A Washed-Up Prophet Leads To Gritty Sci-Fi In Wasted Space #1

by James Ferguson

There are some combinations in comics that lead to an instant addition to a pull list. I’m talking things like “Mike Mignola horror comic” or “Scott Snyder Batman comic.”  Such is the case with Wasted Space, a sci-fi comic written by Michael Moreci. That phrase is a no-brainer.

Wasted Space plays in an interesting sci-fi sandbox. It’s this rundown version of the future where mankind has made it out to space, but hasn’t done much else, as if our dreams just sort of stopped after that. Artist Hayden Sherman’s style is perfectly suited to this aesthetic. It has a rough, gritty feel to it. This is not a bright, shiny future with glistening spaceships. It’s a dirty landscape of technology that’s barely held together.

Tying into this is a literal prophet, Billy Bane, who got everything wrong, but is still hearing the Creator speaking to him. This makes a nice mix of technology and theology. I’m not entirely clear on what Billy did incorrectly. He preached the message “All will be well” and it seems like things are anything but. Now he’s one of the most wanted men in the galaxy with a price on his head.

This is where the action in Wasted Space heats up. Of course, Billy can’t stay hidden forever. He’s found by a bizarre group of robotic aliens that look like a cross between those creatures from The Fifth Element and the trash compactor from Star Wars: Episode IV. Sherman excels here as well, with menacing designs that overpower normal humans.

Throughout the whole experience, Billy has this blasé attitude, kind of like The Dude from The Big Lebowski. He just wants to be left alone. His dialogue brings the levity to the series, especially how he speaks about the Creator. Now I want to see a sequel to the Coen Brothers classic set in space.

Jason Wordie’s colors are spot on throughout Wasted Space. Although it’s set in the stars, the sun doesn’t seem to shine. Any light is coming from harsh fluorescents.  It’s like living in a basement without windows. This resonates with the personalities of all the characters too.

Wasted Space blends science-fiction and belief in a higher power in an interesting fashion, not unlike Star Wars. It takes a grim, dark galaxy and works so very hard to get the very faintest spark of hope. That comes by the end of this debut issue and other forces conspire to immediately snuff it out. At the center of it all is this lovable screw-up that ensures this will be one fun ride.

Wasted Space #1 is currently available at your local comic shop (although the first printing has sold out at the distribution level) and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.