What if you were being chased by skeletal ghosts? What if they were reaching for you and some of them had weapons, without any intention other than to take your life? What if you were severely wounded – grabbing at your wound, bleeding, and grimacing in pain? And what if your slow path forward, away from these menacing ghosts, was somewhat blocked by a yellow feline that looks mortified as blood drips down onto it?
Artists Steven Cummings and Tamra Bonvillain bring Wayward #18 to life with a detailed cover page that highlights pale blue phantoms, tattered clothing, and vivid green hair on one of the main characters, Ayane, and a trail of blood leading away from an Irish pub to our heroine who’s clutching her injured waist. Perhaps the weapon she’s holding will be able to fend off these ghouls, or maybe it will help against whatever enemy might be waiting ahead of her.
Image Comics and writer Jim Zub introduce chapter eighteen in the Wayward series with a synopsis of what’s previously happened, which is a great resource to anyone coming into this series for the first time. Readers learn that “a group of teenagers in Japan discover they have strange supernatural powers” and mythological creatures are focused on destroying this would-be powerful group. Zub also presents a brief introduction regarding the history of Rori’s parentage, the other main character in this story, and then immediately dives into the lore that brings every semblance of this series to the forefront.
After learning about Rori’s parents, the reader learns about her present-day life and how she is in a dangerous situation. She finds herself entranced by a dangerous blonde and his magical pipe with yellow smoke billowing throughout the room. In steps her dear friend and she immediately sees the scene; her friend is without pants and giggling as if she’s unaware of what’s going on around her. Ayane’s response screams with vulgarity and a left blow to this mystery man’s face. Let’s just say it’s an applaud-worthy moment.
The story continues after one of them is injured and Rori’s father comes to finish the fight. They escape and go off in search of supplies for their next journey. Along the way, the reader learns about “the days of Eire,” giving the reader an important glimpse into what’s chasing them. The history of these malevolent beings is wonderfully etched onto the pages. A multitude of panels are separated by vines, stones, leaves, and even a line of blood dripping down the page. This unique effect helps to describe the basic times of their beginning, essentially dating these mythic monsters to be ancient, which will further establish this fight of good versus evil, as the reader will wonder how to defeat an enemy that’s been around for thousands of years.
For more Wayward wonder, Issue #18 is now available in print and digital form.