I've heard a lot about Wayward, and really who hasn't? After meeting writer, Jim Zub at NYCC '15, and hearing him talk about his passion at the Image Comics: Where Creators Own Worlds panel, I made a mental note to turn my eyes back towards the series. It was time to give it some more attention. What took place after was an epic binge read of the first two trade paperbacks. It's been a while since I've done a Binge Read Catch Up, but here you have it…my Binge Read Catch Up of Wayward Vol. 1, from Image Comics, written by Jim Zub, with art by Steve Cummings.
[SPOILERS FOR WAYWARD VOL. 1 BELOW!]
If you've ever heard Jim Zub talk about the story he describes it as:
"Buffy in Japan with monsters."
You can't get much cooler than that. Beyond that, I have to stress how much the story surprised me, because it's so much more than that. We meet main character Rori Lane as she's leaving Ireland to go live with her mother in Japan. Trying to start a new life in a new country is a challenge for any normal person, so what happens when you're gifted with some special powers? Things get a bit more complicated.
When Rori meets a blue-haired new friend, Ayane, she discovers that she's not the only one with a gift. In fact, there are a few more new friends with special powers. By name, Shirai and Nikaido. I have to stress that what's really special about this story is you get to experience the origins of a team coming together and figuring out what to do with their powers. Zub's script is honest, heartfelt, and powerful.
I was particularly surprised when I reached the point of the trade where we learn that Rori cuts herself to escape the distraction of her powers. From that point, incredibly deep layers of her characters personality and insecurities are revealed, all of which make the story more intense. Steve Cummings illustrates a world that I'm happy to be transported to. From all I've heard about the series, the creative team pays special attention to make Japan as accurate as possible when writing. As a reader, that means a lot. I read the first volume cover to cover. It collects the first five issues, and provides an excellent base to what's sure to be a comic that's around for a long time.
If you haven't picked it up yet, be sure to grab a copy. Stay tuned for my Binge Read Catch Up of Wayward Vol. 2 next week.