Wasted Space #15
Writer: Michael Moreci
Artist: Hayden Sherman
Finally, there is hope. While Wasted Space has been an existential/nihilistic mind-&%!@ that Albert Camus would be proud of, #15 breaks the mold and shines a glimmer of hope on an otherwise meaningless universe. But how does Billy Bane, nihilist extraordinaire, go from doom and gloom to rainbows and unicorns? How, indeed.
Past events might not have happened like readers thought. After escaping the cultists, Billy has a nice chat with a variety of friends and enemies. First, it’s Legion, then Fury, before finally reconnecting with the old gang–as well as some new members. This is the definition of a character-driven story, in the sense that the plot revolves around Billy’s actions and decisions. He’s the problem and the solution–and readers see that come through. It’s a nice change, as it gives readers something to root for rather than chaos and pessimism.
Without the characters on offer in this issue, we wouldn’t have a story. Billy finally admits some of his short-comings in order to help himself. While this issue has little of the witty banter and existential musings that endear readers to this comic, the issue is very much essential if the series is going to move forward. Readers need to see some fight in Billy. Not the physical kind–we know he can do that, but the emotional work that shows he’s capable of self-reflection and change. That’s exactly what this issue delivers–some well-deserved self-awareness from Billy Bane. Whether it sticks or not remains to be seen, however.
The hard lines that have illustrated the harshness of the universe in prior issues have diminished a little. At the start of the first arc and well into the second (and even third) the thick black lines that define spaces, places, and people were a constant reminder of how Billy sees the world–stark and harsh. But now, suddenly, those harsh, jagged lines are smoothing out a bit. They’re still there, to be sure, but they aren’t as thick and they have a bit more curve to them, rounded rather than angled. This may be simple refining of Hayden Sherman’s art, but I think it reflects the growth and hope within Billy himself. It helps readers experience how he’s changing–how he perceives the world. As this comic has been one of my favorites since its very first issue, I’ll give Sherman the benefit of the doubt and say, this is what great visual storytelling is made of.
Wasted Space #15
A character-driven issue that is essential for the series. However, it lacks some of the "fun" or funny aspects an existential space-opera is capable of delivering.