REVIEW: 'Descender' #11 by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen


★★★★☆ (4/5)

'Descender' turns a corner that will change the course of the story going forward. A huge cliffhanger leaves a couple of things hanging in the balance and if you can't wait until next month to see what happens, try waiting for three months. As this second arc ends, Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen will be taking a break to reenergize and work on the next issue. Great for them, they've earned it especially Nguyen whose painstaking art is mesmerizing but surely exhausting, bad for fans though. 

Andy's storyline hasn't resulted in much as far as advancing the narrative. We know he's searching for TIM-21 and getting help from his old flame Queen Between on Sampson. The scenes work on their own with great dialogue even as he and Queen bicker but don't really reach a link to the other storylines. At least not yet. There's more to explore there with Andy, Blugger, Queen Between and her band of rebels but little time is given to flesh them out. I'm sure at some point they'll be relevant because it's inevitable that Andy and TIM-21 will be reunited. 

TIM-21 and TIM-22 wander the non-quarantine areas as Psius explains, robots have complete freedom to explore the Hardwire limiting Telsa and Dr. Quon. That doesn't sit well with her at all. The TIMs have had an interesting relationship. 21 is more childlike and emotional than 22. They've been programmed differently, a metaphor for the human equivalent of nurturing, and that manifests itself in different world views that prove to be dangerous. There was always a sense that things weren't as copacetic as they seem and with good reason. 

The driving force behind 'Descender' #11 is Telsa. She doesn't trust Psius and feels imprisoned regardless of the hospitality. Her instincts have her on edge causing Dr. Quon to say she's paranoid. As we've learned you don't want to piss-off Telsa and the good Doc learns the hard way. TIM's "dream" still remains a mystery despite running various tests. Telsa thinks once Psius gets the data he wants from TIM-21 she and Dr. Quon won't be allowed to leave as promised. They'll become expendable and it motivates her to snoop around to see what is really going on. 

After forcing Quon to help get into some off-limit areas, they stumble onto something heart-stopping. It's the big twist that will power the next arc. It'll be the reason you'll be cursing Lemire's name at the end because you'll want to see what happens next right now! There's a statement from Lemire about the book's hiatus and that's all well and good but what about us?!

'Descender' has become a reliable quality read. Jaw-dropping art from Nguyen, changing the way you look at comics through watercolors that fire the synapses in your head. Lemire doing his usual excellent writing making you feel things that warm your heart or crush your soul. The third arc will surely continue more of the best work in comics. We just have to be patient. 


Get the first arc here:

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