The second story arc of Wayward is coming to a close. Let’s see how it all comes to an end for our cast of characters for now, since we won’t see them again until November. Is it good?
Wayward #10 (Image Comics)
It’s the big, climactic fight against the bad guys who like keeping status quo— and to do that, all of these kids need to die. Emi Ohara is ready to face her destiny and defeat these bad guys. How will this whole climactic showdown end?!
Wayward #10 is a good wrap up to the second story arc… to a certain degree. If you have been liking the comic up until now, I’m sure you’ll be fine with what happens here and the choices that are made. However, most of the issue is one long and intense fight scene with very little story or character, other than Emi accepting who she is (which happened in previous issues and off screen). The ending fight with this bad guy might have been more effective and stronger if he appeared in more than one single issue. Then there was Rori, who reappears and destroys these things that mean a lot to the villains… which were only just introduced in this issue. The comic then ends on a big moment… which really doesn’t mean much since the comic didn’t really build it up to it.
Death by housecats. How humiliating.
In fact, that is the biggest and saddest problem about Wayward in a nutshell. It doesn’t build things up or remotely develop ideas. Jim Zub speeds through every single little thing in the comic, from the plot, to the concepts, to the characters with reckless abandon. He rarely gives the characters time to develop or grow as individuals, just deciding when they have suddenly overcome their problem and moved on. Remember when Rori used to cut herself? Yeah, she got over that very serious issue quickly, didn’t she? How about Emi’s issues with her family and the way she felt about herself? Already done and over with it, especially since Rori mindwiped her entire family into forgetting about her (can’t wait to find out how Emi takes that). Or how about Rori learning to use her powers effectively? Well one “realization” a few issues ago and she’s already a master, warping reality and people to her will as if it was nothing. It’s like the comic told a twenty or thirty issue story in only ten. The worst thing about it is that the story itself isn’t bad, nor are plot decisions. It’s all how the story is told and the writer’s inability to grow things naturally. Every decisions a character makes or a development in the story feels so artificial instead of feeling like it naturally developed that way.
The writing is not that great either. The characterization is lackluster like mentioned and there’s no real growth or new things learned about anyone in this comic. Outside of Emi, no one is well developed or even all that likeable in any respect (Rori killed all of her likability last issue). The pacing is still awful with three fourths of the comic being just one long fight scene, while the remaining six pages cram in the resolution to the entire arc. The dialogue and narration are alright but nothing memorable. The Japanese mythology still feels rather tacked on and come across almost like window dressing. The only thing that weren’t bad was the structure and transitions, which were perfectly acceptable and had no issues with them.
If you have to wonder about it, you already may not be doing the right thing.
The artwork is the only saving grace this comic has going for it. The characters look great (though faces do still look rather similar to each other), the action is very intense and exciting to look at, the layouts and panels flow well from one to another, and the coloring is lovely. There’s just no issue with it in how it looks and serves the comic. It may not be the best artwork in the world, but it’s quite nice and it’s sadly wasted on this comic.
Is It Good?
Wayward #10 may work as a fine conclusion to the second arc for people who’ve enjoyed the series thus far. However, this issue is also frustrating and the entire arc, like the last one, is underdeveloped. Wayward is one of the most rushed and poorly paced comics I’ve read. This series isn’t remotely recommended at all due to how much it is lacking and how much it is losing due to its pace. Just save your money for something much better, since Image Comics and other publishers have much better books out right now.