Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Dustin Nguyen
Lettered & Designed by Steve Wands
Published by Image Comics
Release Date: 04/08/2015
Our story so far: Events that took place in the first issue included an invasion of gigantic robots called The Harvesters on the Nine Core Worlds, a collective of planets known as the United Galactic Council (UGC). This attack resulted in the loss of over 4 billion lives, and also led to a fear and distrust of A.I. and all robots in general, ultimately leading to a mass robotic genocide.
Dr. Jin Quon, a genius and the father of Network robotics failed to successfully analyze and identify exactly what these Harvesters were. Ten years have passed, and now on the moon of Dirishu-6, a child robot named Tim-21 has awaken, only to discover that his human family and the rest of the colony are deceased. Tim-21 and Bandit (his Pet-bot) are alone, but he soon discovers that ninety percent of all robots in the universe have been eliminated by Scrappers, mercenaries who have been hunting robots since the Harvester Apocalypse and the anti-robot revolution.
As a result of Tim-21 connecting and uploading to the network (datasphere), the Network Council has learned of his existence and has matched his robot fingerprint to that of The Harvester. Unbeknownst to Tim-21, Scrappers have also pinpointed his location and have landed on the moon colony to begin their hunt.
Descender #2 finds Tim-21 and Bandit running for their lives, with the bounty hunters in hot pursuit hoping to cash in on the robots processor (which holds tremendous monetary value). In between the chase scenes through the mines, Lemire flashes back to show readers the day Tim-21 was born (so to speak), as he meets his creator (Quon). It also chronicles his journey to the Dirishu-6 moon colony where the young robot first meets his human family. His naivety and confusion as he initially struggles to comprehend the differences between robots and humans, along with the time he gets to spend with Andy and the Tavers, makes this story so far all the more heartbreaking.
There are definitely some Pinocchio elements in this story, as we witness Tim-21 and his need for acceptance from his human family. It may be programming and not real emotion, but the bond between them is real and clearly evident.
The artwork that Dustin Nguyen (Batman: Little Gotham) displays in these first two issues is magnificent. His style in unequivocal, as his distinctive brush technique truly shines in these pages. His choice of colors sets it up so that readers can easily distinguish past from present, and overall the illustrations here are impressive to say the least.
Whether it was Sweet Tooth or Trillium, Lemire has an incredible gift for story-telling. Descender is as spectacular as it is ambitious, and the story and character building are everything you would expect, as we are thrown in to not just a world but a universe of planets that gives this series so much more depth and the potential for a much more expansive narrative. You need to be reading this series!
Next Month: Descender #3 (May 6, 2015)
THE NINE CORE WORLDS – AKA THE UNITED GALACTIC COUNCIL
N I Y A T A (THE HUB WORLD): Former technological and cultural hub of the UGC and former home of the nine Embassy Cities. One city state for each of the core planets and races representing UGC. Now
a devastated world, what’s left of the UGC Council still resides there, clinging to power. Home of the NIYRATAN MONARCHY that has guided the UGC for centuries.
P H A G E S (THE GHOST WORLD/HAUNTED PLANET): Home to a gaseous race called THE PHAGES. Their spectral, ghost-like appearance scared early explorers into thinking the planet was haunted. Basically
a world full of ghosts with no solid matter. Cities and aliens all made of gases. The only non-gaseous species are a race of hostile 20-foot tall giants.
M A T A: An aquatic world. Was once home to a great empire and a baroque, almost renaissance-type world, but long ago was flooded and turned into a water-world. The descendants of this monarchy now
survive on a floating, mobile kingdom. The ruins of the old cities still lay below the water.
S A M P S O N: Home to the original colonists from Old Earth. Sampson is a massive city and the military center of the Megacosm and home of the largest human cities.
K N O S S O S: The smallest Core planet in the Megacosm.
S I L E N O S: The unique atmosphere on Silenos makes all sound and vibration impossible, creating a totally silent world where the native race communicates by projecting telepathic hieroglyphs into the air
A M U N: The greatest ally of the GNISHIANS. An insect-like race that live in underground hives.
G N I S H: The largest planet and the home of the largest military force. Leaders in the anti-robot, anti-technology movement in the wake of the Harvesters. A race ruled by luddite zealots who preach independence and sovereignty for all worlds all the while working for more and more control of Megacosm space. Main funder of the Scrappers. Home to the MELTING PITS, massive gladitorial arenas were Robots are made to fight to the death.
O S T R A K O N: A desert wasteland devoid of all life. Contains the ruins of an ancient civilization that has long since gone extinct.
REVIEW: DESCENDER #2
Peter Rodriguez (Geek Sushi)