Story: Jeff Lemire
Art: Dustin Nguyen
Letterer: Steve Wands
What They Say:
“RISE OF THE ROBOTS,” Part Four The fall’s big Descender event continues as Tim 21 enacts a daring escape from the Robot Resistance, but will he make it in time to save Telsa? And Andy and Bandit are betrayed by an unexpected source when they come face to face with the UGC!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
With one more issue to go in the current arc before the series takes a bit of a hiatus, Descender moves more of its pieces into place and hits a high note of intrigue along the way. Lemire’s working the (somewhat sadly) standard style of separating the core cast across space so that we can check in on different areas and we know there’ll be a reconnect along the way. I’m not a huge fan of this but it’s something that’s pretty common. What helps to make it easier is that we get to run with some fun groupings and done up with Dustin Nguyen’s artwork that just clicks and connects for me in a really big way. It’s minimal and haunting while the color work is simply something that makes a lot of it haunting in some ways.
The material with Telsa as she and Quon have to deal with what TIM-22 has become is a subplot in this book that’ll be taking on more importance soon. It’s nicely handled because she’s reaching her limit in dealing with this thing and calling him out as the monster he comes across as, though he tries to turn it around on her. What becomes interesting is that their story, taking place underwater in the ship, is connected with TIM-21 as he escapes from the Hardwire ship finally as he’s a crafty and creative innocent that’s able to elude his captors. I do like that Lemire deals with why they don’t just scan for him in the ship and it feels like a kind of subconscious fix that TIM-21 would put into play. It’s also a fun segment simply because we get some very fun robot designs out of Nguyen that just tickles a particular fancy for me.
The main storyline for this issue focuses on what Effie’s doing to try and survive which is making a deal with the UGC to try and track down TIM-21 by using the robot dog that most readers seem to dislike. It makes sense in a trying to stay alive move, which Andy sorta gets and hopes she has a bigger plan for, and it works to get the group off their derelict ship and into the UGC hands so that more direct talks occur and the friction between the sides rise. But what really delights here is that through Bandit and the connect he has with TIM-21 we get a cyberspace discussion between the two (at the worst time for TIM-21) that in turn reveals something larger with the Harvesters. It’s an utterly eerie thing that gives us a little more to latch onto with the Harvesters, if that’s what these are, and ramps up the intrigue for me in a big way.
Descender’s building well to the final installment of this particular arc while also hinting at more of the bigger picture. Lemire keeps things working in a kind of minimal way but it hits the salient points and infuses enough character to keep it moving along since we’ve had so many more detailed character stories told previously. I really like what we get in the cyberspace sequence in this installment and hope we see that utilized again as it can make for some interesting angles to work with. Dustin Nguyen delights once again with the way the book is laid out and the just the way it looks so rough with great color work and a bright kind of science fiction world during a period where things are at their bleakest. It could easily have been done as a dark and moody piece but the minimalist and heavy white approach just raises my interest in it.
Age Rating: 17+
Released By: Image Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: October 18th, 2017