Written by Jeff Lemire
Illustrated by Dustin Nguyen
Published by Image Comics
Release Date: 3/4/2015
It’s something of a “Jeff Lemire week” in the world of comics. The writer/artist is making his Marvel Comics debut with the first issue of All-New Hawkeye with Ramon Perez, following the conclusion (okay so there’s still an issue to be released, “comics” right?) of Matt Fraction’s run with the character. A hardcover collection of his first volume of Justice League United (Canada) from DC Comics is being released and his latest creator-owned work Descender from Image Comics begins. Lemire teams up with watercolor mastermind Dustin Nguyen (Batman Eternal, Batman Lil’ Gotham and a mountain of recent variant covers) for the oversized first issue of their cosmic adventure. If you’re familiar with Lemire’s other creator-owned work (Trillium, The Underwater Welder, Sweet Tooth, Essex County) you know to prepare to have your heartstrings tugged at.
In “Tin Stars” we’re introduced to the planet Niyrata, home of the nine Embassy Cities from the nine Core Planets of the Megacosm that compose The United Galactic Council. Dr. Jin Quon, the modern robotics expert, is awoken by General Nagoki of the UGC with the disturbing news that massive robots are orbiting each of the nine Core Planets, including his home planet of Niyrata, only to be stunned by an all-out attack.
On the Moon of Dirishu-6, Tim-21, asleep for 10 years, wakes up to find the he is the lone survivor of the mining colony he lives on that was devastated by a pocket Sirium gas being released from the mines into the atmosphere. With only the colony’s somewhat working computer and his robotic pet “dog,” Bandit, Tim sets out to find out what happened while he was in slumber.
Back on Niyrata, 10 years after the horrible attacks from what are now called Harvesters, Dr. Quon is awoken – this time – by the flame-haired Captain Telsa and is informed that the Harvesters have had the same codex, robotic DNA, as the “Tim” android series, child companion bots, that were created by Dr. Quon, and that one of the bots might be active on the Dirishu-6 mining colony, somehow surviving the UGC’s robotic genocide.
Jeff Lemire playfully introduces Tim the android child and his pup-bot Bandit with a backdrop of death, and even despite the mounds of bodies left behind on Dirishu-6 the tone somehow doesn’t shift to grim. Dustin Nguyen’s brushed artwork is always a refreshing thing to view because it’s so different from what is normally seen in comics, and it works seamlessly with the mood that Lemire has created for us in Descender. Just a small aside, Sony Pictures has already grabbed the movie rights for Descender.