You know the funny thing about Brussels sprouts? Most people who think they don’t like them have actually just never had them prepared the right way. Rule of thumb: Always roast them, never steam them. Because to steam a Brussels sprout is to invite a world of terror and anguish into your life.
A Brussels sprout Roots creature being strangled to death. Illustration: Val Rodrigues, Triona Farrell (Vault Comics)
This week’s best comics aren’t particularly full of solid sprout recipes, but they will make you consider what you would do if you one day came to the realisation that you might be the next great prophet or… if a group of vegetables held you at gunpoint. Confused? Read on.
Two guys, a girl, and their escape from a bunch of murder cultists. Illustration: Hayden Sherman, Jason Wordie (Vault Comics)
Life becomes infinitely more bearable if you’re willing to put your faith in the idea that there’s some grand plan that’s been set in motion by an all-knowing, divine power that has it all figured out.
The problem with that kind of faith is that, more often than not, the messages about these divine plans come through mortal intermediaries who claim to speak on behalf of the higher power, and you have to trust that what they’re saying is true.
Wasted Space takes place in a futuristic universe where space travel is common, sentient sex robots work for no one but themselves, and the entire galaxy is under the leadership of a nefarious figure called Yam.
Yam has all the makings of being your traditional evil space overlord, but the real chaos in Wasted Space all connects back the voice of a being known as the Creator who has seemingly chosen a number of people to speak directly to in order to spread his word.
One of those people, Billy Bane, was once a famous prophet who promised the Creator would one day ensure that “all would be well” for those who believed in them. The other, Brother Jacob, is another famous prophet who insists to his followers that all will be well so long as they put their faith in Galactic Leader Yam and never question him.
Obviously, one of these prophets is lying, but the real mystery in Wasted Space is whether the Creator itself is actually real. You can see and hear the Creator on the page along with certain characters, but it’s (purposefully) unclear whether it’s a hallucination playing tricks on feeble minds or if what you’re seeing truly is a god-like being. (Michael Moreci, Hayden Sherman, Jason Wordie, Vault Comics)
A sentient plant robbing a bank, as one does. Illustration: Val Rodrigues, Triona Farrell (Vault Comics)
“Once upon a time,” these stories about the apocalypse-by-way-of-plants usually go, “Mother Nature finally decided to strike back at her human children who so foolishly thought that they were in control of the planet. It did not end well for the Homo sapiens.”
In most cases, nature’s rebellion takes the form of vegetation releasing spores into the air that either kill or transform humans into mindless zombie-like drones, but in Vault Comics’ Deep Roots, the plants’ plan of attack is much more straightforward.
In the world of Deep Roots, the plants aren’t content to just multiply and spread, they’re getting up out of the ground, picking up guns, and shooting bank tellers point blank with bullets, not seeds.
The exact nature of the uprising is unclear, but the comic explains that there is a complex network connecting the sentience of all living plants that exists in a dimension parallel to our own. For aeons, all manner of magical creatures lived in harmony in the “Evergreen Otherworld” that shares a link with the physical nature of our world.
But as human development and pollution continued to advance over the ages, bits and pieces of the mortal realm slowly began to creep their way into the Evergreen, gradually killing off the spirits who lived there.
Rather than pulling a Happening and leaving their revenge to weaponised pollen, the creatures of the Evergreen begin manifesting humanoid bodies – vegetable homunculi – that are able to think, speak, and move through the world of humans, and they all seem to be hellbent on murder.
Deep Roots‘ first issue is less about giving you firm connections to any of its human characters and more about conveying just how imperilled they actually are. The Roots attack them with a kind of careless flippancy that echoes the way people carelessly toss their rubbish onto the footpath or into bodies of water with no regard for what impact their actions may have.
Though the humans have no idea what’s coming their way (more murderous Brussels sprouts), the glimpse at things to come in Deep Roots‘ first issue will make you think twice about slacking on the recycling. (Dan Watters, Val Rodrigues, Triona Farrell, Vault Comics)