It’s time once again to check on our favorite super-powered Japanese teens! As they head into battle for the first time against an army, will we finally see some of the conflicts coming into play or do we still have a ways to go before we can sink our teeth into the plot’s potential?
Let’s take a look at Wayward #13.
A review copy was provided courtesy of Jim Zub.
The first big battle begins and ends in this issue, which finally gives us an idea of how the conflict is going to start playing out and how this ragtag group works as a unit (well enough but clear rifts are starting to show). We see that Rori really is nothing but a puppet now, only achieving momentary consciousness once the Tsuchigumo’s mistress, Jorogumo, is too weak from the fight to maintain her hold. Thus far, that is the most interesting conflict, since Rori is clearly the strongest and has the biggest world altering powers. The Nurarihyon remains at the edges of the fighting but it looks like he might be ready to join the fray.
There seems to be a budding romance between Emi and Shirai, which I suppose we are to assume is an extension of the relationship from when he found her crying that one time. Overall, the friendships between these character are pretty weak, except for Shirai and Rori who spent the most time together. I don’t get a sense that these people have a lot of emotion for each other, or even that they act more than just people fighting together. That’s one thing I’d like to see developed further, especially as the team dynamic breaks down.
Discursively, the brief talk between Shirai and Emi is particularly interesting. It is clear that different members of the team enjoy the fighting and mayhem more than others, with Emi being very hesitant and Shirai being very gung-ho. I’m glad they added this moment to show the gravity of the situation, that the action does not exist in a vacuum of sorts where it doesn’t affect the characters’ mental states. This might be what breaks them up, or at least makes some rifts in later chapters, which will definitely add to the tensions already building.
The art remains the same, though here we are able to highlight some of the excellent action sequences. There’s a great fluidity to the characters’ actions, so for a lot of the fight can really feel the follow-through of the motion. No new designs to speak of, but the lighting and shadowing with the fire ablaze is well done. The pacing issues that sometimes plague the issues are gone, making the battle feel bigger and lengthier than the skirmish-esque tussle I was expecting. Solid construction, good dialogue overall, very little to dislike about this particular issue.
All in all, it’s nice to finally see some action going down in the larger context of the story. While there’s little foreshadowing as to what’s next, there is some development here, and the action and discourse both work really well and hope to see further fleshing out in future issues. Only time will tell with these teens on the march to supreme power!
– Great action sequences.
– Larger plot points in play.
– Character’s relationships are weak.