Advance Review: Descender #3

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Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Art, Colours, Cover: Dustin Nguyen
Lettering: Steve Wands


In the second issue of Descender we followed little TIM-21 (Tim for everyone), a boy-robot, trying to escape from some… headhunters, I guess, with his dog-bot Bandit. People (and creatures) that want his/its mechanical components. As he runs, he has several flashbacks to his “life” before being temporarily deactivated for ten years, during which the world has changed. He belonged to a family, he called them mom and dad…

Eventually, Tim got cornered and attacked. He is rescued, for some reason, by a drilling robot.

This third issue opens with Tim opening his eyes to see a broken robot, who admits he has been broken and inactive for quite some time. Pretty much, it is a robots’ heaven. But the drilling robot still has some hopes to bring him back…

One flaw of the story is that, on Tim’s side at least, it seems to be getting closer and closer to Steven Spielberg’s A.I., with several references to that film. I will not mention any specific passages in order to avoid spoilers, but if you have seen A.I., well… you will recognise them.

The art is once again spectacular. Every single panel has been hand-painted by Dustin Nguyen, with different hues to indicate the background against which the action takes place.

Even the lettering needs to be praised: humans, humanoid robots and non-humanoid robots each have a different… font, suggesting their speech patterns. Also, their balloons have different colours – just to avoid any possible confusion.

A brilliant series, then, whose only flaw at the moment seems to be the excessive similarities between Tim’s story and the one told in Spielberg’s A.I.; with the next issues, the author will be forced to abandon that inspiration and create something different – and in that moment I imagine that Descender will go from being a good series to being great.