"Wayward #30" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Image Comics
Written by Jim Zub
Illustrated by Steven Cummings
Colored by Tamra Bonvillain
Lettered by Marshall Dillon
2018, 44 Pages, $4.99
Comic released on October 31st, 2018
Everything has built to this. A battle between the new and old gods of Japan is raging in city streets, tearing buildings apart and leaving a blood-splattered trail of bodies in its wake. Rori Lane must reach the Loom controlling all threads of reality if she hopes to stop the old Yokai in their tracks and put an end to this conflict, but there are a lot of monsters standing in her way.
A fitting word to describe the final issue of Wayward is “epic.” It's an adjective that can be used for almost every scene. It's clear that the creators have pulled out all the stops for this oversized finale. The first few pages give you some idea of the size and scope of this battle.
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Artist Steven Cummings delivers some absolutely incredible work here. There's a double-page spread filled with carnage early on in Wayward #30 that will leave your jaw on the floor. It shows almost all of the surviving characters in the heat of battle against an army of Yokai of all shapes and sizes. There's a beheading, some energy blasts, and more than a little bloodshed. A dense fog has come in, surrounding everyone in an eerie smoke, as if the spirits of the dead are watching this battle unfold. This is war on a supernatural level.
The Loom rages in the distance, like a star lighting the path for Rori. Colorist Tamra Bonvillain makes this pop on the page with fiery reds and oranges. It's easy to see how this is such an important nexus point for everything that's going on. This is what everyone is fighting over. It's about control.
Cummings sets a high bar early in the issue, then his work gets even better as Rori eventually gets to the Loom. She peers into the abyss of time and space, as every thread of reality unfolds in front of her. Imagine seeing every possible future for yourself and everyone on the planet all at once. It's intense. Cummings visually explains this in such an organic way that you completely understand what Rori is experiencing. You have to take a moment to fully appreciate the size and scale of what's going on. Remember what I said about this being epic?
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The threads become the borders around the panels, further cementing Rori's status as a weaver. She can control and manipulate these threads and they flow around and through her. Letterer Marshall Dillon guides us through this trippy experience with strategically placed caption boxes showing Rori's thoughts. She's processing all of this at the same time we are.
Wayward builds to this impressive climax about change and evolution. It shows how culture shifts over time and we as people should grow and learn to accept that. It's a fitting message for today's heated political climate. This theme isn't beat into your head. Instead, writer Jim Zub weaves it into the story in an organic way that creates this “A-Ha” moment.
The final pages reveal possible futures for some of the characters and there's a lot of hope there. While I'm sad to see Wayward end, this finale is pitch perfect. This is truly an epic comic in more ways than one.