And here we are. The finale for the first arc of this series (at least, according to what the solicitations say about the issue and the upcoming one) and this will be the last we see of the series until March! How does this comic wrap up for now? Is it good?
Wayward #5 (Image Comics)
Rori somehow realizes that her mom is in trouble and being held hostage by this mysterious man dressed like Harold Hill from The Music Man (or Lyle Lanley from The Simpsons if that reference is too obsurce for you) back in her apartment. She follows this red string all the way back to her place and finds herself in an ambush.
Things don’t get better from there, honestly.
Wait, how the hell do you know that cat girl?!
Wayward wraps up the arc on a rather heavy note and to the comic’s credit, I’ll give it this: it did do a couple of surprising things. I wasn’t expecting one or two things to happen, especially given how heavy they were (and this early on, no less). So, if you have been enjoying the comic up until now, I’m sure this issue will do it for you and have your full attention, awaiting the series’ return in March.
That being said, this issue is extremely problematic and it is an accumulation of all of the problems that been dragging this comic down since it began. And all of that ties into one single thing: the pacing. The pacing on this book is terrible with how fast it is going. It never gives the audience a moment to rest and take things in, barely developing or spending time with the characters or story. We barley know anything about these characters, we barely know about what they can do, where they are from, and more. We don’t know a thing about the villain, what these powers are, what limits they have or what limits other people’s powers are, what the villain is after, what the heck he is talking about, we don’t know what the stakes are and so much more.
Worst of all, there’s barely a connection or relationship between any of these characters. You can’t believe a lot of them are friends since they barely spent any time with one another and any of the heavy moments actually fall flat because the relationship between the characters were poorly built up (even the big moment of the comic is like that since the two never spent that much time together and the comic just quickly rushes through it). This comic ultimately has the worst pacing I’ve seen with any story and it’s what is killing this series. It needs to slow down and let things build and develop, otherwise you’ll lack the emotional impact to make a lot of the story and characters effective.
Who’s hiding what and what the hell is the Great Pattern? Tell me!
There’s not much to say with the writing either. The characterization is lackluster and there’s not much of it other than Rori (still no word or exploration of the fact that she cuts herself, by the way), with everyone else taking a backseat like they always have in this series. The dialogue is average at best, with nothing particularly memorable. The ending for the book is good and has a nice hook to it, which is one of the better things about the issue at least. As a whole though, this issue just kind of fell flat a lot of the time.
The artwork on the other hand is pretty good. The characters look fine, the action and supernatural elements are decent, the coloring looks alright, and the layouts are well put together. There’s just honestly not much to say or discuss about it though, with the exception of a double page spread of Rori’s apartment. It looks a lot bigger than what it is usually depicted as in the previous issues. It’s perfectly fine artwork, if a bit average, and if you liked up until this point, you’ll like here as well.
Nah that was just the Flash folks.
Is It Good?
Wayward #5 was a rather surprising and shocking way to end an arc that’s sure to excite the fans… but it’s hampered by a lot of problems. The pacing on the book is awful, the buildup and development of its characters has been almost nonexistent, there’s way too many mysteries and vagueness for its own good, and the writing is at best average. It’s honestly hard to recommend this series, especially when there are other series (especially when it comes to manga) that have a similar plot or have similar elements and do them so much better. As such, Wayward, at least at this point, is not worth your time or money and best left being skipped.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!