Descender #1 Review: Ascending to Greatness


Review by Nolan P. Smith

Before Image Comics’s debut issue of Descender #1 hit the shelves, the book was buzzing the news feeds. The sci-fi series was picked up as a motion picture for Sony before most people even read the first issue. That puts a lot of pressure on writer Jeff Lemire (Animal Man) and artist Dustin Nguyen’s (Batman: Streets of Gotham) foray into deep space. Now that the first issue has hit, does it sit among the stars, or descend to mediocrity?

Set in deep space, the book tells about a future where humans, robots and other species live in harmony. Of course, that all changes at the appearance of a massive robotic being, a being followed by numerous others that in an instant ravage the universe and make all robots wanted and hunted. This brings us into the “life” of the robot boy TIM-21, who has been asleep, or deactivated, for many years, throughout all of the attacks. What he finds is a world where his family is gone, and all that’s left is himself and his pet robot dog.

Lemire crafts an amazing beginning chapter to what looks to be a different, entertaining spin on sci-fi, space faring comics. We see a universe in turmoil, looking for answers and only finding more questions. We see a small boy, lost in a vast universe and looking for something, anything. We also see a doctor searching for the reasons on why these robots attacked, where they came from, and what he has to do with any of it.

Nguyen illustrates a world so full of wonder and amazement. From the menacing, towering destroyers, the various species, TIM-21, to the spacescape that surrounds it all, Nguyen creates a colorful, memorable first issue that is a stand out for the year for sure. Image Comics has published some extremely successful sci-fi epics in recent years, with Saga being at the forefront. Descender looks to follow in that tradition, with a knock out first issue that leaves us wanting to know what happens next to little TIM-21. Descender is the debut issue of the year so far, and is poised to be a series of the year contender if this issue is any indicator. I give Descender #1 a perfect @@@@@ out of FIVE.

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