June 27, 2015

Image Reviews: Wayward #9

Wayward09-00-675x1024Wayward #9
Publisher: Image
Writer: Jim Zub
Artist: Steve Cummings & Tamra Bonvillain
Cover: Steve Cummings & Tamra Bonvillain

Time and again the creative team of Wayward continues to push their story to new and exciting places. It’s been one wild ride so far and with the return of Rori things take a weird and dark turn. She’s now mastered her powers and it may not all be for the best. While at the same time Ayane, Nikaido, and Emi are planning to take the fight directly to their enemy with the help of a new ally who may or may not be too trustworthy. But can you really trust a talking spider that’s NOT named Charlotte?

Zub throws so many things at us here and shakes things up in a way that makes the emotional rollercoaster ride worth the trip. Rori’s actions were a welcome and very unexpected surprise that added a new layer to a character that was beginning to lose her luster. To be fair, that could just be my impatience talking but she was such a strong presence in the beginning of the series it was difficult to deal with the fact she wasn’t as prominent for a while. Shirai is still a character that really hasn’t done much to impress and while he actually does have a purpose, he could be gone a few more issues and I would be alright with that. The rest of the ensemble cast really is great to see as Zub really digs into their characters to give us some satisfying moments. Like during Ayane’s conversation with the Earth Spiders which is one of those moments where we get some of that great Zub humor. He also touches on Emi’s inner struggle and conflict which will either make her a great soldier in this war or blow up in their faces and Zub isn’t letting us know which way just yet.

I’d like to know if Zub is just as excited to see the pages from Cummings and Bonvillain as readers are with every issue. Page after page is another step in sequential storytelling awesome from character designs to backgrounds to the action taking place. The opening sequence is pretty strong and you can just feel that power in the panel where an unlucky guy is shown just how far his neck can turn with a little help. As great as this issue looks, Nikaido’s “come and get some” pose at the cliffhanger just really gives that double page all the attitude it needs.

As with every issue, Zack Davisson enlightens the reader on one of the creatures that makes an appearance and it’s just one more level of great storytelling to take with you before you close the book. And while this issue may not be an ideal jumping on point if you haven’t been reading the series then you’ll want to pick up the back issues or trades. It’s worth it because Wayward is the series you should be reading for that supernatural, fantasy escape with panel after panel of great artwork.


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