This week we go into space with Wasted Space, and descend into hell in Her Infernal Descent!
Wasted Space #1 (Vault Comics)
Sci-fi comics are a dime a dozen these days, so it’s hard for one to hit the stands these days and really stand out. Luckily though, Vault Comics’ Wasted Space is just one of those comics, as it takes the futuristic setting of Blade Runner (and a little bit of Alien), but focuses on something that’s often overlooked in science fiction: religion. That difference makes the Michael Moreci and Hayden Sherman debut issue really stand out.
Billy Bane was once a prophet for a “The Creator”, with a huge fellowship of believers. That is, until his prophecies didn’t come true and he had to go into hiding for messing up the planet. Now he’s the on the run from bounty hunters, criminals, and a whole mess of other miscreants who dwell in the future world. But a new prophet is gaining power, and Billy might be the only one who can save the planet.
One of the strengths of Wasted Space is the way Michael Moreci effortlessly sets up his world. There’s no dreaded first issue info dump here, as Moreci uses Bane’s inner monologue as he floats in space to set up the how, where, what, and why of this series. While we don’t get a proper introduction to all of the characters and subplots in this issue, Moreci does a great job of introducing us to the world and giving us a good launching off point for this series.
Hayden Sherman has made a name for himself pencilling series like The Few and Dynamite’s John Carter books, and his style works for this issue. Sherman’s loose pencils accentuate the script well, and the designs for the futuristic ships and architecture is really cool. Really the only times it seems like he stumbles is with the characters, as there figure modeling varies too much between panels.
Wasted Space #1 is a rock solid debut issue, and it seems like another home run for Moreci, who’s found a real knack for developing really interesting sci-fi premises. If you see it on the stands, you should definitely pick it up, cause you’re in for a real treat.
Her Infernal Descent #1 (Aftershock Comics)
A modern day retelling of Dante’s Inferno, Her Infernal Descent tells the story of a woman who’s lost everyone she’s cared about in a devastating tragedy, and her journey into Hell to find them. The debut issue from Lonnie Nadler, Zac Thompson, and Kyle Charles is full of fantastic art work and is being hyped as the next big book for Aftershock Comics, but it falls a little short of the mark for this opening issue.
Much of that falls on Nadler and Thompson’s script, which doesn’t give us much to go by. While the two have an interesting premise for this series, the execution leaves a little to be desired. Much of the issue is focused on the main character interacting with the ghost of William Blake, who appears in her attic for no real reason, other than to give her directions to Hell in rhyme (yes, it gets old fast). By the time the main character makes it to Limbo by issue’s end, it felt like the book was finally getting into a good rhythm, only to have it come to an abrupt end.
At least the art stands out. Kyle Charles’ design work for the afterlife is pretty stellar, and it’s made more impressive with the large splash pages that make up some pretty great moments in the book. Charles’ depiction of the afterlife looks much like our regular world, just slightly “off”. There’s a great semblance of visual storytelling from his art as well. In fact, if this issue was just his art with no dialogue I might have liked it more.
It’s a shame that Her Infernal Descent doesn’t quite live up to the hype that Aftershock is building with it, but I am curious to see how it continues on now that the bulk of the set up is out of the way. Whether I’ll do that in monthly form or wait for the trade remains to be seen. For now though, Aftershock’s latest is a great premise that sadly doesn’t quite live up to the full potential.