There are a lot of comics out there, but some just stand out head and shoulders above the pack. With “Don’t Miss This” we want to spotlight those series we think need to be on your pull list. This week, Vault Comics’s “Wasted Space” #7 continues a very wild and weird space jaunt we all should bump to the top of our pull lists.
Who’s This By?
“Wasted Space” is written by Michael Moreci (“Curse, “Burning Fields”), with art by Hayden Sherman (“The Few”, “Cold War”), colors by Jason Wordie (“God Country”, “Abbott”) and letters by Jim Campbell (“Giant Days”, “Snap Flash Hustle”).
What’s This All About?
Billy Bane used to be a prophet, and people used to listen to him. Until he got it catastrophically wrong, and now he’s content to waste the remainder of his pathetic years snorting, drinking and lazing his worries away until the end of the universe with Dust, his sensual robot buddy.
Until another prophet comes calling, and Billy and Dust find out there are multiple ways the universe can go out with a bang. Now he’s on a mission to save it all, keep his friends alive, take down a god or two and find out if he still cares enough to keep going.
(Warning: spoilers ahead)
So, Why Should I Read This?
Do you like space operas? Do you like dystopian narratives? Do you like giant nukes and crazed dictators?
Do you like sex robots?
All wryness aside, “Wasted Space” is nearly pitch-perfect in its delivery of all things zany, catastrophic and just plain upsetting. Moreci knows how to put together a tightly paced story with searing humor and the occasional dip into blistering social critique that’s clearly aimed at the way our current society’s headed. Characterization is on point, be it in the delightfully obscene yet tender fuq bot Dust, the naive but capable Mollie, the destructive yet hilarious Billy and the entire host of strange, esoteric villains. We’ve got a pimply teenager helming a cause with a very unfortunate acronym, an intergalactic despot, a bunch of hapless space-faring gang members and a giant, pissed-off robot. For starters. The main crew grow close through the various crises in “Wasted Space”, but none of the closeness feels unearned or solely inspired by the traumatic present. As an added bonus, Mollie’s youth, optimism and occasional shock feel authentic and inspire fondness for her vision of heroism even as we laugh at Dust and Fury’s deviant exploits, and the endless parade of humorous deaths throughout the book.
Sherman’s visuals are top notch, and it’s rare to find bold and sketchy art accented so perfectly by such a broad color palette. Wordie and Sherman create something quite magical on the page, with just as much visual delight in a backwater convenience store (complete with an irate robo-clerk) as in issue #7’s mightily destructive splash. I’ve never seen a ship’s motion captured in altering the outline of the ship itself, and the comedy of that detail doesn’t deflate the high action in the moment. If anything, the kinetic lines help accent it. Sherman’s imagination is on full display in every issue with chunky bodies, strange creatures and endlessly creative spaceports, and Wordie manages to add depth to an already complex book with page after page of bright neon weirdness and velvety, watercolor textures. “Wasted Space” has an aesthetic that’s inspired by generations of comics that have come before, but it reads as something new in all its delicious, overwhelming beauty.
To top it off, there’s Campbell’s lettering. Each page is expertly crafted with room for the balloons in mind, but it’s still a hard job to incorporate Billy’s ramblings and ideological rage into such highly detailed art. The font has a bouncy quality to support the book’s quirky vibe and make the longer monologues readable, and there are some great sound effects throughout. Campbell keeps the balloons simple, tight and perfectly situated on each page to guide the eye without overpowering any of the detail that makes “Wasted Space” so much fun to read.Continued below
There’s a lot to relate to in “Wasted Space”, even if we’re not out in the cosmos chasing down uncaring godheads or complaining about existence. Billy’s acerbic pontification can’t hide how much he cares about Dust, how much he yearns for something to believe in and how much pain he’s in because of his past mistakes. Mollie’s enthusiasm and clear-headed idealism is infectious, and her courage commendable. Dust’s compassion grounds the story, and reminds us that we can’t always rely on humor to get us through. The book is not afraid to take visual and thematic chances without losing sight of some very high stakes, both for the universe and for the people who’re struggling to live in it.
Issue #7 closes with Billy and the crew closing in on some serious firepower, and some uncertainty around what’ll happen once Billy doesn’t feel like he’s been dealt a bad hand. Will he continue on the moral path he’s on? Or will something entirely unexpected sweep that off the field? We’ll have to wait and see, but no doubt Moreci and company have a few surprises in store.
How Can You Read It?
“Wasted Space” #7 is out today, and all previous issues are available at your LCS and on Comixology.