It is kind of eerie that as I am reading Wayward, I am also catching up on Season 2 of Outlander. Both series have parallel stories in that they start off in one country rich with history and mythology and have now plunked themselves in a whole different country. For Wayward #19, Rori, and Ayane have found themselves in Ireland, thanks to Rori’s dad.
Wayward began as a comic series of a handful of unhappy teenagers coming together as they learned their own supernatural power. Rori, half Japanese/half Irish, could see strand of the future around her, Ayane is the cat shapeshifter, another who can change her DNA to match whatever non-living item there is around her (Nikaido), another one who feeds on ghosts, a mind reader, and a rebel warrior/shapeshifter (Inaba).They had good intentions. They just believed the wrong people first. Their inexperience made them puppets in a dangerous grand scheme. The older supernatural residents of Japan steadily grow uneasy with the rise of power that the teenagers begin to accumulate. Tensions boil as a crazy fight breaks out. Crazy as in lots of slashing, lots of bodies, lots of death.
By Wayward #19 the smoke is beginning to clear from the crazy battle between the teenagers and pretty much everyone else. Thank GOODNESS, the dastardly plan of the spiders fell apart in a most chaotic fashion. As arachnophobic as I am, my heart did bleed a little for the one little spider still reaching out to comfort the mistress. Until it got squashed. Eek, chills. As everyone in Japan is sorting themselves out and gearing up for the next thing, we shift our focus to Ireland.
We get a more in-depth look into what led to Rori’s birth. A sweet romance is displayed but there is some definite shady undertones about. Ayane wakes up in the middle of the night to find Rori’s dad talking to a druid. A druid, for the most part, is not the most benevolent of characters. Except for in the Iron Druid Chronicles series by Kevin Hearne. Although Druids are not typical in Japan, this druid still looked scary enough to set off some large alarm bells. Which were ultimately quelled as Ayane passed out out from blood loss.
We don’t really see too much of Rori’s story in this issue. It’s really Ayane that has the focus in this issue as something very important has happened. These kids are not gods (obviously). Except for their power seems to the strongest in Japan. As Ayane is far away in Ireland, she is not healing as fast as she should. Unless something is preventing her innate powers to work. Although, I am not feeling a lot of sympathy for Ayane. She was one of my favorite characters initially (yahoo! I want to turn into multiple cats too!) until her inner violent nature expanded to beyond her enemies. During the big skirmish, her cat shifting and cat allying powers was a turning point several times. She put herself and the cats (that weren’t her) right in the line of fire. It was a battle zone, it cannot be helped. Except after the smoke cleared, Ayane showed complete disregard for the lives of the cats that aided her. There were bloodied cat bodies strewn every where and she was so high off the battle drug, she spared them no glance. Those pages were tough to get through as I almost cried at all of the dead cats. I almost stopped reading as I absolutely hate seeing cats or dogs or any animal die needlessly. Although in this sense, it wasn’t needless. It established a solid trait in Ayane: she does not value life only the rush. It also makes me wonder if the cats willingly fought in battle for her or because they also wanted to fight in the heat of the battle. Still, by the time Ayane collapsed from all the blood loss, I couldn’t help but smirk. Good. That’s for all the kitties!
Even though a lot of action is happening in Japan, another key point is happening in Japan. Shirai, is one of the teenagers who can consumes and lives off ghosts. A very large and scary character has snatched him up and this seems to be the last we see of Shirai. Except no, the scary character is there to offer a bit of foreshadowing and warning. From how things are progressing at the end, that battle was indeed just a skirmish.
This story is getting more and more tangled. Nothing has essentially been resolved yet in Japan and now we’ve added Irish mythology into the whole mess. Despite the dead kitty cats, I am still very much into the series and I am looking forward to the next issue. Until then, catch up Wayward #19 at your local comic book retailer.