Wayward returned this week with a second issue aiming to expand the world and introduce us to Rori’s school life. Jim Zub and Steve Cummings have created an issue that, while not advancing the plot much, is filled with strong character development. The first issue blew me away and set a high bar for the series. The second issue is a worthy follow up, but it doesn’t quite reach that bar.
This issue opens immediately following the events of the first issue. Rori is trying to sneak into her mom’s home after staying out all night. As expected, her mom catches her in the act. We’re then taken through her first day at school. The book does a great job of evoking the awkward feeling of entering a new school or class for the first time. After a dark moment alone, Rori finishes out the day feeling inadequate and defeated. The issue ends with the introduction of a new potential ally and still more questions about Rori’s life.
The writing of this issue didn’t grab me right away. The first few scenes felt flat compared to the previous issue. However, within a few pages Zub hits his stride. Rori is a great character and it’s a real pleasure to learn more about her. Zub writes fun dialogue throughout the issue, but when it comes from Rori it’s something special. She’s a character that any reader can relate to. The introduction of Shirai, on the other hand, was a little disappointing for me. Shirai has been cursed somehow and that curse drives him to attack Rori. The problem I had with this part of the story is after Shirai calms down, Rori seems to trust him far too quickly. I think this new partnership would have benefited from a few more pages of build up.
Cummings is doing amazing work on this series. There’s not much more that can be said. His pages are not only beautiful, they’re firmly grounded in reality. The world comes to life while you’re reading the book. Enhanced by some superb coloring provided by John Rauch and Jim Zub, this issue is likely to be the prettiest book you pick up this week.
This issue again includes an essay from Zack Davisson, this time focused on high school in Japan. Davisson does a great job of not only presenting a lot of interesting information, but tying it to the story. This section of the book is a great example of supplemental material done right.
Wayward #2 hit a few bumps, but it was still a solid issue overall. It answered small questions while continuing to pose bigger ones that will affect the entirety of the series. Rori continues to be a fascinating character and Cummings’ art alone is well worth the cover price. Don’t miss it.