Wayward #1 Review

By: Rob Neil Gruszecki

Rori Lane has just arrived in Japan to start her new life after the split of her parents. In this new world and magical atmosphere she hopes to start again with minimal chaos and disorder. Barely minutes after stepping off the plane though she already begins to experience flashes of the paranormal which she passes off as jet lag and soon enough she is face to face with a monster slaying ninja-girl who brings out latent abilities and powers within Rori. With some flashes of the future Rori sets off on a route to adventure and wonder in Wayward.

From Jim Zub (Samurai Jack, Skullkickers) and Steven Cummings (Pantheon High) comes a new fantasy adventure comic with ass-kicking, magical ninjas and crazy monsters dressed up as street thugs. Wayward is the story of Rori Lane, a gifted teenager who stumbles across some bizarre and frightening threats on her first night in a new world. Fun, light-hearted, exciting and mysterious, Wayward has a lot of potential to develop into a fan favorite at Image Comics.

Rori is a compelling lead in Wayward and as she guides us into this magical version of Tokyo we feel anxious, curious and bold along with her as she takes her first steps. The environment around her is daunting and busy however her inner monologue and interaction with others including her mother, freshly divorced from Rori’s father, hook you with empathy and genuine interest. There is still much to be revealed about Rori throughout the pages of Wayward and this first issue only teases at what really lies at the heart of the character but I’ll be more than happy to follow along as she gets more fleshed out as the series progresses.

Artistically, Wayward is incredibly detailed and beautifully displays this shiny new Tokyo playground. Character and monster designs are a highlight and the flow of Cummings’ storytelling is as fluid as an anime. John Rauch and Jim Zub add a lot to the sequences with their work on the colours as well all in all making the world of Wayward a gorgeous one to live in.

The first issue of Wayward hooks you with bright, lively characters and Buffy-esque (you’ll be hearing that word associated with this series a lot) action that leaves you immediately wanting more as the last page puts a stamp on this first chapter in the mystical life of Rori Lane.

Rob Neil Gruszecki is a writer, musician and Wednesday warrior

Follow him on Twitter @Ghost_Factory

Listen to his music www.Ghostfactory.bandcamp.com, read his comic series with Shae Frank, www.wildrosecounty.com or follow the Weekly Comics Round-Up Podcast www.Geekstampede.com