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Wayward, Vol. 1: String Theory
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Wayward, Vol. 1: String Theory

(Wayward #1)

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  2,742 ratings  ·  367 reviews
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), an
Paperback, 134 pages
Published March 25th 2015 by Image Comics
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Jesse (JesseTheReader)
I'm not going to lie, I was pretty disappointed with this. The artwork was magnificent, but the story itself didn't entice me in anyway. I might've hyped it up in my mind though, because it has two things that I love, Japan & monsters. Unfortunately I just didn't enjoy it as much as I'd hoped.
Aug 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comix
Rori Lane has issues. Her parents are separated. Her father lives in Ireland; her mother in Japan. She’s been sent by her father to live in Tokyo and being in a strange new place presents its own overwhelming problems, especially if you’re a teenager.

She also cuts herself and has some sort of untapped powers.

This one took me by surprise. I wasn’t expecting much, but I found a story that reminds me of a Studio Ghibli film but amped up on steroids and ten times as violent. It’s heavily steeped in
Sam Quixote
Sep 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Rori is a half-Irish, half-Japanese whippersnapper who’s gone to live with her mother in Tokyo. But Rori’s going to find out that Japan is magical - literally! - as she meets new friends… and new enemies!

Wayward Volume 1 has a lot going for it like great art and likeable characters as well as a vaguely defined but enticing plot - and it’s got more than a few problems too, like Jim Zub’s flawed, awkward script!

I found Rori to be affable from the start, a vulnerable but optimistic and strong-min
May 12, 2015 rated it did not like it
I give it 1 star for the effort and for getting Tokyo "right" (to the point where it's almost distracting), but the writing and the artwork felt painfully amateurish to me. Nothing flowed naturally, it was just a big mess.
I wouldn't recommed it, unless you've got a real obession for Japan.

But hey, that's just my opinion.
Maxine Marsh

I received this book from Netgalley.

I read the first issue via a Humble Bundle I picked up earlier this year and was underwhelmed by that first chapter. I'm glad I got a chance to view the whole first volume because the second chapter in the volume did a lot to redeem the slow start.

The artwork is gorgeous. I read most of this one on my Kindle Fire and the details stood out nicely while being soft and expressive. Very anime with the characters being expressive and lots of great action frames.

Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, image
A fun first volume about a girl that moves to Japan and discovers magic.

It had a very YA feel to it - but the good kind of YA. The story was interesting and the characters were colorful and entertaining.

The art is bang on and has a nice manga vibe about it.

Will definitely be reading the next volume.
Dec 20, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: image-comics
Thanks to Image Comics lower price point for the first trade paperbacks of their series (usually £7.50/$9.99 etc.), i'm always tempted to pick up something new each time i'm in a comic shop. The only catch is that the series I try needs to be good enough to bring me back for the full price second volume. Fortunately, String Theory is an intriguing start for Wayward, one that means i'll keep reading for at least a while longer.

When teenager Rori Lane moves to Japan to live with her mother, myster
L. McCoy
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes superhero stuff!
I just caught up with this and figured I’d review the amazing first volume of one of the best superhero comics ever written.

What’s it about?
Rori Lane is half-Irish, half-Japanese and moves to Tokyo with her mom after her parents separate. On her first day in Japan she discovers she has supernatural powers and she isn’t the only one!

Why it gets 5 stars:
The story is so interesting, well written, exciting and a little weird.
The art is so cool! Kinda manga-esque but not quite the same style. You’d h
May 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: image
4.5 stars

Its really really good! It reminds me the videogame "infamous second son", because of the powers and the characters. The characters are really cool... but i want to see more character development, i want to care more.

Its a mature read!

Cant wait to read the second volume!!!
Venus Maneater
May 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Welcome to Japan! You now have superpowers and the local Kappa gang wants you dead!

Confession: from the age of twelve to the age of eighteen (maybe even older but humor me here) my life consisted of: Watching anime & reading manga, fanfiction and MMORPG’s, in that precise order. I dropped random Japanese in everyday conversations *CRINGE* told everyone my life goal was to teach English in Japan *CRINGE* and I spend all my money on over-priced cosplay accessories that I’d never ever wear beca
Apr 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
I was pleasantly surprised by this comic. That may sound odd, as why would I be wasting time on a book that I don't think I'd enjoy, but much like the Zack Davisson (who wrote the forward to this volume) I've read too many comics (or novels) where the appropriation of the foreign culture is off putting.

Also historically my track record with IMAGE Comics has not been stellar as of late.

So I went into WAYWARD a little hesitant, but willing to try. I'm glad I did because it was enjoyable.

Its not
✩ Ashley ✩
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 Stars

Is it possible to fall in love with too many comic books in such a short time?

Nope, I didn’t think so either!! ;)

I’m in love with Wayward. Rori Lane, Ayane, Shirai, and Nikaido are individually trying to figuring their shit out while collectively fighting yōkai (Japanese folklore spirits/demons/monsters). Rori is a fish out of water but quickly becomes the magnetized glue and reluctant leader. Ayane is a humorous kickass demon slayer with feline prowess. Shirai thinks he’s damned b
ashley (saidthestory)
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was ok

Not the best graphic, but not bad. I will be reading more! The Japanese Folklore has me intrigued!
Adron Buske
Sep 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
On the surface, Wayward seemed like my kind of book - lovely artwork, interesting setting, cultural mythology inspired themes, cool character designs. Outside of some Twitter recommendations and the brief synopsis, I jumped into this knowing very little about it. Unfortunately, I didn't find it to be a fulfilling or entertaining read.

*** Mild Spoilers Below ***

I wonder if this is the kind of book that really "works" for readers who are newer to comics, who don't recognize the tropes and repetiti
Read all my reviews on

This first volume in the wayward series does one thing splendidly; it's a good description of Japan, for as far as I can tell. It feels real and fellow reader have experienced the same thing.

The story itself, unfortunately, is not that spectacular. A young girl moves from Ireland to her mother in Japan, and despite all the stories she must have heard, is still quite culture-shocked. It even gets worse when all kind of figures, apparentl
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I'm very new to graphic novels and comics and I often feel like they have a tendancy to start by dropping you into the middle of a story, leaving me confused. I've considered that it's a convention I'm unaware of or perhaps I'm just not used to world building through illustration.

Wayward didn't do that though. The plot made sense to me. The characters were all introduced one by one and I loved the dialogue - it seemed very authentic to the teenaged characters. I also loved the illustrations - t
Jesse Nicholas
Jan 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Loved this graphic novel. Fantastic art, great introduction to the awesome characters and tons of intriguing Japanese folklore and spirits.

I can tell this series has so much potential to be even greater!
Sep 24, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: comics
worthless and insulting.
Jan 13, 2019 rated it liked it
The art in this is amazing. The colours so vivid. However I just never connected with the characters or the story. I felt that the story lends itself to readers who love anime, Japanese culture but I also found it had YA elements. Solid fun just not something for me.
Vivone Os
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf-f-h
Zanimljivo i nije lose nacrtano. Iako mi Japanci ne izgledaju ko Japanci i nije Sagi ni do koljena.
WAYWARD is by far the most intelligent urban fantasy comic I've laid eyes on. It's the type of comic whose teenage ingénue and emotional flexibility hit the mark from Page One. It rarely happens. WAYWARD is a rare book.

Now landing in her second home of Japan, Rori Lane journeys anew and discovers her remarkable magic-weaving abilities on the spot. The teenager is a good but uncommon fit as Tokyo's reluctant hero: she holds great disdain for inaction, she values covering her bases, and her sense
Nov 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
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 horrific 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
Wayne McCoy
Apr 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
'Wayward, Vol. 1: String Theory' has a cool story by Jim Zub and great art by Steve Cummings. The story takes place in Tokyo, and in a forward by Zack Davisson, we learn that this Japan feels more like the one people live in (minus the yokai) rather than the fantastical "Japan as Decoration." I've never been to Japan, but the book's location has a different feel to it.

Rori Lane is moving to Japan to live with her mom. She's leaving Ireland and her father behind, and hoping for a new life in Japa
Sep 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Oh my God. This is like Buffy. Half-Japanese Buffy in Japan.

This is epic. I can't say too much about the characters, but so far, I absolutely love them. I can't say much about the story, but so far, I absolutely love it.

Volume 1 is like one big introduction. There's not much to talk about yet, but holy moly, this is awesome.
Jan 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Interesting and intriguing. Couldn't help but think of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in Japan.
Cool graphic novel!
Grace Troxel
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review originally appeared on my blog, Books Without Any Pictures:

I picked up the first volume of Wayward on a whim. Mike and I were about to go tent camping, and we figured that reading comics in the tent would be fun, so I ordered a bunch of random trades published by Image. For any non-comic-book-fans, Image is interesting because characters belong to the authors rather than the publisher. That means that rather than the same DC/Marvel superheroes,
Chris Thompson
Jul 07, 2018 rated it liked it
At first I didn’t care for this. It moves into it’s magical realm a little too quickly, before the characters have been developed. This is reminiscent to Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, in which a regular man suddenly finds himself face to face with an alternate London, but in Wayward the main character has actual powers. But where Gaiman immerses his readers in the story’s world before things get weird, Jim Zub dives in before immersing his readers.

Still, after two issues I started getting into it.
La joven Rory Lane, de padre irlandés y madre japonesa, divorciados, llega a Japón para vivir con esta. Al principio le cuesta adaptarse a este nuevo entorno, pero cuando lo está logrando, algo irrumpe en su vida: parece que empieza a notar ciertas peculiaridades en sí misma, como si notase ciertos patrones y señales invisibles para los demás. Y todo se le irá complicando aún más cuando conozca a más chicos y chicas con otros poderes mágicos.

Este primer volumen recopilatorio de la serie Wayward
This isn't going to be to everyone's tastes, and there is cutting. Yet, considering the use of magic and folklore, I really liked it. The story follows a young girl who moves to Japan, and the story doesn't pull any punches. It's quite an intersting take on some ideas. I do have to say, however, that the kitsune look more like wolves than kitsune.
Neko Neha (BiblioNyan)
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
🐢Remarkably story-rich.
🐢Fantastic illustrations that utilise both Japanese anime styles with traditional western Superhero style.
🐢Pretty basic & clichéd superhero origin story, following all the tropes that goes with it.
🐢Motley cast of characters.
🐢Authentic to Japan as a setting & doesn't appropriate or fetishise anything, as far as I could tell.
🐢Predictable in most places.
🐢Solid first volume.
🐢4 kitties outta 5!
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Jim Zub is a writer, artist and art instructor based in Toronto, Canada. Over the past fifteen years he’s worked for a diverse array of publishing, movie and video game clients including Disney, Warner Bros., Capcom, Hasbro, Bandai-Namco and Mattel.

He juggles his time between being a freelance comic writer and Program Coordinator for Seneca College‘s award-winning Animation program.

Other books in the series

Wayward (6 books)
  • Wayward, Vol. 2: Ties That Bind
  • Wayward, Vol. 3: Out from the Shadows
  • Wayward, Vol. 4: Threads and Portents
  • Wayward, Vol. 5: Tethered Souls
  • Wayward, Vol. 6: Bound to Fate
“At this point I think we need to embrace the weird. High-five it. Give it our phone number.” 9 likes
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