Monday, November 30, 2015

Mini-Review: Wayward, Vol. 1

I originally learned of this author and this series from a brouhaha surrounding a diversity panel.  What Jim Zub had to say was very articulate and thoughtful, so I confess to having built this comic up in my mind.  It's not bad per se, but it's certainly not a must-read.  Or even a maybe-read.  

In essence, this was a comic that wanted to be a manga.  I suppose I could opine on the interesting reflection of identity crisis as reflected in the narrative itself, but I think that's taking things a little too far.  The artwork was pretty rough, and tried, unsuccessfully, to fuse anime and realistic styles of drawing.  

The story of Rori Lane, half-Japanese, half-Irish teenager, failed to capture my attention.  Wayward plods down the old fish-out-of-water storyline, but with a really irritating fish.  See, even though Rori's parents have split, she seems to be relatively fluent in Japanese.  Actually, pretty much all of the dialogue in the book is supposed to be in Japanese.  Which, if Rori learned Japanese from her mother, makes me wonder where she learned such phrases as "He's a godd*mn monster!" or "embrace the weird" or any of the creative cussing that occurs when Rori and her posse of self-appointed monster hunters encounter an evil beast.  

Anyway, Rori goes to Japanese school, sees a Mysterious Brooding Guy, follows him, and sees him eat spirit energy.  Turns out, he's cursed, but he can also fling blue energy around to fight because ... I have no idea.  Anyway, she also meets Ayane, who can shift into cat form, and they rather surreptitiously pick up Nikaido, who can like blow things up with supersonic mind powers or something.  

Then they run around Tokyo, following Rori's vision of a glowing, red, supernatural line and then there's a conspiracy and a tragedy and ... the end.  

I have no idea what the point of this was, really.  It wasn't funny, it wasn't dark, it wasn't really anything at all except confused.

I won't be reading subsequent volumes.

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