Despite its problems, I was still pretty much into the second issue of Wayward. I see potential in this series for it to soar and truly shine. There are issues to be sure, but I’m still quite into the book despite them. Hopefully, the third issue can really start pushing it. Is it good?
Wayward #3 (Image Comics)
Rori Lane’s life has taken a very strange turn in these past few days with these supernatural encounters and now a boy her age, Shirai, with weird powers and connection to the supernatural of his own. Neither of them fully understand or grasp the situation at hand, but they won’t have much time to figure it before we whisked away into another adventure.
Like with the previous issue, this comic is interesting but also very flawed. All of the flaws are extensions of one major problem that drags entire the comic down, and that is the pacing. The pacing on this book is just bad since it is going way too fast. The story introduces new characters and plot elements, but it takes very little time to actually explain or explore these new additions. It just proceeds to keep pushing the story forward and never giving us a chance to breathe. We meet a new character this issue, but outside of two facts, we don’t know anything about this person or why he goes along with this characters. We meet Ayane from the first issue again, but we still don’t know anything about her. We see some new supernatural creatures, but the comic doesn’t bother explaining or giving context outside of some encyclopedia entries at the very end.
Everything about the comic is vague, but in a good way (or at least in a way that would feel natural for this point of the story). This early on in the comic, I don’t except the creative team to reveal everything, but the audience needs to be clued in on some things. Like maybe some development or some good backstory for the characters, a plotline or direction for this series to go, or maybe some idea about how the “magic” works in this comic (the characters in the very beginning are questioning and trying to figure out how it works, but no real progress is made). The comic here just needs to lay down a foundation for the story and its characters to build off of, because nothing feels solid or firm.
She then proceeds to break his nose.
It’s a shame too, because I still maintain the fact that what we are seeing here is potentially interesting. We may have our main cast of characters introduced, all unique looking in their apparent powers and personality from what little we have seen. We may have gotten a glimpse at the villain for the comic, who has an interesting design (though vague as heck motivations) and style to him. The ending also shows some very interesting potential and personally, caught my attention very well. I can really see how others would want to know what happens next or what this all means after that ending. There are good ideas, glimpses of intrigue and potential abound, and plenty of material here to work with to make a solid story. The comic just needs to actually slow down and develop its story, its characters, its mythology, and its ideas and themes.
The rest of the writing for the book is alright, but hampered by the pacing. There’s little characterization or character development, especially the main character who didn’t get to do anything at all this issue. The dialogue is fine, but forgettable. The storytelling is moving quickly, so things that should be naturally taking some time to develop or progress are sped over (like the new kid just instantly deciding to work with the heroes). It still has the tone and feel of your typical Japanese manga for teenagers, so it can appeal to that audience for sure (though, on the other hand, it doesn’t necessarily bring anything new to that table if that’s what it’s going for). The writing is fine, just weighed down by the pacing.
The artwork still looks good I have to say. The characters are drawn fairly well and can be rather expressive. The action scene and supernatural elements are very well depicted, highly energized, and enjoyable to look at with how they flow. The layouts are fine; backgrounds can be a bit on the bland side, and the coloring and inking are perfectly okay (though nothing to write home about). It’s a decent looking book through and through and hopefully, it can continue to grow as more issues come out.
Is It Good?
Wayward remains that book that’s just on the line. It’s not all the great, but it’s not that bad either. It has potential and an interesting idea that can take it far or make it at least an enjoyable time, but it remains hamstrung by bad pacing and lack of development. I still hesitate in recommending this series, though it’s still one to keep an eye on. I have a feeling that once it takes off, it’ll be amazing.