Holidays have arrived and it has been a bustle of Christmas outings, family obligations, weddings, and all the other mumbo jumbo that gets in the way of some comic reading. A hefty mountain of comics was waiting for me dive into and gladly I did. For I have missed Wayward and I was dying to know what was going on.
A lot; A LOT has been going on.
Last time I reviewed Wayward #7 back in May 2015, I was left pretty bummed about the recent chain of events. The focused character up until Wayward #7 was Rori, a half American/half Japanese girl who had a new power of seeing patterns in life. She had made friends with Ayane, a high energy character who could also become a whole herd of battle crazed cats, and the rebellious outcast Shirei who gained sustenance by feeding on spirits. Rori was taken into the spirit realm and had seemed to lost, leaving her new band of friends struggling to find purpose.
Through the next few issues up to Wayward #12, the friends begin to move on. They accumulate new friends with superpowers and have a renewed purpose: enact revenge on those who have taken Rori. For a while, it seems as if the series was going to take on a Japanese version of Hell’s Kitchen and Buffy the Vampire Slayer: supernaturally powered vigilantes taking down the bad. Of course, it wouldn’t be as clear cut as that.
As hinted from earlier issues, there is another group that has been tracking of the antics of the children. This other group is not very pleased at all. Yet even within this group, there is dissent as portion of the group is betrayed and splits off only to align themselves with the children. This portion is a very powerful group indeed and have begun to use their persuasive powers to guide the children down a certain destructive path.
The twelfth issue is what I will dub the revelation issue. It became the definitive issue on what this series is about. It is not about good versus bad. Not at all. This has become a rising of a new era of power. Now which side is better is in a complete gray area. This is all beginning to trek into a familiar landscape. American Gods by Neil Gaimen comes to mind.
I was right in my melancholy when I reviewed this back in May 2015. This is frustrating to read issue by issue. The story is too rich to be taken in such small increments. Even as a volume, it just seems too small to be contained. Even the little history and background of the mythological characters can be it’s own little compendium. It’s a valuable section and adds a greater depth to the characters in the comic.
Looking back on it, I am surprised by the changes the characters have taken. How they were first introduced, the decisions they made, and where they stand now is not what I would have predicted for either of them. Their versatile changes, volatile personalities, and vulnerabilities really paint them as true teenagers burdened with crippling power. This is where the tagline of Buffy the Vampire Slayer comes into play.
With this issue, the excitement for the next one is just too much. The anticipation of battles to come and discovery of new allies or enemies is just thrilling. With Japan’s dense, oh so dense, catalog of mythological creatures, what comes next can come from anywhere.
At this point, you should be reading Wayward #12 and desperately waiting for the next one as I am. If not, both Volume 1 (contains issues #1-5), Volume 2 (contains issues #6-10), and Wayward #11 are available at your local comic book retailer. The weather is getting cold and it’s a great time to catch up!