Stefani Sloma

Comic Review: Descender #1 — Living up to the Hype!

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The first issue of Jeff Lemire’s Descender from Image Comics deserves the hype it has received as it’s an imaginative and interesting comic that knows what it’s doing.

Descender #1


WRITER: Jeff Lemire
ARTIST and COLORIST: Dustin Nguyen
LETTERER: Steve Wands
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE DATE: March 4, 2015

Get a copy of Descender here!

Descender has been getting a lot of attention because of the fact that it was optioned for film before the first issue was even out. I was eager to find out if the comic would live up to the hype it was receiving and if it was worthy – it was. Descender is a high concept, sweeping sci-fi adventure focused mostly on a young robot-boy and his robot dog who have woken up after ten years to the realization that their entire world’s been destroyed.

Descender is well-paced, well-written, and interesting. Despite being mostly grim and sad — ten years ago giant robots came from nowhere and wiped out the majority of the population of the nine planets of the United Galactic Council — there are still wonderful moments between characters. Like when Tim-21, the young robot boy, realizes his dog is alive, which is when it’s revealed Tim is an android — such a great reveal! We get some quiet time with Tim to just get to know him; he has some human quirks and anxieties that make him charming and instantly relatable.

Nguyen’s artwork is incredible. He illustrates the entire issue in a watercolor style that perfectly defines the wonder, confusion, beauty, and extreme uneasiness of this world. His designs are imaginative, and the character work really shows us who these characters are. Emotions are brilliantly captured in their body language and expressions. His colors, mostly a mix of bright splashes of colors with stark white is so visually appealing. Also, the panel in which we discover Tim-21 is a robot is just so good!

Descender is original and dynamic. It’s full of fantastical, remarkable characters that I definitely want to know more about. The best thing, I think, is that the comic already seems to understand what it wants to do and how to get there. It’s not a shaky first issue that is trying to establish itself. Descender is confident in itself and that shows. This comic is going places.

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