Wayward #15 Review

Wayward #15
Writer: Jim Zub
Pencils: Steven Cummings
Colors: Steven Cummings and Brittany Peer
Letters: Marshall Dillon
Publisher: Image

Wayward is back this month, the indie comic by Jim Zub and Steven Cummings closes out its third story arc with issue 15.  Nurarihyon, the leader of the Yokai, who are the old guard and a gang of Japanese mythological creatures and spirits who are now under threat from the upcoming generation, led by our main protagonist Rori Lane.  Through blackmailing and manipulation, Nurarihyon has enlisted the national Self Defense Force as support as he lays siege to our heroes base.  All comes to a head as the entire cast is brought in to what is an action packed issue and it doesn’t disappoint.

The highlight of this issue and the story arc over all is we get a lot of development for the series main antagonist, Nurarihyon.  Writer Jim Zub uses this arc to flesh out the character and we get to see where he’s coming from.  Why he and the other Yokai are against and threatened by Rori and her gang.

Nurarihyon is a great villain because he’s not one demential.  He’s simply not the bad guy simply because he’s the bad guy, it’s because his way of life is threaten and he feels completely justified in the actions he’s taking.  To me, the best villains are the ones who don’t believe they’re a villain, the one’s who believe that they’re doing the right thing and Nurarihyon fits that bill.

While the issue and story arc unfortunately sets aside our main protagonist, Rori for a large portion, we fortunately receive character development and learn a great deal about the supporting cast.  Zub also introduces a new character, a Kitsune named Inaba who starts off as a villain but turns sides to support our heroes and becomes close friends with Ayane.  Earlier in the arc we were also introduced to Rori’s father, who has some secrets that are revealed and plays a pivotal role in the issue’s closing.

As stated before, this issue is action packed and the great execution comes from Steve Cummings art.  The fight scenes are well choreographed and the speed of the action leaps off the pages.  There’s a great encounter where Ayane and Inaba take on a squad from the Self Defense Force.  Seeing these two characters taking joyous pleasure in their bloody destruction is so much fun and memorable.  The two of them have great chemistry together and it’s a joy whenever they’re teaming up.  Zub also allows well placed breaks in-between for the reader to breath and collect their thoughts in preparation for the character building scenes.  This series has been effectively and consistently blended very fun and at the same time gruesome fight scenes.

Final Verdict

Wayward #15 is a solid and satisfying conclusion to the third story arc of one of the best indie comics in publication.  It’s a great balance of fun, humor, action, mystery, mythology, and drama.  The issue and overall arc does lack to provide much of our main protagonist to grab our investment but fortunately takes that time to flesh out its villain.  The action scenes are exciting, amusing, and are a joy to simply take your time and admire the visuals.

Score: 4.5 out of 5

Review by Eric Bradach

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