A Louisiana school board member refuses to resign after she said that streets named after Martin Luther King are racist since the Confederate flag is racist. The NAACP wants Terrebonne Parish School Board member Vicki Bonvillain to step down after she made a series of Facebook posts earlier in July, whining about the backlash toward the Confederate flag in the wake of the killing of nine…
How does a team of misfit lady-warriors regroup after saving the world from mind-altering tentacled demons? They go back to school. Duh. Rat Queens is back and writer Kurtis J. Wiebe is joined by Tess Fowler, artist for the Braga solo issue, and colorist Tamra Bonvillain (Wayward, Pisces) as the new permanent team after Stjepan Šejić had to step down due to health issues (feel better Stjepan!)…
Previously…: The final incursion between the 616 and Ultimate universes has caused the multiverse to finally be destroyed. And yet, from the ashes of the multiverse comes Battleworld, a patchwork planet made of pieces of previous dimensions – some familiar, some brand new. One of these areas is the Doom Arena, where Ghost Riders past and present race for temporary freedom from their servitude. But is there something deeper behind the constant racing that these tortured souls must endure?
Robbie Reyes’ stint as the All-New Ghost Rider may not have lived past 12 issues, but it’s clear from the fan response that writer/artist Felipe Smith was a favourite, meaning that he gets to transfer across from his cancelled ongoing series to steering theGhost Rider ship through Secret Wars in the form of Ghost Racers, a blend of Death Race meets Spirits of Vengeance as all of the past Ghost Riders race for the approval of the residents of Battleworld. Smith’s enthusiasm not just for Robbie but the Ghost Riders in general floods through from page one as he pumps in a huge amount of world building into a few pages and sets up a good mystery whilst taking us through a day in the life of the Ghost Racers.
Considering the vast array of domains on Battleworld, it’s not that different from a lot of the first issues – we’re reintroduced to our characters and their new status quo. Robbie and the other Racers are pitted against one another, with the winner getting fame and fortune (and the ability to visit their family again, in Robbie’s case) while the losers get tortured, of course. It’s soon clear that the race commentator, Arcade, is crooked as an old lady’s cane, and that spins our mystery into the second issue.
With the scene set, issue 2 flashes back to before the events of issue 1, showing us how Robbie found his way into the Doom Stadium in the first place. Whilst most of Battleworld is a dark reflection (my buzzword for the event, it seems) of what happened before, some of Robbie’s past here is almost better than before. Of course, it’s not the best it could be since Doom’s rule is ever-present, and the reason Robbie’s stuck in the Doom Stadium in the first place, but all things considered, it could be a hell of a lot worse.
It’s nice to see that Felipe Smith has really thought out exactly how the Doom Stadium and its Ghost Racers work. We’re never given a massive info dump about it, but a lot can be inferred from the way the races are run, and the inclusion of Zadkiel (the arch-villain from Jason Aaron’s Ghost Rider run) as well as a new way of getting Eli, Robbie’s personal Spirit of Vengeance, into the story is a welcome addition too. It shows that even though this setting won’t be relevant in a few months’ time, it still means enough now to Smith (and by extension the readers) that it has its own set of rules.
Marvel newcomer (to my knowledge) Juan Gedeon is the next in a long line of minimalist pencillers who lets the lines he does draw do all the talking. Whilst at first glance, his characters aren’t very nuanced or detailed, but it doesn’t take much to see that there’s a lot of talent at work here because their expressions perfectly suit the dialogue, and the world of the Doom Arena is populated with little background details (like the cute Ghost Rider balloon) that show Gedeon isn’t skimping out. His art won’t be for everyone, but it’s easy to admit that he’s very good at capturing the dynamics of the Racers and what makes them individual, and the design sections included in the back of each issue help get into the artist’s head and see why he has made the decisions he has.
Ghost Racers fills the void All-New Ghost Rider left in my pull list, and feels distinctly similar thanks to Felipe Smith’s unique narration and dialogue choices. The world of the Ghost Racers is well established and makes sense in terms of Battleworld, in general, and it’s nice to see that Smith and Gedeon have taken so much time designing their little domain. Like all the Battleworld series, it’ll be short lived, but it looks like it’s going to be solid fun while it lasts.
Another week, another case of “what in the heck did I just read?” Because seriously, this is not a book to be digested in one read-through, and it’s not a book that presents itself clearly. Pisces #1, written by Rat Queensscribe Kurtis J.…
Coming this October! Wayward Book 1 Deluxe Hardcover!
Written by Jim Zub
Art by Steve Cummings, Tamra Bonvillain, & John Rauch
Cultural consultant and back matter by Zack Davisson
Rori Lane is trying to start a new life in Japan, but ancient creatures lurking in the shadows of Tokyo sense something hidden deep within her, threatening everything she holds dear. Can she unlock the secrets of her power before it’s too late?
The deluxe hardcover collects issues #1-10 (volumes 1 and 2 of the the trade paperback) and will be 15% bigger. It will also include 70+ pages of bonus material such as:
Every cover illustration
Poster of the 5 part collected covers for issues #6-10
Every essay on Japanese culture and mythology from the original issues.(the trade paperbacks only collected some)
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“Chapter Ten” Written by Jim Zub Line Art by Steve Cummings
Colors by Tamra Bonvillain Letters Marshal Dillon Essays by Zack Davisson
In its first arc, Wayward,
lived up to its shrewd elevator pitch of “Buffy
in Japan”. Powered by Steve Cummings line art and depending on the issues
either Tamra Bonvillain or John Rauch’s colors, Wayward was a fun energetic action title. Focused on a group of
teenagers who find themselves in conflict with the Yōkai(supernatural beings) of Japan. For 10 issues, Zub has kept largely
quiet regarding more lore/mythos based questions. The book is intensely
interior with its narration and point of view, often sticking readers inside
the head of one of the characters for an issue thus limiting ours. The second
arc went so far as to introduce an almost new lead, Ohara Emi, to further limit
perspective. This was a great way to
doge answering questions and build reader currency. Limiting perspective also
had the effect of making the sparse 2-3 pages per issue not dedicated to the main crew cast large shadows and pose equally
With the end of its second arc (#6-10) “Ties that Bind” Zub
still hasn’t answered any of these questions. That continues to be perfectly fine;
those questions are generally the more granular-mechanical kind focusing on the
“How” and not the “Why”. With the final page, Zub begins to tip his hand at the
“Why” of this series, “Why do the Yōkai want to eliminate Rori and her friends?“
“We are the New Gods” Rori Lane proclaims to all who will listen. Sounds a bit
entitled, but that’s supposedly my generation. Wayward is no longer solely neon-noir of teenagers finding
themselves in a sandbox they don’t comprehend but story of generational
conflict. “Wayward is about the role
of mythology in the modern world and the new inexperienced gods of this age
clashing with the traditional powers of old.” Zub states in his letter to readers
at the back of the issue.
The revelation of Wayward
having a generational conflict doesn’t seem like some massive reorientation of
the book. It is the expansion of something that has always been there in retrospect. Yes, as
protagonist readers want to believe the best in them (people do LOVE Walter
White and Archie Bunker after all), and the Scooby Gang of Wayard certainly aren’t pure evil. But they are at best equal parts
naïve and cantankerous; always reactive and looking for fights instead of
talking or thinking beyond their fists. They are young and don’t know any
A lot of my praise of Steve Cumming and the rest of the art
teams work is centered around their ability to create vibrant moving images in
sequence. The opening pages of “Chapter Ten” in the present do not evoke the
hyper fast anime feeling of say “Chapter Six”. Instead they evoke the taunt
cinematic tension of a Western
showdown, showing combatants preparing to fight against the sunset before
exploding into fast and brutal violence. The simple page construction, five
panels read vertically (top to bottom) could be read very fast but mixed with
the bowing placement of thought boxes forces the eye to follow a slight right
to left pattern, slowing everything down giving the individual frames that
cinematic tense quality.
10 issues in generally means a book has found its (singles)
audience for better or worse. Overall “Ties that Bind” manages serialized storytelling
(world building) in the episodic better than most, with a great mixture of
humor and action.
Bits at the End
I didn’t get around to writing about the middle chapters of “Ties
that Bind” due to time constraints but I think I’ll have to go back and focus
on “Chapter Eight” now in retrospect.
A member of a Louisiana school board has been asked to resign after she posted some strange arguments about the Confederate flag and racism on her Facebook. Vicki Bonvillain took to Facebook to try to compare the symbols of the NAACP, Hispanic Scholarship Fund, BET, Black History Month, the Democratic Party and the Black Panthers to the Confederate flag and claimed that those symbols were also…
Wayward is an Image Comics series rated Mature created by jimzub and Steve Cummings. Line art is done by Cummings, coloring is handled by Tamra Bonvillain, Ross A. Campbell, Josh Perez, John Rauch, and Jim Zub, color flats were done by Ludwig Olimba, and courtesy of Marshall Dillion the lettering was taken care of. Special Thanks to Kalman Andrasofszky, Jeff “Chamba” Cruz, Erik Ko, Nishi Makoto, Ron Richards, Brandon Seifret, Charles Soule, Eric Stephenson, and Adam Warren.
Chief Operating Officer Robert Kirkman
Chief Financial Officer Erik Larsen
President Todd McFarlane
Chief Executive Officer Marc Silvestri
Vice-President Jim Valentino
Publisher Eric Stephenson
Director of Business Development Ron Richards
Director of Trade Book Sales Jennifer de Guzman
Director of PR and Marketing Kat Salazar
Director of Retail Sales Corey Murphy
Director of Digital Sales Jeremy Sullivan
Sales Assistant Emilio Bautista
Senior Accounts Manager Branwyn Bigglestone
Accounts Manager Emily Miller
Administrative Assistant Jessica Ambriz
Events Coordinator Tyler Shainline
Content Manager David Brothers
Production Manager Jonathan Chan
Art Director Drew Gill
Print Manager Meredith Wallace
Production Artist Addison Duke
Production Artist Vincent Kukua
Production Assistant Tricia Ramos
My utmost gratitude towards everyone that has made Wayward possible! Each of you are an undeniably integral piece of what makes Image Comics, well, Image Comics! Thank you so much!
The foreword by Zack Davisson, the author of Yurei-The Japanese Ghost and the mastermind behind the “popular Japanese folklore website http://hyakumonogatari.com/ “ really set the stage regarding Zub’s and Cumming’s Wayward which instantly eased my hesitant hands. I too don’t like it when “Japan As Decoration” is utilized in stories. This was my chief fear about Wayward and why I had been avoiding it for so long…Let’s face it, this occurs often enough to be wary about anything that has Japan whatnot on the cover and it isn’t a manga.
Man, I have problems when anime is translated and brought over here to America since the Japanese part likely has been stripped. I then go and find the original version to make sure nada important, educational, or reflective of the culture as a whole has been omitted/edited. I like it when I’m engaged or soaked into another culture (more like lost inside, ha ha) I’ve never personally been a part of.
Thankfully, this is what Wayward just finished doing for me. With my hands trembling in anticipation after confirming that Wayward was for me, I persisted reading it. The Yokai Files section in the back is an appreciated plus: it adds another dimension to Zub’s narrative along with the visual work by Cummings and I’m very grateful for Davisson taking the time to pen them.
Our teenage main character Rori Lane has lived “ a life of rice an’ potatoes”. Because her father is Irish and her mother is Japanese, both cultures have been a mainstay since she was born. Recently reunited with her mother Sanae in Japan, something deep within Rori is stirring. Unlocking. Something she’s never known about herself. On the day of her arrival, after being followed by a unnerving number of cats, she’s attacked by “kappas” and is rescued by a girl that has feline eyes. Rori’s life continues heading down this increasingly bizarre spiral throughout the rest of the trade. At least, she doesn’t remain alone.
Seeped with Japanese mythology, memorable moments/dialogue, characters I’m extremely inquisitive about, and artwork I cannot stop staring it, Wayward is the inception of a something fresh and remarkable. Bleeding Cool said that “If Wayward isn’t the next Saga, it’ll be a damn criminal shame.” As I sat here collecting my thoughts about what I just had the pleasure of reading and before I put my fingers onto the laptop’s keyboard, remembering this specific quote on the back being that final push to pick up Wayward Volume 1: String Theory, originally, caused me to smirk. I wholeheartedly agree.
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