Wasted Space #1 by Michael Moreci, Art by Hayden Sherman, Colored by Jason Wordie, Lettered by Jim Campbell, Vault Comics 2018

This is a comic I’ve been waiting for. I love the cyber punk genre, and I’m a little surprised that the medium of comics hasn’t taken to this exquisitely visual heavy genre, even the prose heavy literature of William Gibson and Neal Stephenson have an emphasis on the visual nature of cyber punk, and I think Wasted Space fits right into this genre judging by the first issue.

The Set-Up:

The first issue of any comic is always half satisfying and half a letdown, and #1 of Wasted wasted-space-01-cvr-a-sauvage_website-830x1276Space is no different. Why? Well, it’s satisfying because the world is an interesting one and the cast is introduced, and in this first issue–you get a real feal for the protagonists. But it’s tempered with that letdown, as well, because only enough happens to get readers to the point of the *what is going to happen next* stage, and then the issue is over. But will I be acquiring #2? Yes. Certainly.

Plot:

Holding with the cyber punk genre, Wasted Space features a world–or rather, a galaxy gone to shit. Cyber punk always boarders or is dystopic; think megacorporations, rogue agents, autocratic rulers, and profiteering religious leaders. Wasted Space may not have all these, but it certainly has enough to land in firmly in the genre. Then there are the body enhancements multiple characters have and the fact that the main characters side-kick is a cyborg of sorts. Okay, I know this is still more about the world than the plot–the plot starts off with Billy Bane floating around in space on a cord attached to his spaceship. He’s philosophizing about the creator. God. Yahway. Whatever. Billy was once The Voice of The Creator, and he hints at how his whole life got shit on because of his status in the church or religious organization. Then he gets his robot friend to take him down planet side to a festival to score some kind of drugs. I think it would be a misrepresentation of nihilists to call Billy a nihilist. Nihilists are typically more optimistic in their actions, if not their thoughts.

Art:

The art in this piece is pretty strange. It’s definately not the most beautiful comic you’ll ever read. But neither is it suppose to be. Jarring at first, the hard and thick lines used to make up peoples’ features, start to take on new meaning once you see how despressing the galaxy really is. Only in a few panels do any characters have actual eyes. More common are just black dots or mostly dark horizontal slashes. The difficulty, and the surprising part about this, is that it is still very clear which lines are eyes compared to eyebrows. There are also just a ton, and I mean a TON of straight lines. Hardly anything is curved in this, other than hair, making the whole piece feel jagged and rugged–which is the point.

Conclusion:

I think this first issue checks all the boxes a #1 comic should. It intrigues, it endears, and it entrtains. Excited for the next, which I’ll pick up as soon as I can.

Abbott #4 by Saladin Ahmed, Illustrated by Sami Kivela, Colored by Jason Wordie, Lettered by Jim Campbell, Cover by Taj Tenfold, Boom Studios

A lot happens in this issue. And maybe that’s the problem.

We pick up where we’ve left off–and things are pretty bad for Abbott. She’s hit rock bottom–or at least she thinks she has. Some things are said between Abbott and her ex-husband. Someone dies, and I didn’t see that coming–and didn’t know the character THAT well, so it didn’t feel as momentous as I think it might have.

Than Abbott gets a tip and everything just gets worse. She burns bridges and has to do everything herself. She asks for help–but maybe not in the right way.

While the art and characters are as wonderful as the previous issues, this is the first issue that didn’t feel completely natural. The main reason for this was the death, which hints at some emotional event, but the character who is killed isn’t real enough (like the other characters in this piece) to pull off the emotional impact needed.

I’ll definitely get the 5th and final issue when it comes out, but a run of 5 issues it is, perhaps, difficult to create the type of connection these characters and this world deserves.

Abbott #3 by Saladin Ahmed, Illustrated by Sami Kivela, Colored by Jason Wordie, Lettered by Jim Campbell, Cover by Taj Tenfold, Boom Studios

Like any good story, the tension heightens, the plot thickens the deeper you go. Of course, as this is #3 of 5, You can count on something drastic happening.

jan181347The Story: The progress of the story works here, but it is a little predictable. A minor character has gone missing, another black man is killed, and Abbott finds a lead that sends her to a professor who might know more about what is going on. But all of this, doesn’t lead up to what you might think. Abbott is fighting on all fronts here and the ultimate conclusion of this issue isn’t one you expect–though look back at #1 and #2, you’ll realize you should have.

The Art: Again, the artists have made something really wonderful. The break up of panels is done in an interesting way, contrasting colors typically run up against each other, and despite the lack of flashbacks and a limited character pool, I never felt like Abbott was living in a void. The scenes in which she there are more people, the artist do a great job of making the world feel populated.

Conclusion: Would I recommend this series to a friend? At a run of 5 issues, I would have recommended it after the first issue. The thing is, there hasn’t been any drop off at all in terms of my interest in this piece, and though only slated for 5 issues–I and the local comic shop owner, are crossing our fingers for a second run.