Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Dustin Nguyen
Letterer: Steve Wands
Publisher: Image Comics
Fun fact: Descender only came out on March 4th. However, there was so much buzz before the official release that there was actually a bidding war for the movie rights to the comic. Sony Pictures won, and the film will be produced by Josh Bratman. Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen will be on as executive producers.
Descender opens with a view of Planet Niyrata, the technological and cultural center of the UGC – United Galactic Council. The UGC is a group of 9 planets, with a original population of 5.53 billion that was reduced to 1 billion after the attack of massive robots they named Harvesters.
Though we don’t see anything of the other eight planets in the UGC, Lemire included a small, very suggestive appendix for each of them with a little bit of their history in the end of the book.
Before the destruction of Planet Niyrata, we are introduced to Dr. Quon, an expert in modern robotics. We learn later that his work on child companion robots, named Tim, has been used somehow to develop the machines that attempted to annihilate human beings in the UGC.
Ten years after the attack, anti-robot fanaticism and Robot Genocide are sweeping all things robot away across the Galaxy.
Tim-21, an extremely lifelike robot, awakes in his home in a mining colony in the distant moon of Dirishu, only to discover that the place littered with dead bodies. He learns from the base computer that there was a gas pocket explosion in one of the mines. However, some managed to escape the moon. Tim-21 hopes his mother and possible brother Andy are among them.
Tim’s lonely walk around the silent base is one of the strongest moments in Descender #1. The artwork showcasing his expressions is touchingly beautiful.
It’s a relief that Tim finds his dog Bandit, who will likely be his inseparable companion as Tim goes on his adventures. We can hope this includes escaping bounty hunters and finding his mother’s location.
Jeff Lemire told Comic Riffs “the fear, and also sort of the wonder, that can come from that relationship with technology and mankind is certainly at the heart of Descender… We love telling stories about innocence and hostile environments and sort of coming-of-age stories. So [Descender] is definitely one of those.”
All things considered, Jeff Lemire has certainly brought up interesting thoughts about our inner child, about the way we see the world’s technological advances, about humanity, and about what makes us human.
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