Wayward #7 launched last week, bringing us some more information on the newly found protagonist and the overarching plot of the series. Jim Zub and Steve Cummings have been on a roll with the series since the outset, so I was incredibly excited to dive into this latest issue.
This issue picks up with a very confused Emi after her encounter with the Kitsune and Ayane. Typically shy and reserved, Emi begins to come out of her shell as she uses her powers to join Ayane’s fight against yokai. Her motivations are a bit hazy, but I suppose any teen with supernatural powers would want to fight ghosts. Time moves quickly and Emi masters her powers over man-made materials, bending them to her will in impressive displays of might. As Ayane and Emi grow closer and the search for Rory starts anew, dark forces plot to end their meddling once and for all.
I’ve been a big fan of Zub’s characterization throughout the series, but I was a little disappointed with this issue. There’s no spark as the young group of heroes talk amongst themselves. The dialogue is stiff and a little predictable at times. Another weakness in the issue is the new protagonist Emi. She’s just not as interesting as Rory always was. There’s a lot of room to grow here, but for now the character shift is a bit of a letdown. However, when it comes to the pacing and the overall plot, Zub continues to shine. The story moves quickly and maintains a great sense of motion and action. There are also small hints at the bigger picture, enticing readers forward page by page.
Every time I review Wayward, I struggle to come up with new ways to describe Cummings’ work on the book. The fact is, it’s beautiful. Every issue is stunning and this week’s is no exception. The panels easily blend the realism of the mundane parts of the city with the fantastic, supernatural elements. The colors by Tamra Bonvillain are essential to the experience, bringing the panels to life with bright, vibrant hues. There’s no doubt that issue #7 is one of the most gorgeous books on the stands.
Despite a few missteps with the characterization, Wayward remains a ‘must buy.’ It’s consistently been one of the most entertaining books to come out from Image over the last year and the art itself is worth more than the cover price. Cummings work is so gorgeous that the script could call for twenty-two pages of characters just staring at each other and it would still be worth the buy. Don’t miss out on this series.