edited by KryptonSabbath