Skip to main content

REVIEW: 'Descender' #2 by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen

Descender #1 introduced us to a world decimated by mysterious "Harversters," robots the size of moons, who wiped out millions on the Nine Core Worlds of the United Galactic Council. The devastation created a backlash against robotic technology, outlawing robots to the point where robots were hunted down and destroyed. On a distant mining colony, a young robot, TIM-21, awakens to find his world destroyed, his human family included, and along with his robotic dog, Bandit, has to fend for himself as Scrappers, robot bounty hunters, have found his location when he came back online. Descender #2 picks up with Tim and Bandit on the run in this exciting and emotional science fiction space opera that has already demonstrated to be one of the best stories of the year.

Jeff Lemire has the unique ability to tug at your heart while also making it jump out of your chest when he combines a chase scene with alternating flashbacks of TIM with his human family. And it's not your typical flashback set-up as they are memory files being rebooted in TIM's system. As he's being run down by the Scrappers and their vicious dog, we get to see TIM leave Dr. Quon and meet the Tavers family. 

Needless to say it's an endearing look at how TIM assimilated to his new family and became one of them in a lot of ways. It makes what happened to them all the more heartbreaking. And now alone except for his trusty robo-dog has to escape this vicious band of hunters. Already in less than two issues I'm fully invested in the story, the characters and the plot. I want to know what happens to TIM and want to know how his codex or "DNA" is related to those humongous machines that caused the massacre ten years earlier. 

First, I want him to survive this issue and if you're not shedding angry tears at the end of it you might be a soulless machine yourself. Lemire weaves a fantastic tale that is enthralling and ultimately intoxicating. You can't escape falling in the deep end of this emotionally charged epic.

 As far as the art goes, what else is there to say about Dustin Nguyen's magical touch? His watercolors add so much depth and character to scenes you can momentarily get lost in them, looking to see how he can create such beautifully haunting landscapes. He can turn around and make equally horribly fearsome monsters like those bounty hunters who are human but menacing and frightening. I've always graded artists on their ability to evoke emotions with the facial expressions of the characters and Nguyen can break your heart with a single panel. The flashbacks work because you can connect to those scenes based on the joy written on TIM's face and the Tavers kid. As well written as Lemire's script is it would feel hollow without Nguyen's empathetic art. 

Descender is the type of science fiction that is rare in its simplicity with more emotional heft than most comics on the market. It' the type of story that Steven Spielberg used to direct. It's one of the best comics of the year that will resonate all the way through award season. It is a must-buy. Get it now!


Popular posts from this blog

REVIEW: 'Bonehead' #2 by Bryan Edward Hill, Rhoald Marcellius, and Sakti Yuwono

Bryan Hill pumps the brakes a little in the follow up to the fast-paced debut of 'Bonehead' with more great world building. The mystery surrounding Bonehead 56 deepens but we at least get some backstory and details about what his arrival means for a pair of brothers with opposing viewpoints.

Writer: Bryan Edward Hill Artist: Rhoald Marcellius, Sakti Yuwono Letterer: Jaka Ady Graphics: Comolo Editor: Elena Salcedo Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: January 31, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score:★★★★☆ (4/5)
After a thrilling video game-like first issue, issue two gives way to the brothers Kray. Aleph is a tech scientist examining the unconscious "56" and marveling at his abilities. He reminds him when his brother Hideki roamed the city as the vigilante Blackdeath. Hideki is a Gladiator (cop) now and he questions Aleph's methods with 56 and its legalities. Nonetheless, they need 56 to be free on the streets for now so they can monitor him. The brothers c…


Valiant announces ARMSTRONG AND THE VAULT OF SPIRITS #1 – a hard-charging, standalone special coming this winter from New York Times best-selling writer Fred Van Lente (ARCHER & ARMSTRONG, Incredible Hercules) and red-hot rising star CAFU (RAPTURE)! On February 7th, join in a riotous celebration for the ages as Armstrong, for the very first time, uncorks the ancient mysteries of his centuries past – and dares his closest comrades into the adventure of several lifetimes!

Deep beneath New York City’s seediest dive bar, Armstrong – the hard-hitting, harder-partying immortal veteran of history’s greatest escapades – is hosting an invitation-only affair for his most beloved friends and allies! Archer… Ivar, Timewalker… Faith… Quantum and Woody… And special guests from across the Valiant Universe… All have been offered a seat at the table for a personally guided tour of Armstrong’s most valuable and tightly guarded treasure… From the Great Flood to ancient Greece to the height of the C…

REVIEW: 'Infidel' #1 by Pornsak Pichetshote, Aaron Campbell, and Jose Villarrubia

'Infidel' #1 by Pornsak Pichetshote and Aaron Campbell arrives at a time when the horrors of everyday life for marginalized people is scary enough but add misogyny and xenophobia from demons and well, that's just multi-dimensional haterade. This contemporary horror story feels timely and brimming with scary thrills.

Writer: Pornsak Pichetshote Artist: Aaron Campbell, Jose Villarrubia Letterer: Jeff Powell Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: March 14, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★1/2 (4.5/5)
Aisha is an American Muslim woman who just moved into a haunted apartment building with her boyfriend, his child, and his mother. It's the perfect horror movie set-up that includes a tragic incident that led to the killing of several people, the haunting aftermath of the explosion, a boyfriend's xenophobic possibly racist mother, and terrifying nightmares. Pichetshote has cooked up a potent cauldron consisting of the right horror tropes mixed with equally horr…

ADVANCE PREVIEW: MIGHTY CRUSADERS #3 by Ian Flynn, Kelsey Shannon, Ryan Jampole, and Matt Herms

“Ambush”—The Mighty Crusaders are on the attack against the vicious Eliminators! It’s an all-out brawl with the odds in the Crusaders’ favor, until they’re faced with a new, dark entity: The Dream Demon!

Script: Ian Flynn Art:  Kelsey Shannon, Ryan Jampole, Matt Herms, Jack Morelli  Cover: Kelsey Shannon with Matt Herms Variant Covers: Tom Feister, Phil Jimenez with Kelly Fitzpatrick On Sale Date: 2/14 32-page, full color comic $3.99 U.S.
Artwork by Kelsey Shannon and Matt Herms

REVIEW: 'Hit-Girl' #1 by Mark Millar and Ricardo Lopez Ortiz

Hit-Girl is most certainly back and as deadly and crazy as ever. She's gone international looking to fight injustice and find a worthy sidekick. Mark Millar is in top form with help from artists Ricardo Lopez Ortiz and Sunny Gho. The heart of the Kick-Ass legacy lives on as bloody and as thrilling as you remember.

Writer: Mark Millar Artist: Ricardo Lopez Ortiz, Sunny Gho Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: February 21, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★★ (5/5)
The retirement of Dave Lizewki as the original Kick-Ass has left a void in Mindy's crime-fighting life. Trying to recruit his replacement has been challenging to say the least. She's going to go it alone and taking her skills global as a cry for help leads her to Colombia.

Millar hits the floor running with a wild prison break, Mindy parting ways with an unworthy partner, and a grieving mother looking for justice. The sudden blitz back to the world of Kick-Ass is like comfort food for comic book fans. …