Wasted Space #10 Review: Dead or Alive
It’s the end of an arc! In “Wasted Space” #10, Billy’s launched a nuke, pissed off Dust, stolen a bunch of crap and is now closing in on the Creator. So, why’s he still such a mess?
Story: Michael Moreci
Art: Hayden Sherman
Colors: Jason Wordie
Letters: Jim Campbell
Publisher: Vault Comics
Moreci is doing interesting things with the space rogue archetype. Billy Bane is a lost, confused and hurt man in many ways, and he’s also a royal asshole who enjoys preaching about the injustices of the universe while committing more of them. He’s a hypocrite, a romantic, a loser and a dreamer. He’s a complex character who’s not always likeable, who’s sometimes annoying and who’s always winging it. Dust and Molly often have to do a lot of emotional heavy lifting for him, and there are times when it doesn’t feel like it’s paying off. There’s also a moment in this issue that feels like it’s a boon Billy doesn’t deserve. However, it does feel earned in a larger narrative context, and if it leads to more character development for both parties, it’ll be an effective risk taken. Moreci knows how to craft frustration in “Wasted Space,” and the hook is that there’s quite a bit of cosmic stuff at stake. No matter what happens, if Billy ends up suffering for his actions it’s still going to matter to us. That lurking promise of a god-on-god fistfight with Billy caught in the middle doesn’t hurt, either.
Sherman’s art is a joyride from start to finish in this book, and issue #10 features more of his clever design and bombastic line. He’s also proven in the past few issues that his style can produce quiet, tender moments as well as alien-blasting splashes. Sherman eschews sensationalizing or sexualizing Molly, and continually grants her and Dust a lot of tenderness in their facial expressions and gestures toward Billy. Molly feels pure without being infantilized, and a lot of that is down to her surety when she acts. Sherman dials in very clear details to help crystalize those moments so we linger and absorb their weight.
Wordie’s colors are a joy, as always. Between omniscient A.I. bunkers and post-nuclear blast landscapes, there’s rarely a color out of place or a detail unconsidered. The red glow of the computer screen bleeding across Cutter and Billy’s face in the tense moment before all hell breaks loose is exactly the kind of foreshadowing and symbolism that make “Wasted Space” such a fun and visually sophisticated read. As Sherman clarifies his line, so does Wordie pump up the saturation to dazzle us, and help key story beats hit home.
Campbell’s lettering is up to its usual standard, with some additional sound effects layered on top of Sherman’s complex pages that complement the art style. Like its predecessors, issue #10 features some big booms, and Campbell layers them effectively on top of Sherman’s scratchy detail. The balloons feature a nice hand-drawn stroke for extra texture, and the A.I.’s font is refreshingly restrained and easy to read while delivering that digital effect.
There’s a lot going on in “Wasted Space” #10, not the least of which is further proof that the Creator is a majorly creepy dude with what seems like a nihilistic axe to grind with Billy in particular. With a pissed off Legion back in the picture and their destination a place that might be familiar to some, the crew’s got a lot in store for them in the next arc. “Wasted Space” will, no doubt, continue examining the wound living in this collective consciousness produces in all of us.
And, as usual, Dust deserves a vacation.
Pick up “Wasted Space” #10 on 5/29 at your LCS, and there’s still time to catch up on all the good stuff that’s come before!