Story: Jeff Lemire
Art: Dustin Nguyen
Letterer: Steve Wands
What They Say:
“OLD WORLDS,” Part One!The origins of the Harvesters are finally revealed as we jump back thousands of years to see the dawn of the robotkind and the the secrets of the Ancient Robot and how it connects to Tim-21 in the present. Secrets that have been building since issue one are finally revealed in this shocking new story arc.Each issue in this arc will feature “LITTLE ROBOT” variant covers by DUSTIN NGUYEN.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
It’s been a few months since Descender went on a brief hiatus, which I’m all for as it allows Jeff Lemire to tighten up some other projects and for Dustin Nguyen to do his own thing and get ahead on the arc that we’re getting into. This one is going to clock in at three installments as the team is looking to explore more of the past with something that already feels like it’s a classic Twilight Zone kind of experience in all the right ways. With so much focus on crazy big events that also provided more than enough time with a range of characters, going back to something this far ago and with all-new characters in order to explore the origins of much of what’s happening is almost like going into a new book, just with some additional context.
The events here take place four thousand years ago on a world called Okastron where we’re introduced to Osiris, a master professor that’s frustrated with his world. While they’re highly advanced in many areas they’re also very much stuck on the religious/worship side of things and he believes that this is holding them back from, well, everything. Osiris has put together a ship to escape the gravity well of the world and do all kinds of research for a few weeks in space before trying to get close to their neighbor planet to find out if there’s life there. For Osiris, he’s leaving his family, which includes a young son, but believes that it’s the right thing to do. He’s not alone in all of this, however, as he has an assistant/partner in the mission with a young man named Kelik that has no ties to the world. It’s an ideal match and their mission, starting from a bit of emotion with leaving his family, provides for a lot of successes initially in orbit.
Where things go kind of wonky is when, on approach to their neighboring world, they come across something completely unexpected in the form of the Harvesters that we know all too well. Both men are curious, and Osiris does make the observation upon the invitation inside the machine that nothing they could do could stop it from killing them or destroying their world because it’s outclassing them so much. Osiris’ curiosity is stronger, which makes me wonder how long until Kelik screws everything up, and getting these first blush moments of what this machine is like and the seemingly created world it came from is fascinating. Lemire and Nguyen only tantalize us here with some fantastical material that makes me crave the next installment.
I’m a sucker for background material like this as I want to have an understanding of what went down, some of those involved, and to get a feel for what we’ll be seeing in the present day storyline. This will give it some extra context and it plays out like a very solid Twilight Zone story to some degree. Lemire keeps things moving well enough, providing enough emotional connection for the characters and a good sense of wonder of exploration, something that we didn’t really have in the present day because it’s a story filled with people trying to survive a potential extinction level event. I really liked the flow of this and Dustin Nguyen is creating something that really is quite magical with the visual presentation of events with the machinery, worlds, and characters. I can’t wait to see what’s next.
Age Rating: 17+
Released By: Image Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: February 21st, 2018