Saturday, 24 September 2016

Wayward, Volume 2: Ties That Bind Review (Jim Zub, Steve Cummings)


Set three months after the end of the first volume, we’re introduced to a new main character from the start: Ohara Emi, another Japanese teenager in Rori’s school who’s suddenly begun manifesting magical powers for no reason. And, though it’s only the second volume, this is where I say goodbye to Wayward! 

My biggest complaint about the first book was Jim Zub’s sloppy writing – he introduced the characters poorly while failing to establish the story or explain how and why anything was happening. His writing manages to get worse in this one! Considering he’s done the bare minimum of work on the too-many characters we’ve already met, presenting us with a new one in Ohara Emi probably wasn’t the best move. She’s also not the most interesting character and doesn’t seem to add anything to the group anyway. 

The bat samurais (referred to as “kitsunes” by Ohara – “kitsune” is “fox” in Japanese though these guys look nothing like foxes) continue to be plot devices rather than characters while nothing more is learned about the boater hat dude. In fact we see an entirely new villain here with the spider witch! Like the others, she remains one-dimensional and her relation to whatever’s going on remains nebulous at best. 

New adversaries appear like the purple-faced dildo-nosed bad guy who arbitrarily wants to fight the teens (probably because he’s pissed about having a dildo for a nose) and Rori manifests new powers for no reason (and still no explanation for how or why she has these powers or what the glowing strings are or mean) but are really useful for what she needs to do – they may as well be called Deus Ex Machina powers! 

Steve Cummings’ art and the colourist team’s work is still top-notch and Wayward is a great-looking comic, but I’m too fed up with Zub’s incompetent storytelling to keep plugging away at this series. It’s not as bad but it’s like Nick Spencer’s Morning Glories all over again! Wayward, Volume 2: Ties That Bind compounds the mess of the first book making what little story there is even more inscrutable – this book and series isn’t worth bothering with.

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