Wasted Space #8 Goes On A Side Quest For A New Arm And Finds Some Harsh Truths

by James Ferguson

Nuke in hand, Billy takes a side mission to get his robot buddy Dust a new arm. This allows time for Molly and Rex to catch up and for Dust to drop some harsh truths on Billy. We’re also reminded that this galaxy is a wretched cesspool.

That last part is one of the charming aspects of Wasted Space. This isn’t Star Trek where everything is squeaky clean. It’s not a space utopia. There might be a few spots of paradise among the stars, but for the most part, it’s full of garbage. A perfect summation of this comes when the gang lands on the planet Gorgeron, a place that would make the cantina in A New Hope look like a pre-school. They’re greeted by a local offering to sell them drugs and body parts. When they refuse, he decides to just flash them instead.
Artist Hayden Sherman is a perfect fit for this gritty version of space travel. His style is full of rough edges and sharp corners which lines up well with the tone of Wasted Space. I am continually amazed by the sheer variety of the alien designs that come into play. We’ve seen creatures of all shapes and sizes and this issue is no different, when we meet Chesshy, who looks like a large pimple with arms. There’s a bit of Jabba the Hutt in there.

Billy and Dust have to run an errand for Chesshy to get a new arm. We don’t see the full details of this task, but it’s not necessary in the scheme of things. Writer Michael Moreci instead uses this as an opportunity to dig into the relationship between these two characters. These are two guys that have known each other forever. No one knows Billy like Dust does, so he’s able to cut to the chase and call the guy out on his crap. Billy doesn’t want to hear any of this, but he listens because of his friendship with Dust.
The setting for this intense argument is a temple in the middle of the sea. The rain is beating down on them. Colorist Jason Wordie creates a somber, yet emotional tone for this scene. The rain and the sea work to give the images a blue shade, mirroring the sadness that’s buried deep within each of these men.

This isn’t the only powerful conversation in Wasted Space #8. We also get a solid dose of character development and discovery with Molly and Rex. The two haven’t spoken in some time and they get to some defining characteristics of each of them. Letterer Jim Campbell guides us through these discussions, which can often fill up the page with the amount of dialogue. The speech never feels overwhelming. It’s the opposite actually, taking up just enough room to give the word balloons the amount of weight they need.
Wasted Space shows that it’s much more than just a cool sci-fi comic with this issue. Sure, there were some aliens, far-off planets, and spaceships, but that’s not the draw of the book. That comes from the incredible depth to these characters. This chapter is mostly made up of a few folks talking to each other, but these conversations are full of riveting moments that tie you deeper to them. We’re so fully invested in their lives now and that makes what they’re up against all the more harrowing.
Wasted Space #8 from Vault Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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