Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I Reads You Review: DESCENDER #1

IMAGE COMICS – @ImageComics

WRITER: Jeff Lemire
ARTIST: Dustin Nguyen
LETTERS: Steve Wands
COVER: Dustin Nguyen
36pp, Color, $2.99 U.S. (March 2015)

Rated T+ / Teen Plus

Book 1: Tin Stars

Descender is a recently-launched science fiction comic book created by writer Jeff Lemire and artist Dustin Nguyen.  It is set in an indeterminate, distant future and focuses on child-like android.

Descender #1 (“Tin Stars”) introduces a section of the galaxy where there is a group of nine “Core Planets” known as “The United Galactic Council” (UGC).  The nine Core Planets are Niyrata, Phages, Mata, Sampson (home of the “original colonists from Old Earth”), Knossos, Silenos, Amun, Gnish, and Ostrakon.  The story opens on the planet Niyrata (the “Hub World”).  There, we meet Dr. Jun Quon, the man acknowledged as the inventor of “modern robotics.”  Dr. Quon is about to face a “Harvester,” a robotic situation that is both awesome and devastating.

The second character of focus is found on “The Moon of Dirishu-6,” home of the Dirishu Mining Colony.  We meet Tim-21, a robot from the “Tim” android series.  Meant to be a “child companion bot,” Tim is about to become a very important robotic boy.

When Descender #1 debuted in March of this year, it was a fast sellout.  Apparently, part of the buzz around Descender was that it had already been optioned for film.  [That's the whole point of publishing a creator-owned comic book through Image, right?]  Luckily, I found “Heroes Corner Comics and More,” a comic book shop that still had copies of recent hot Image Comics titles.  [It's located in Harvey, Louisiana – on the “Westside” of New Orleans.]

I just read this first issue, and now, I don't really see what the fuss was all about.  Descender #1 is mostly borrowed ideas, and Tim seems like nothing more than a character that didn't make it into Steven Spielberg's 2001 film, A.I.: Artificial Intelligence.  Descender is by no means bad, but I am not impressed, nor do I find myself especially titillated to read more.  It doesn't help matters that I am not enamored with Dustin Nguyen's wispy, watercolor-like art, and here, it is similar to how he drew the “kids” comic book, Batman: Li'l Gotham, a painfully obvious cash-in on all-things Batman.

I don't see myself pumping hard to find future issues.  Maybe, it gets really better...

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux; support on Patreon.

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