Wayward, Vol. 1: String Theory by Jim Zub, Steven Cummings and John Rauch
Published by Image Comics
Genres: Fantasy, Mythology, Paranormal
For Fans of: Strong Female Protagonist. (The comic, I mean)
My Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Rori Lane is trying to start a new life when she reunites with her mother in Japan, but ancient creatures lurking in the shadows of Tokyo sense something hidden deep within her, threatening everything she holds dear. Can Rori unlock the secrets of her power before it’s too late? Jim Zub (Samurai Jack, Skullkickers), Steve Cummings (Legends of the Dark Knight, Deadshot), and John Rauch (Invincible) team-up to create an all-new Image supernatural spectacle that combines the camaraderie and emotion of Buffy with the action and mystery of Hellboy. This volume collects the first five issues of the acclaimed comic series, Wayward.
*I received a free copy of this graphic novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
Getting into it, I was a little uncertain about this one. Still am, if we’re being honest. It was slow at the beginning, and a little bit uninspired. Lonely, confused girl moves to foreign country. Lonely, confused girl struggles to fit in at new school. Lonely, confused girl miraculously discovers that she has superpowers. And this, what, ten minutes after she lands in Japan? Right.
On her first night in Japan, Rori meets another girl with superpowers. Her first day of school, she spots a boy and decides to follow him after school. There’s “something about him,” she says. He’s different. I don’t know about anyone else, but I felt like I’d read this same story before.
The integration of Japanese mythology helped some – the “something new” that this graphic novel needed. If not for the Kitsunes and Crazy Bones and Human Spirits, I think I may have lost interest in this story before I reached the climax. By the end of the volume, I was left not knowing whether I liked this graphic novel or not. For one, the pacing went from snail to leopard in a matter of a few panels, and it was a little jarring.
This wasn’t a bad book. It was genuinely enjoyable, just nothing I hadn’t seen before. The story was decent, the artwork was good (I especially loved the colors). The flow between panels wasn’t as great as I’d liked it to have been. And the characters, while interesting, were a little… flat. They’ve got potential, but their arcs didn’t really take them anywhere, so there’s currently stuck as stereotypical supporting characters. The uncertain heroine, the crazy/wild girl, the tough/angry guy, the shy, possibly nerdy boy.
Would I recommend this? Maybe. To people who I know without a doubt would enjoy it.