Comic Book Review: Wayward #21
It has been quite some time since that last issue of Wayward. Our fix of myth unleashed into the modern world. One that was very close to bringing even someone like me to shed a tear at the heavy loss of Ayane. I don’t think a single reader could have prepared themselves for the emotion poured into her final moments. Wasn’t even sure if I would have it in me to keep going to this Wayward #21. But the story is far from over as the story takes us back to Japan.
This felt only right that after what happened in the Emerald Isles we transition back to what everyone else is up to and dealing with. From the cover of Wayward #21 it was obvious that we were shifting the focus to Nikaido. I personally have been looking forward to an issue like this because he isn’t as fleshed out as the rest of these characters. There’s so much between Nikaido personally and his powers that have been yet explored. Not to mention he was hurt the last time we were with him and Inaba. The start of this issue was quick to diving into more about his powers in controlling emotions. Compared to the other characters he also felt like one who hadn’t truly tapped into his powers as well. You could see the potential when he switched from support to offensive, so there was always hints here and there that there must be more he is capable of.
The first scene of this issue was creative. Where’s the one place you shouldn’t be when your powers involve the emotions of those around you? A hospital. That is the last place you want to be stuck and the dialogue throughout those pages in build-up brought a subtle emphasis to this. Surprisingly it only took one moment of revelation to discover exactly what it is that Nikaido does, yet that little bit of information makes you like him all the more for the danger he poses to both sides.
Getting back to Inaba and Segawa was fun for the fact that she is just as lively as Ayane. We might have lost a great character in Ayane, but Inaba still satisfies on her end. The way she looks at life is awesome and every action reflects those views. Now for this issue she did create a little bit of a panic. Regardless of her loyalties, sometimes you can’t help but feel on edge about what she is willing to do to get the job done. By the end of the issue she does put you at ease showing that she is capable of being human and engaging when necessary.
Little things such as how the political power is influencing this war mattered to address. There wasn’t too much significant there, but there was a solid establishment of the threat these wayward kids are facing right now. The Nurarihyon found his power in the modern role and is taking every advantage to stay ahead of the game.
Steve Cummings and Tamra Bonvillain knock it out of the park for the break they had to refresh themselves. I do agree with Jim Zub that this creative team are always at their best because they know when to put a pause on the story in order to give us the best quality. First off, I like how Steve Cummings and Tamra Bonvillain make it a point to show that some time has passed since the last time we were in Japan. It could be hair, the way they carry themselves, or their attitude, but visually you could see a change in a lot of them with progress. Inaba in particular who takes on a stronger role as the person who has to take action. I especially adored her choice of clothing this time around. Not to mention the color scheme of her clothing. She is showing more individuality in the way she looks and acts which is what we need right now when everyone else is struggling to figure out what to do next. As I pointed out before I also like the way Jim Zub and Marshall Dillon structure the first scene with the dialogue and distinguishing what was being thought of and what was being felt by those people. It wasn’t random, and it was a creative way to highlight what Nikaido goes through when he takes in the emotions around him. Overall a very solid use of colors as well. There wasn’t anything over the top this time around, so you were mostly taking in the different ways Tamra Bonvillain adds to the atmosphere of these scenes. She certainly shows a number of times how much color you can add to a black and white page, especially when it came to those first initial pages with Nikaido. The use of warm colors overlaying the hospital scene when things escalated was perfect for the sense of horror that needed to be experienced from understanding just what Nikaido can do.
This new story arc opens us up to a stronger push into these kids taking on their roles as new gods. Up to this point they were strong, but they all had ways to go if they were to really stand up to this world where the old gods aren’t willing to disappear without a fight. Wayward #21 finally takes us into what makes a kid like Nikaido powerful, and the end of this issue teases another who will find out what she can really do whether she wants to or not.