By Zack Quaintance — I’m not shy about saying this: Wasted Space is one of my favorite creator-owned comics. It’s a space opera in the most grandiose sense, one that features a band of plucky rogues fighting to save the galaxy while dealing with their own issues, agendas, pasts. It’s a book that through eight issues now has built a tone and voice that are so versatile, the story can now do everything from high sci-fi action to deep philosophical monologues over a pint (or several) of space brew. This is all evident in Wasted Space #9’s opening sequence.
Wasted Space #9 opens with a nine-panel grid that starts with a fuzzy alien fellow that looks like a stuffed animal come to life giving a speech to his countrymen, who seem to be subjugated within some sort of mine. He speaks, he pauses, they go to work. He’s wearing some kind of hat, which one can surmise makes him a king, or at the very least a middle manager. Exactly 2,488 days pass, and the masses no longer are moved to mining by his words. Instead, they silently overthrow and murder him, blood flies, and when they’re done, they cheer.
In other words, this issue of Wasted Space has something to say about the cyclical nature of populations being exploited for capitalistic gain, and it opens this issue by saying it in an adorable way that turns bloody. And then we go right back to our plot, which deals with very similar themes. See? Wasted Space is, in short, a powerfully entertaining comicbook that knows its own strengths and is having a blast sharing them with its (presumably fiercely loyal) readership.
But I think at this point (this is my ninth review of Wasted Space) I’ve detailed all that at length. Something new I’m getting a sense of as this second arc gets ready to conclude is structural freedom. Wasted Space has always been a non-conventional comic, but this issue makes it clear that writer Michael Moreci and artist Hayden Sherman (colored here to vibrant perfection by Jason Wordie) are really pushing themselves to explore the limits of this world. In addition to the thematic vignette that opens this chapter, about midway through this issue the book seques into a short story about the background of its villain. I don’t want to go into the content (must been seen to be fully appreciated), but I will note that Sherman’s work just keeps getting better and there are truly wonderful panels in this brief diversion. To bring this back to my main point, basically this book is expanding its world via a well-earned sense of storytelling freedom, and I freaking love it.
So yeah, Wasted Space is still a phenomenal comic, one that keeps doing what drew me in in the first place while also finding new and hilarious
Overall: Just another great issue of Wasted Space. The creative team continues to push the sense of storytelling freedom that has been present in this book from its start, and the results are a wonderful thing to be reading. 9.8/10
Wasted Space #9
Writer: Michael Moreci
Artist: Hayden Sherman
Colorist: Jason Wordie
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Publisher: Vault Comics
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Zack Quaintance is a tech reporter by day and freelance writer by night/weekend. He Tweets compulsively about storytelling and comics as BatmansBookcase.