Story by Jim Zub
Line Art by Steve Cummings
Colors by John Rauch and Jim Zub
Letters by Marshall Dillon
Back Matter by Zack Davisson
Published by Image Comics
Release Date: 8/27/2014
Rori Lane finds herself moving from Ireland, where she lived with her father while she was in school, to Japan and living with her mother. The cultural differences aren’t the biggest problems Rori finds herself in her new home – it’s the monsters.
Jim Zubkavich brings readers a very different kind of series from his current work on “Skullkickers” and “Samurai Jack” with his latest creator-owned series – “Wayward”. This first issue really is built to lay the groundwork for a larger story that Zubkavich is building. Readers are introduced to Rori Lane, a teenage girl who’s seeing weird red lines everywhere. Readers are also introduced to Ayane, who appears when Rori is attacked by some strangers who are revealed to be Kappas – strange, sword-wielding creatures.
The first issue’s story is very well written by introducing some lead characters, immediately throwing them into a sequence of actions that bring them together and draws the reader in by asking “Why did this happen?” Rori is a very likeable character who has her own “normal” problems that anyone can relate to, but Ayane and the Kappas add another layer to her problems that sets her apart from the reader. Familiarity to bring readers in and the addition of curiosity to keep readers involved. That adds up to a strong first issue.
The art by Steve Cummings, John Rauch, and Marshall Dillon is stellar. There is an obvious manga influence to Cummings’ art which isn’t a surprise knowing his work at Toykopop and UDON. His characters are very fluid and move across the page with ease. The facial expressions help convey the story that Zubkavich is telling with the dialogue and events in the issue. Cummings’s pages are very detailed without overwhelming the reader and really lends itself to be open and expressive for John Rauch’s colors which really are the star of this first issue’s art.
Rauch is no stranger to coloring fans and his work on this issue is superb. His use of shadows on the characters’ faces in many of the panels really are nice to see and adds a nice touch to the overall page. The reverse coloring technique that is used when Rori’s “vision” comes in to play affects everything around her but her, and that exclusion of Rori in the coloring change is a nice touch.
“Wayward” #1 is a really strong first issue that is really for anyone looking for an exciting new series to jump in on at the ground floor. As stated before, Rori is a very relatable lead character that any reader can connect to and when her world gets a little nuts, readers are ready to jump into the fray with her. The art is amazing throughout the issue and sets a nice tone for the story being told.
Without a doubt, “Wayward” #1 gets a high recommendation