A conclusion in the Descender sense.
Story: Jeff Lemire
Art: Dustin Nguyen
Letterer: Steve Wands
What They Say:
“RISE OF THE ROBOTS,” CONCLUSION The fall’s big DESCENDER event concludes in explosive fashion as the UGC and the Hardwire converge, and Tim and Telsa make their final stand against the murder machine known as Tim-22. This issue forever alters the course of DESCENDER. Each issue in this arc will have variant covers featuring one new section of a dazzling interlocking image jam drawn by both LEMIRE & NGUYEN!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Descender hits the conclusion for this arc of the series and while it’s certainly strong and fun it’s also like the other conclusions in that it’s more the end of a chapter than anything truly concluding. Which is fine because there’s enough going on here that trying to make it feel definitive may not be the best approach anyway. Jeff Lemire’s construction of this storyline is firing on all cylinders for me and I’m enjoying it since it’s dealing with material that’s somewhat out of his usual realm with other works that he produces. And it feels like Dustin Nguyen pushes him to new areas with the concepts to bring to the page so the dynamic between the two is strong, working to each others strengths but pushing them as well.
If there’s an area where it feels like we do get some conclusion it’s with TIM-22 as he’s still going on funky wonky on Telsa and TIM-21 but Telsa has reached her limit in dealing with this pint-sized problem. Thankfully, TIM-21 gets his hands dirty as well as they get down to it physically and TIM-21 has to actively engage him in this way and it gets creepy once the head goes flying. There’s some good emotion to all of this and the way TIM-21 embrace her after she puts TIM-22 down once and (hopefully) for all is a very good scene. There’s a quasi-family that has formed to be sure though not all of them are really on board with it yet. Of course, one of them is dying with Quon slowly slipping away but that’s a problem to deal with in just a little bit.
The larger scale events are showing up well with the Hardwire side getting ready to finish things off while the UGC is looking to make a big stand, which Andy and Effie aren’t exactly thrilled about since they’re stuck in the middle of it all. But events are shifting into a new level here as we see what’s going on at Gnish as the Hardwire has seeded their ace up their sleeve for a while throughout the galaxy and are putting it into motion with hidden robots. The simple pages as we visit various worlds and see the new cullings going on is brutal and beautiful at the same time and adds a great urgency to events elsewhere. I like seeing the way the fleet is coming together on the UGC side, even knowing it likely won’t be enough, especially as there’s going to be widespread war everywhere with what the Hardwire has done.
As much as I like the big moments it’s the small moments that clicked the best for me, following what Tesla and TIM-21 are up to as they make their way further down and make some startling discoveries about what may really be going on. I still haven’t a clue how long this will actually run but it has the potential for a bit of endgame coming up based on this discovery or it could be at the halfway point, both of which would delight me for different reasons. This series delivers the kind of science fiction that comics rarely does and even more rarely does well. This is an engaging and very fun book and the end of this arc puts us into some new places and even greater danger, which in itself is thrilling and frightening.
Age Rating: 17+
Released By: Image Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: November 15th, 2017