THIS REVIEW OF ‘WASTED SPACE’ #2 HAS MINOR SPOILERS.
By Mickey Rivera. Back in the day, circa age 10 or 11, I thought God was the shit. I would sing songs in church, read the Bible’s greatest hits, make plaintiff missionary pleas towards my classmates urging them join Team Jesus or else suffer eternal damnation in the afterlife. I eventually lived long enough to notice a preponderance of suffering and unfairness in the world, which made me suspect that a benevolent God at best didn’t exist, at worst was an outright asshole. These days I readily admit the sheer depth and mystery of the universe is such that a literally extant God of benevolence and love is just as likely to exist as not, just as Glycon the Snakelord or the Goddess Eris is equally likely to exist. What matters, ultimately, is this world, this life, this awful and confused little planet.
So I immediately connected with Wasted Space when I read its first issue (reviewed here by DoomRocket’s own Supreme Pontifex Jarrod Jones), because like me it searches for spirituality in a universe that provides precious few answers. More importantly, it dresses this search for God or meaning (or whatever) in a science fiction drag that is fun to read and to look at. Maybe its brand of self-aware, snarky fun-making won’t be for everyone, but it’s a must have for those who want to have a laugh at the expense of a universe that won’t betray its own secrets.
To catch you up slightly on the plot of Wasted Space without giving too much away: Our protagonist is Billy Bane, former preacher for a galactically revered “Creator” — one that personally appears and speaks to him in the form of an android-looking being that spouts esoteric messages and orders — who has lost his faith in spectacular fashion. Having forsaken his spiritual devotion and taken to a life of hard drinking and drugging with his platonic fuqbot companion Dust, Former-Reverend Bane finds himself dogged by strange forces — first by agents of a mysterious Lord Darkly, and now, in this second installment, by a powerful and gigantic being named Legion. Joining him on this journey is Molly Sue, the daughter of the new reverend in town who also happens to have the power to show people their destinies just by touching them. Molly tracked Billy down do let him know that they share a common destiny: They must kill the Creator.
Wasted Space #2 digs a little deeper into the lives of Billy and Molly. Through a couple of well-plotted flashbacks we learn a little more about how both characters have come to be where are they are today. While the fast-talking philosophical musings and intermittent action sequences from the first issue are still there and doing their job very nicely, we now get to understand these two in a way that really humanizes them. They grow from being joyously irreverent pulp heroes to being joyously irreverent pulp heroes with souls.
Besides exploring Molly and Billy’s characters there are galaxy-changing events that take place as well. Molly’s powerful father and her troublesome brother find themselves at odds with each other, and of course there’s the previously mentioned Legion, who can perhaps be compared to a miniature Galactus that’s less about eating planets and more about smashing everything standing in the way between himself and Billy Bane, and who inches closer to his target in this issue.
Somewhere between The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and The Fifth Element lies Wasted Space, a compelling sci-fi lined with a satirical, sarcastic edge. Here you’ll find: the search for meaning in a meaningless universe; the avoidance of the aforementioned meaninglessness by means of booze and sex and other vices; a variety of speculative concepts up to and including galaxy-sized theocracies and anarcho-syndicalist resistance groups; a colorful, energetically visualized world that compliments the chaotic plot. If these things appeal to you then Wasted Space is not wasted time.
Vault Comics / $3.99
Written by Michael Moreci.
Art by Hayden Sherman.
Colored by Jason Wordie.
Lettered by Jim Campbell.
8.5 out of 10