Comic Book Review: Wayward #26
It has been one heck of a wait to find out what comes next in Wayward. If I recall correctly, the last issue released was last year, realizing that made it that much harder to set aside this anticipation. The only downside of course was the need to go back and refresh the memory of what happened up to this point. I mean, a lot did happen between the betrayals, loss, and craziness that was these new gods’ powers spiraling out of control. It was nice knowing that what comes next involved all of the Wayward together after so much time apart.
Catching up with the Wayward, it was as if everything was picking up from right where they all got initially separated. There were some things that they had to address in order to move forward without tension, and a quick resolution put them on the path that they needed to take next. Them in general being able to have real conversations again was a good change of pace. With other people they had to withhold or keep their distance, but now there’s room to be more open (for the most part). Some of them displayed a lot more maturity as well which was the outcome we needed to see from some of the trials they experienced to get here. My only issue is that with everyone together, there was no talk of how they lost Ayane in Ireland. That was a heavy loss if you ask me, it moved me, and I would have hoped to see some expression of disbelief from the others that this happened.
For this new story arc, it was a big plus to also get to know Segawa. The story arc finale for issue #25 went through everyone’s story but his which made it unclear about the part he would continue to play in importance. Giving him a story to understand established that now he has relevance to the Wayward moving forward.
The shocker here was how one action returned with very different answers than expected for the Wayward. Some answers to simply wait for because you know it will come in time, but this one was dropped right on our laps and changes everything that we once knew about Weavers.
After so much time since the last issue, it was welcoming to have a small reintroduction to these characters from a different perspective. In general it was good to see how this tied into the bigger picture that was how Japan as a whole was reacting to all of this madness. Where we see New Gods versus Old Gods, they only see chaos and destruction. Especially when they have the Nurarihyon whispering sweet nothings in their ears to provoke action taken in the Yokai’s favor. Whatever and whoever they have taken by the end of this issue is surely to shake things up if they think it will shift the tides in their favor as well.
The artwork from Steve Cummings and Tamra Bonvillain was missed. There has always been something to love about the art style of Steve Cummings when it comes to the way he struck this balance between American and Japanese for these characters. Never fully went in any direction which makes this pretty unique. Especially when open to more ways that these characters can emote, express themselves through body language, and much more. For this issue in particular it was very important to capture the headspeace that everyone is in. He nails this without worrying about perspective or the supernatural elements which would overcome them. What I also missed all this time was how cool it is when Rori unleashes her power with control. Everything about the way they use those red ribbons is both stylish and unique. Particularly the gradient of warm colors. Credit where it is due how they twist them to create borders, create shape, and it really takes some time and effort to detail all of it. Some artists unfortunately can’t be bothered to produced that kind of work through pencil or color without everything bleeding into one another. That is what also made it smart how whites and blacks are used as a base.
Gut-wrenching is the right word to use for Wayward right now. Wayward continues to be that drama with teens that rescues you from all of the cliche. Issue #26 brings these kids together again, but only to challenge the things that keep them sane, and keep them on the right side of this war. The truth that the Yokai have hid about the Weavers was mind-blowing and could not have come at a better time.