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Book Review: Space Trash, Vol. 1


Space Trash, Vol. 1 is the start of a new graphic novel series by Jenn Woodall. It is reminiscent of the cyber punk genre, but with less cyber, and more punk. Like, literal punk. Like the author took some actual punk girls from the 80's and transplanted them to 2115, in a boarding school for underpriveleged teen girls... on the moon.


Stab, Yuki, and Una are roommates and friends. They (but especially Stab) think of themselves as a gang, but their rivals, the Hell Bats, think they're a joke. There is a lot of world and character building at the beginning of the story, but the plot doesn't really start to gain traction until the gang (tentatively now called the Planet Stompers?) find out that the Hell Bats have raided their lockers and stolen Una's snacks, which she brought from Mars, and aren't available on the moon. (Oh yeah. apparently Una got kicked out of Mars Technical Institute? It isn't clear, as it's revealed in a dream... Una's story is supposed to remain a mystery for now, I guess).


After the front matter, the graphic novel begins on page 7, and it ends on page 93, so there are only 86 total pages of story. As it seems like the plot doesn't really begin until the Hell Bats raid their lockers (on page 59), I'd say that the plot of Space Trash feels a bit underdeveloped. That may just be "a thing" with graphic novels that are planned to be serialized, I don't know. I will definitely be willing to give Space Trash another chance once all volumes are published, but as it stands, Vol. 1 doesn't feel like a story, but more like the exposition before the story actually begins.


I will admit, the author is good at leaving enough unanswered questions that the reader will want to pick up Vol. 2 to see if they get answered. Who is this "student council" that everyone is scared to piss off? Is Earth really still able to support life? Why was Una kicked out of Mars Technical Institute? Is she hiding something?


All said, I give Space Trash Vol. 1 three out of five stars. The art is very colorful and full of neat little details, the three main characters are likeable enough, and what plot there was promises to be interesting, once it has a chance to develop. This probably won't go on my favorites list, but I do want to continue reading the series to find out if my questions are ever answered.

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