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!



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

REVIEW: 'Redneck' #2 by Donny Cates, Lisandro Estherren, and Dee Cunniffe

'Redneck' arrived a month ago redefining the vampire genre by not giving into convention or cliché. In fact, if you've read the first two issues, the vampire angle serves more as subtext than its selling point. It's the perfect approach to this character-driven southern fried drama that simmers with tension and intrigue.

REDNECK #2 STORY: DONNY CATES
ART/COVER: LISANDRO ESTHERREN & DEE CUNNIFFE LETTERER: JOE SABINO
RELEASE DATE: MAY 24
32 PAGES | Full Color | Mature | $3.99
★★★★☆ (4/5)
The Bowman's way of life just got upended and what was once a peaceful and secluded existence is on the verge of war. The vampires of Texas keep to themselves, raise their cattle, drink its blood and sell the meat through their BBQ joint. Seems like a brilliant front to keep them in the shadows while staking out a living. All that is threatened when one of their own is killed after a night on the town. This issues fills in the holes to what might have happened and what the hell is…

PREVIEW: 'Tet' #4 by Paul Allor and Paul Tucker

We've seen Eugene's story. But during his last day's in Vietnam, he finally learns how Ha survived the war. She's always been much stronger than him; and much stronger than he's given her credit for. With all their secrets gone, Ha and Eugene must decide how to move forward.

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …

PREVIEW: 'Project Superpowers' #1 by Rob Williams and Sergio Davila

The Project Superpowers heroes came from the past, now they have to prove their relevance in the modern world. A 21st Century threat is coming for us all. What dread secrets does The Death Defying Devil hold? The Lighthouse will rise and the Spirit of The American Flag will take on a new host. But will it be enough? Can superheroes still save the day?


Project Superpowers #1
writer: Rob Williams artist: Sergio Davila covers: Francesco Mattina (A), Ed Benes (B), John Royle (C)               Philip Tan (D), JG Jones (E) Stephen Segovia (F)               Sergio Davila (G), Philip Tan (RI-B/W)               J.G. Jones (RI-Sepia), Ed Benes (RI-Virgin)               Francesco Mattina (RI-Virgin)
FC  |  32 pages  |  $3.99  |   Teen+  












REVIEW: 'Death or Glory' #2 by Rick Remender and Bengal

After a raucous debut, 'Death and Glory' takes a weird turn. Like a really weird turn. Imagine David Lynch and Quentin Tarantino had a baby and out came out issue two of this new series from Rick Remender and Bengal. The question is is that a good or bad thing?


DEATH OR GLORY #2  
Writer: Rick Remender Artist: Bengal Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: June 6, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
With a botched heist job, a bullet in her side, and all her money gone, Glory wrestles with what to do next. The cargo her ex-husband was trafficking wasn't drugs but people and after putting them all safely on a bus to Arizona, she's broke and being attended to by one of the Brazilians that stayed behind. Her scheme was pretty straight-forward - rob the money that the dirty sheriff was going to transport and use it for her dad's surgery. Easy peasy. Then it all went to hell as the sheriff recognized her, she dropped the money, and now no one is happy, not the sheri…