Descender 1: Tin Stars

descender volume 1 tin star cover review
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 8/10

Good start to a series


Comic Info

Comic Name:  Descender

Publisher:  Image Comics

Writer:  Jeff Lemire

Artist:  Dustin Nguyen

# of Issues:  6

Release Date:  2015

descender #2 cover review

Descender #2

Reprints Descender #1-6 (March 2015-August 2015).  After a massive invasion by alien robots called the Harvesters, the United Galactic Council finds the galaxy shattered.  The discovery of a robot called TIM-21 which matches the technology of the Harvesters has Captain Telsa and her guard Tullis on a rescue mission with Doctor Jin Quon who many blame for the robot massacre.  Unfortunately, the UGC isn’t the only one after TIM-21, and TIM-21 is going to find himself on the adventure of a lifetime.

Written by Jeff Lemire, Descender Volume 1:  Tin Stars is an Image Comics sci-fi action adventure.  Featuring art by Dustin Nguyen, the issues in this volume were also collected as part of Descender Deluxe Edition—Volume 1.

Descender was a comic I picked up kind of on a whim.  I found the first collection in a discount bin, and I like Jeff Lemire so I figured I’d give it a shot.  The first volume of the series not only has a compelling story, but it also has me wanting to pick up the rest of the story to see where it goes.

Descender is original, but it also feels like it has basis in other mediums.  The whole concept of “robot playmates” and substitute children is very reminiscent of Steven Spielberg’s A.I.  While A.I. was highly problematic, the first hour or so of the film was some of Spielberg’s more interesting work…and Descender seems to blend aspects of this into its story.  In addition to A.I., a lot of Jeff Lemire’s other works and themes feel prevalent in Descender including Sweet Tooth which feels like it has parallel characters to the characters of Descender.

descender #5 cover review cast

Descender #5

The story sets up a lot of secrets for future stories.  You have the mystery of the Harvesters and their origins, what happened to Professor Solomon and the original robot, how the scrappers broke with the UGC, and what the Hardwire plans for TIM-23 among other questions.  Despite introducing all of these elements, the story feels like enough of a story that you aren’t just reading filler…which is often a tricky blend for writers.

In addition to the storytelling, Dustin Nguyen’s art does breathe life into Descender.  It is a nice blend of inking and color that feels bigger and more unique than other titles.  Lemire himself has a very distinct style of art and it feels like Nguyen’s designs tie into Lemire’s visuals and evolve them into his own style.

Descender 1:  Tin Stars is a great start to a series that has a lot of potential.  Space fantasies are a bit easy, but space science-fiction can be trickier.  Descender seems to be blurring the line between the two with both action and adventure but some real questions about life and the life of the machines that we build.  I look forward to seeing where Descender goes.  Descender 1:  Tin Stars is followed by Descender 2:  Machine Moon.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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