Last month, fellow reviewer Sam took a look at the first issue of Wayward and it wasn’t his cup of tea. I took a look myself and was into it a bit more, but still saw a bunch of problems. With the second issue out now, it has the chance now to improve and get better. Does it though? Is it good?
Wayward #2 (Image Comics)
After that bizarre encounter the other night with the monsters and superpowered girl, Rori Lane is not sure what to think about living in Tokyo. Everything is just so freaky and completely different than her old life, even ignoring the supernatural aspect. However, she’ll have no more time to think about that stuff, since the new school semester has started and there’s a whole new level stress for her to encounter. That also includes an odd boy sitting by himself in the cafeteria…
Well sorry for displaying some individuality around this place.
This was an interesting, but flawed, issue. The story in and of itself isn’t bad per se, since it continues to develop the main character, establish her new life, and even throw in a new character to the mix. In fact, the story has a very manga-like feel to it, especially the whole school and supernatural aspect. However, the problem with the story lays with its pacing. It’s a really dang slow comic as the character constantly narrates how she feels about her whole experience before and at school; but then the pacing kicks into high gear in the second half as she runs into the new character and discovers his secret. It’s such a radical change in pace and it also cuts, unfortunately, into the story as well. What I mean by that is that the final pages just rushed the new character’s introduction and hand waves a lot of things, making it feel incredibly abrupt when it ends.
Since we are on the characters, the book is a mixed bag so far. Rori has the most personality and humanity, mostly because her narration and reactions help develop her. However, the vagueness of the powers and how she doesn’t seem remotely weirded out by them feels… unnatural and unbelievable. Also, she turns out to be a cutter. It’s so… out of left field and feels incredibly tacked on. It only appears briefly in one scene and then is immediately forgotten about in the next just as quickly as it appeared. It honestly feels like it was done for shock value more than being a natural part of the character. Her mom is just sort of there at this point and hasn’t done much, and that mysterious girl we saw in the last issue makes no appearance here. The guy that was introduced seems sort of interesting, but again, his introduction is just rushed and it didn’t allow us time to care about him.
Jim Zub crafts an interesting story here, but it is still in some need of work. The dialogue and narration aren’t bad, but they are not particularly exciting or engaging. The pacing, again, goes from slow to very fast quickly; though the story structure and flow aren’t bad here. There isn’t much emotion or heart in the comic, since there’s no one to really sympathize with or care a lot about at this point. The ending, due to being abrupt, feels a bit vague about what exactly had just happened or what’s even going to happen now. There’s no real overarching story that has developed yet or even a personal story or arc for our characters either. Things are just sort of happening at this point. The concept and premise still remain interesting, but the execution is in need of work.
Steve Cummings’ artwork is pretty solid for the most part, besides a few odd facial expressions here and there. The characters are genuinely well drawn and stand out pretty well, the layouts are easy to follow, and the coloring is appealing. Of course, his true highlight and strength is when he gets to depict the supernatural and more action focused bits. The designs, the imagery, and the energy here are really fantastic to look at. It’s great stuff and I wish the comic would focus on it a bit more.
I think your Spidey-Sense is tingling again.
Is It Good?
Wayward #2 is not a bad book, it’s really not. But it is one that needs work done and more fleshing out. The story here has a good foundation, the main character remains interesting and the artwork is great. However, the writing needs some strengthening, the pacing is questionable, and the supporting cast needs more development to truly succeed. I’ll be sticking with this to see if it gets better, but at this point, I would recommend some mangas with similar premises and ideas over this series.
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