Story: Jeff Lemire
Art: Dustin Nguyen
What They Say:
NEW STORY ARC. The bestselling breakout hit series continues as its exciting second arc begins. It’s the perfect jumping on point for new readers! TIM-21’s adventure continues as a mysterious figure from his past emerges and sends shockwaves through the galaxy.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
While I picked up the Descender trade close to when it came out in September, I didn’t get around to reading it until New Year’s weekend. I burned through that six issue book pretty fast the first time. And the second time. And then more slowly with the third time just to savor the artwork more. It wowed me enough to not wait for the next trade and dig into the singles, which is one of those experiences where I know it’s great to have more of it quickly, but will also be frustrating because it’s monthly and I’ve got a wait between installments. Still, with two more issues out after the trade, I’ve got some fun reading that I can get in on.
Billed as the start of a new story arc but feeling more like an expansion/next stage of the opening arc, Descender works two distinct storylines here that will converge at some point. The intriguing one for me is just in seeing this dark and mysterious robot hunter out on the frigid rim world of Hepton going after six robbies that are there. Taking them down will mean death for the humans that use them for farming, but he’s intent on completing the job as he really, really, doesn’t like robots. His return to the station he operates out is interesting and we get a good feeling for him, but because he’s never really named until the end you can figure out quickly that this is Andy, ten years after the Harvesting. And bringing him into play after believing he was likely dead based on events so far definitely made me grin. His discovery of Tim-21 being a tag motivates him like nothing else and I’m definitely curious to see how it’s going to go when he finally does catch up with him. Amusingly, he ends up back on the mining world for a bit, which means Blugger Vance is back in play, and these two are going to make one heck of a fun team to watch.
As much fun as this is, the continuing story of events on Gnish is just as delightful to watch unfold. The arrival of the Hardwire resistance has them collecting TIM-21 for whatever their plans are and using TIM-22 to try and manipulate him is smart, though it frustrates Tesla and Quon since he seemingly has no emotional settings compared to TIM-21 being set far too high. Psius definitely plays the kind of rogues robot action-leader that I’d like to see more of since it’s not laden with profanity or other silliness but rather a kind of confidence. There’s also some big plays made here with what they do to secure TIM-21, what with assassinating the head of the monarchy, an action that will throw the region into chaos. It’s a kind of almost old school play with how it unfolds. I’m more amused by seeing how Quon is reduced in role here while trying to survive and Tesla takes on a more critical role while still adhering to her main mission. It’s good stuff and definitely helps to expand on her character.
Descender moves into its new arc but it mostly still plays with what we had, so it doesn’t jump away until another day – which I was fearful of when I saw the “new story arc” splashed across the description. The storylines at play here are fantastic, fun, and interesting, all of which is wrapped up once again in some jaw-dropping artwork from Dustin Nguyen. Lemire definitely delivers a great series of ideas and characters that Nguyen is able to bring to life in such a breathtaking way. It’s so rich in color design and overall detail that it’s easy to get lost in the minutiae of each issue. And worth doing so, in fact!
Age Rating: 17+
Released By: Image Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: November 11th, 2015